Students have many mixed views towards starting college. Some students are anxious and unsure of what to expect while other students see college as a beacon of hope and freedom, a place where they may explore their individuality and independence. No matter what the reason, each student must still make the effort to get into the college of their choice. One thing that most high school students do not realize is that preparing for college is not just limited to their last year of school. Instead, preparing for high school can start at any point in a student’s academic career and have a significant impact on their acceptance.
Academic Grades in High School
Every student understands that that college admission requires that they show at least a satisfactory academic record. In other words, students know that they need good grades. However, a general trend among some students has been to be put off these good grades until the senior year of high school and then, only to miss the mark. The reason for this is that the courses in high school, similar to that of colleges/universities, rely on the foundation concepts of the previous course. Therefore, when a student decides to only take their last year seriously, they are making their last year of school a very challenging year.
It is important that students take their classes seriously throughout high school. This is a great time for students to get extra help on foundation concepts that they are struggling with and many high schools offer peer tutoring programs for students to seek help from other students within their school. If this is not an option, students can also look to get help from outside tutoring sources.
Developing Good Academic Skills
Another important academic lesson for students to learn in high school is the importance of good academic habits, such as time managing, studying techniques, note-taking, and self-improvement strategies. When students go to college, they will find that colleges do not enforce deadlines on students but rather, expect students to perform the required tasks by each deadline. This is why high school is a great place for students to develop such lifelong skills that will not only help them succeed in college, but also in their workplace.
In our “What is considered a good SAT score?” blog, we talk about how colleges look at more than just good academic standings or grades. Extracurricular involvement is a big factor contributing to most college acceptances because they provide the college with a glimpse of the student’s leadership roles, and interpersonal skills. High schools have an abundance of extra-curricular activities and clubs to join which makes it very easy for students to start getting involved early on and demonstrate their collaborative, leadership and interpersonal skills.
No matter what year of high school each student is in, it is always a good idea to reflect on what subjects they are interested in. Whether it is arts, engineering, science, math, or any other subject, students should know what options are open to them in the future. For example, if a student is interested in both computer science and finances, they would’ve been forced to choose one or the other if they didn’t research about the University of Waterloo’s Computer and Financial Management Program. As demonstrated from this example, students should spend time researching programs offered by colleges before making a decision as to what program/ school they would like to apply to.
One point to take out of all this information is that it is never too early to research more about getting a higher education. Whether it is looking up unusual university programs, such as the Beatles Program, the Auctioneering Program, or even the Poultry Sciences, students will still be able to learn more about higher education. Students should also reflect upon their current courses, and think about which courses they absolutely would not want to do in the future. This will save them a lot of time in the long run and will also help them identify their program of choice and university of choice. Researching programs early on also gives the student a better idea of what the college will be looking for in their applications and allow the student to start working towards those goals very early on in high school to significantly boost their chances of acceptance.
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