4 Things To Do If Planning For College

Image of school with a flag from the steeple. The words four things to do if planning for college on each side of the school 
image. Four words on each side.. Blog graphic for the blog post of 
the same name at awomansoutlook.com.

If you want to go to college and it’s late in the game, like the summer before your senior year of high school, there are four things to do if planning for college. Want to know what they were, keep reading!

Take necessary tests, if any

First see if there are any tests needed to apply.

It used to be the ACT (American College Test), and SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) were two tests that were necessary for getting into a university.

Times have changed, and now there are other tests (such as the SAT Subjects Tests) that may be necessary for college entrance. 

According to Forbes magazine, 96% of colleges/universities don’t require test scores. Make sure you check the school’s application steps.

Research colleges and universities

If there’s a college fair that’s going on nearby, go to it. You’ll be able to explore different colleges and universities. There may be some you have never heard of.

This is what happened to me. I went to a huge college fair in the fall of my senior year. I found some colleges/universities that I had never heard of before. The college fair gave me an opportunity to meet with college Admissions reps and ask questions about the schools.

If there aren’t any college fairs nearby where you live, it’s okay. You can use the internet to check out the colleges and universities in your area; even in your country.

Applying to college

As above, pay attention to what is needed to apply to the college. Do you need to submit test scores, a written or video essay, or apply in a different way.

Also, pay close attention to application deadlines. When I applied to my colleges, I had to pay an application fee for each one. It was like $25; it’s probably more now. When you apply, read the instructions carefully. If there is a fee, it will be listed there.

Handling financial aid

Start looking into financial aid. Going to college is not cheap but there are ways to afford it. The first place you should start is with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

It’s a form that schools and the U.S. Government use to award financial aid. With this, you will be eligible for grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs which can help take care of the costs of college.

Applying for the FAFSA starts on October 1, and ends on June 30. So if you are applying for the 2023-2024 school year, the FAFSA deadline would be June 30, 2024. The earlier you apply the more financial aid you can get. 

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The takeaway

If you’re in high school and not sure what you want to do afterward, that’s fine.

Now, if you wake up one day during your junior year and decide you want to go to college, there are four things to do if planning for college.

They are: figuring out which college to go to, taking the necessary tests if there are any, applying to the schools and applying for financial aid.

Get those done, and then wait. The final decision is up to the school.

Good Luck!

2 thoughts on “4 Things To Do If Planning For College”

  1. I have a question. When should I start thinking about college? I’m a freshman right now. Should I start thinking about what colleges I should go to now, or wait until Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year? Then, when should I do the tests (if they’re required)?

    1. You should start thinking about college your freshman year and look at what you need to apply. During your junior year, start narrowing them down and visit them (if you can). Also start taking any tests that are needed. Then in your senior year, start applying to those colleges.

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