Jan 3, 2013

New Year’s Resolutions for the College Bound

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep.  But that shouldn’t stop you from taking a moment to reflect on priorities, set a few goals, or try doing things a little better. This year is going to be different—right?

For most high school students,  resolutions might include getting better grades or making more of an effort to get involved in your community.

But if college is in your future, there are a few resolutions you can make that will make the application process go smoother and possibly result in more successful outcomes.  

Here are a few you may want to consider:

  • I will fully engage in the application process and not rely on outsiders to drive all decision-making.
  • I will be realistic about my college options and do the research necessary to determine “fit.”
  • I will take the most challenging high school courses in which I can reasonably succeed and will immediately seek help for classes in which I am struggling.
  • I will develop a standardized test-taking strategy, register well in advance of test dates, and systematically prepare for tests.
  • I will volunteer in my community and will try at least one activity that is outside of my comfort zone.
  • I will take an active role in planning campus visits and give notice of my visits by registering in advance.
  • I will talk to my parents about college finances and encourage them to make use of online resources like net price calculators and the FAFSA4Caster.
  • I will take the initiative to search and possibly apply for scholarship opportunities before the fall of my senior year.
  • I will approach teachers for recommendations by the end of my junior year.
  • I will complete my college essays before Labor Day.
  • I will provide my guidance counselor and all teachers agreeing to write recommendations with required forms and materials early in my senior year or at least one month prior to their deadlines.
  • I will begin completing applications as soon as they become available, and I willnot procrastinate until 15 minutes before deadline to submit.

Most importantly, 

  • As difficult as it may be sometimes, I will keep the college application process in perspective and not let it take over my life.

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