Have you already visited quite a few colleges? Have you started to narrow down your choice? Or are you just starting your college search process? Two weeks ago one of my colleagues blogged about visiting campus and ten different questions to ask while on campus, but what else can you do to prepare for college other than visiting campuses? In this blog post I am going to take a look at a few other things that a prospective college student can do this summer to be better prepared for the college search process. What better time to concentrate on the college search than now so your last year of high school can be enjoyed!
Do Your Research
What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Tough question isn’t it? Your college major could dictate what job opportunities you have as you graduate college. Take some time now to think about your future and explore different majors. Research all the different types of majors available, ask questions and don’t be afraid to change your mind as you discover new opportunities. Many college students will change their major while in college, but if some time is taken now to explore different options you will be ahead of the game. You can utilize the internet, high school guidance counselors, library, admissions counselors, family and friends. Summer is also a good time to do a job shadow, so if you think you might be interested in a specific field, find someone in that profession and shadow them for a few days to see if it’s what you expected.
Take the Test
Now is the time to register for your first or next set of standardized tests. Most colleges require you to take the SAT or ACT for acceptance and/or to receive scholarships. Here at Alvernia, we require test scores as part of the application and scholarship process. Visit the SAT or ACT websites to register and find a testing site near you. Now would also be a good time to look over some of the material that you might find on the test. College Board also offers online practice tests on their website. Don’t stress or worry too much; just do your best!
The dreaded college essay season will soon be upon you. Many schools, like Alvernia, will have a specific essay question that they would like you to answer. You might want to start working on these essays now; I know, I know, it’s summer, and who wants to write over the summer? But it will considerably lighten your load during the school year. I know you can do it; hey, I wrote this blog post! You can find most college essay requirements on school websites or application sites. If you aren’t sure what to write, just contact your admissions counselor at each school, and they will be able to help you out!
Find Free Money
Last but not least, take some time now to search for scholarships. Every college will probably offer specific scholarships, so ask about them and what it takes to receive one. You can find ours on our website.
We also always encourage our students to look in their local community, Lions Club, Kiwanis club, parent’s employer, and through your high school just to name a few. There are also many national websites where you can find scholarships including www.fastweb.com, www.collegeboard.com, www.collegeanswer.com. These three are reputable websites where our students have had success in the past. All three websites have scholarships sections that you can browse or create a profile for yourself.
Take some time this summer to prepare yourself for the college search process. There are many different things that you can do and most of them can be completed from the comfort of your own home, so pull up your computer and get to work!
As always if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the university!
- Christopher Fake, Admissions Counselor
About Alvernia University
Alvernia University is one of the leading Catholic colleges in PA. Receive a classic, liberal arts education in over 50 different subject areas, combining all the best features of an outstanding university, delivered in the personal setting of a college environment. Alvernia provides an affordable, private education in Reading and the surrounding communities in Pottsville, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Philadelphia. For more information visit: http://www.alvernia.edu/