I am a Junior in high school.

How can I start preparing for college?

Follow these recommendations to guide you to college-ready success.

- Amanda Cantu 

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Start searching for colleges

  • Do you want to go to a big school or small school? Do you want to live in Texas or venture out of state? Do you prefer having small class sizes or big class sizes?

  • Take note of admissions criteria, deadlines, etc.

  • The earlier you start your search, the more best match options you will find by your senior year

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Prepare for the SAT and ACT

  • It is highly recommended that you take the SAT and/or ACT in your junior year

  • Visit the college adviser at your high school for assistance with registering

  • Some schools require a minimum score for acceptance

  • Get free SAT preparation at KahnAcademy.org/sat

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Attend college representative visits

  • College representatives are a great resource to gain valuable information about schools you are considering

  • It is your job to ask them questions that are important to making your final decision

    • What is the student to teacher ratio in the classroom?

    • What academic resources are offered?

    • How many clubs and organizations are there?

  • Take note of admissions criteria, deadlines, etc.

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Visit college campuses to guide your college search

  • Visiting a college campus can help you decide if the institution is the right one for you

  • Take a campus tour, visit with staff and students, but most importantly, ask questions

  • Take note of admissions criteria, deadlines, etc.

  • Try to visit more than one campus so you can compare your experiences

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Take challenging classes in core academic subjects

  • Talk to your school counselor or teachers about Advanced Placement courses

  • Colleges want to see that you are interested in learning new things and will work hard to excel in the classroom

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Volunteer at school, church, or with local organizations

  • Colleges want to see that you care about your community and are willing to make it a better place

  • Examples of volunteering:

    • Helping at a hospital, pet shelter, library, or summer camp

    • Tutoring students through an official organization

    • Helping at church events

  • Visit our 'Volunteer Info' page under the 'Resources' tab for volunteering opportunities in San Antonio

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Become a leader in your extracurricular activities

  • Being involved at your school shows that you are committed to something that you care about 

  • Leadership experience shows that you are a team player, can manage your time well, and care about diversifying your experiences

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Consider participating in academic enrichment programs

  • Academic preparation is a critical part of being college-ready

  • Some high schools have programs like Upward Bound which helps students prepare for college through tutoring and other enrichment events

  • Ask your college advisor if there are any programs on your campus


Create your resume

  • When applying to colleges and scholarships in your senior year, you will be asked to list all of your challenging classes, volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities, and enrichment programs

  • Colleges want to see what you are passionate about and how hard you worked over your high school career

  • Visit the 'Resume Building' page under the 'Resources' tab for free templates

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Narrow down your list of possible career options

  • What subjects do you like? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing with your free time?

  • Searching your career options will help you select a major later on

  • Visit the 'Career Search' page under the 'Resources' tab for help searching

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Start saving money for college

  • Saving money for important college necessities like books, food, dorms, and tuition can be very beneficial if you start early

  • Talk to a parent or guardian about opening a savings account