Today, many college admissions processes have grown very competitive. For this reason, most experts recommend beginning to consider specific college programs and their admissions requirements as early as possible.
Variable Entrance Requirements
College and university entrance requirements sometimes vary considerably. Students hoping to gain admission to a particular institution often benefit by learning about the entrance requirements at an early stage. They can tailor their high school curriculum and extra curricular volunteer, athletic and civic activities to some extent to meet those demands.
Additionally, today many respected academic institutions require applicants to submit standardized testing scores from different testing organizations. Some admissions committees consider SAT scores pertinent. Yet others expect applicants to complete the ACT. A few may even specify other tests, such as additional language proficiency examinations for non-native speakers. By checking into individual admissions requirements at an early stage, students and their parents enjoy the ability to plan more effectively to meet all of the eligibility requirements.
Visiting educational institutions of interest also often inspires students to focus more intently on college admissions during high school. In the past, colleges in the USA often invited high school seniors to participate in campus tours to preview facilities and teaching methods. Today, some public school educators recommend that youngsters in Junior High consider visiting a postsecondary educational institutions briefly in order to appreciate features of individual campuses. Taking a brief guided tour of a college campus enables young learners to appreciate the differences between attending a public junior high or high school school and a university, for instance.
Many colleges additionally offer readily accessible distance learning options for students. Instead of taking all their classes on campus, many young people now complete some college classes online for credit as remote learners. Pursuing this option during college may allow them to minimize college expenses and graduate earlier. By enrolling in one or more online advanced academic classes during high school, a young person may develop a better sense for the rigorous demands made upon students taking college courses. They essentially visit the educational institution through cyberspace.
Extra Curricular Activities
Academic institutions in the United States sometimes include student participation in extracurricular athletic, volunteer and civic activities as a factor in the admissions process. Institutions with a religious affiliation may also value the contributions of young people in religious classes or sponsored youth events.
Students who plan to apply to a college may benefit by requesting references from youth activity leaders, coaches, employers, pastors or other sponsors. By learning about college requirements at the earliest possible point, they can develop a list of potential reference sources who will inform the academic institution about the applicant’s additional extracurricular activities.
Getting an Early Start
Giving some initial consideration to college admissions by the Ninth Grade enables high school students to focus on admission to a higher educational program as a long term goal. Even though the student typically won’t submit an application until the Senior Year, looking at colleges closely in light of their own individual goals during the first few years in high school usually provides helpful information for students.
A young person might draw up a list of potential colleges, included preferred institutions and also one or two acceptable “safe schools” with less exacting admissions requirements. Visiting as many of these institutions as possible in advance of submitting an application will give the student a good idea about what to expect during daily life as a college student.