Preparing for College
The earlier you start looking into colleges, the more prepared you will be. Start thinking about what you want for your future now. Of course, the better your grades, the more options you will have while choosing colleges. But even if you don’t have a 4.0, you can still get into an excellent school.
You may not know what school you want to attend. If you do know where you want to go, check with the college you will be attending.
These are some general classes that you will need to take during high school. By completing these courses, you will most likely be ready for college. (Of course, you should always double check with your school counselor or college for the most accurate information):
- English 4 credits
- Math 4 credits (successfully completing Secondary Math I, II, and III, plus one class higher than Math III taken progressively)
- Social Science 3.5 credits
- Science 3 credits (biology, chemistry, physics)
- Language 2 credits (another language other than English taken progressively)
Some careers that are math or science intensive may require higher level courses. Check with your adviser or counselor during each year of high school to make sure you are enrolled in the correct math class and other classes for the college major you are interested in.
College readiness programs:
Concurrent Enrollment CE
These classes will allow you to earn both college and high school credit at the same time.
Advanced Placement AP
These classes will be more advanced, but will best prepare you for college. Depending on your score on the AP exam at the end of the course, you may also earn college credit.
International Baccalaureate IB
Where offered, the International Baccalaureate program allows students to take classes in six subjects, perform community service, and write an essay.
Check to see if the college you’re planning on attending will accept CLEP Credit, which is credit given for passing exams.
Colleges use SAT and ACT scores for admissions and scholarships. You may want to check with the college you are looking into to verify that both the ACT and SAT are required. This article will also explain the differences between the ACT and SAT tests.
Start practicing online for for the SAT test with a free prep test at Kahn Academy.
Take a free practice SAT and ACT test at the Princeton Review.
Remember, you can take the ACT/SAT multiple times if needed until you get a high score. Although, you will need to check dates that it is offered and the exact rules about retaking the tests if you are going to do this.
Any experience looks great on a college application. You can add many things to your application, including summer jobs, volunteer work, internships, sports, etc. You want to show any skills or interests that help the school understand how diverse and well-rounded you are.
How to find opportunities:
- Find a part-time or summer job as a great way to show your work ethic, responsibility, etc.
- Volunteer In Utah, Youthlink is a great place to find student volunteer opportunities.
- Participate in internships, such as, It’s Nacho: Internship 101: Summer Interns.
- Don’t forget to network! Let everyone you know that you’re looking for a job, internship, etc.
Of course, it’s much easier to decide where to go to school if you have an idea of what type of career you want to get into. The following resources will help you with career exploration:
Benobe: Explore thousands of careers, help with career decisions.
Bureau of Labor Statistics- student resources: Career exploration, economy info, etc.
It’s Nacho: Career Videos
O*Net Online: Career Exploration
Occupational Outlook Handbook: The OOH can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations.
Utah College Prep Resources
Utah ACT prep resources: Utah Futures
Utah Futures: College and career planning
You will also want to start looking into specific colleges you are interested in, student loan debt, and Financial Aid/ Scholarships. Good luck in your college journey. Please share any resources or information that has helped you prepare for college.