Applying to college today is truly a journey, one that starts once a student begins high school in the 9th grade.
Early high school students most want to understand which courses they should sign up for; if they should move up or down in course levels; whether or not to continue with a foreign language; what kinds of extracurricular activities to focus on; how to enhance their high school résumé; and more.
When students begin to reflect on their high school experiences — the courses they pursue; the rigor of their curriculum; additional and summer activities — they begin their first steps toward their higher education possibilities. After all, these are central pieces to a student’s high school experience and are what college admissions offices are most interested in learning about.
Do 9th and 10th graders need to exactly know what they want to major in at college or where they may dream of attending? Absolutely not! For most it feels early to start thinking that specifically, but getting a head start on how high school decisions lead to good steps toward college? It’s never too early for that!
As soon as a student feels ready to discuss their current high school landscape and how their current steps may prepare them for their future path, we are ready to start talking.
Ideally, by the time students students reach 11th grade, they are ready to begin sitting for SATs or ACTs and making their college plan.
It’s never too early to begin the family discussion around college affordability. The earlier these conversations take place, the better equipped families are to realistically consider the cost of college and how that may or may not guide a student’s choices.