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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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College Corner: Wake up call

Milne
[/media-credit] Photographer Tom Milne spoke to juniors and seniors about what it takes to become a professional photographer.

If you are a junior reading this article you are probably in a bit of denial. You may be accustomed to scanning over the title of my column thinking, “that doesn’t pertain to me” or “I still have another year before the . . . FAFSA, scholarships, college apps, etc.” Well here I am, your wake up call, you are officially a senior! My intention is not to scare you or cheat you from a well-deserved summer vacation. My hope is to get those wheels turning because you are well on your way to life as an adult.

In recent weeks timid juniors have trickled into my office with the same question, “What should I be doing NOW to start preparing for college?” Frankly there is a lot you can do now to put you one step ahead of the game. My biggest piece of advice is: Do your research. Start by selecting your top choice colleges and frequently check their websites for any information that is pertinent to you. Be on the lookout for things like admission requirements, application deadlines (early and regular decision), cost of tuition, acceptance rate and majors offered. The more you know about your prospective colleges the better prepared you will be.

This summer is the ideal time to take the SAT or ACT if you have not done so already. “Senior fall testing should only be a fall back, one more chance to push up a score, not the first time you’re seeing a score. The reason: it’s near impossible to target schools to visit unless you have a good grasp of where your SAT/ACT, subject tests and AP scores fall,” Dr. Michele Hernandez said.

This summer is also a great time to narrow down your list of colleges by taking a campus tour. It is ideal to visit the colleges as soon as possible while they are still in session. Another great way to experience a specific college or major is to attend a summer program offered at many colleges. A list of 25 popular programs can be found at Summer Programs for High School Students. More specific programs can be found by searching on your prospective college website. In most cases you can earn college and/or high school credit by attending these programs.

Since summer programs are costly and not feasible for everyone, many students choose to spend their summer free time volunteering for an organization. This is a great way to boost up your college application while exploring areas of interest. Consider continuing the volunteer work through your senior year.

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