College Planning for the High School Senior
by Dave Berry
Ever notice how quickly deadlines sneak up on us? The older we get, the faster they appear. Think back to when you were in first grade. Remember how it seemed like Christmas would never arrive? Well, you're in high school now; apparently every milestone is just around the corner. If you're a senior, there's a very big deadline looming: your decision about college.
Maybe you've put off thinking about what to do, where to go, how to pay, and all those other key issues involved in the college search and planning process. If you have, then it's time to take a deep breath and make some hard choices. Now. These issues don't just take care of themselves. You and your family have to do something about them.
If you haven't already done so, how can you get started? The best place is in your high school guidance office. Sitting there right now are two key ingredients to making college decisions: your guidance counselor and a pile of books and materials about college. You must talk to your counselor and you must read some material. You must also get your family involved in the college search and planning process. It's a team sport.
Here's a rough timetable of events for those of you who haven't yet done any planning or choices about college. It's now September of your senior year. That's fairly late to start thinking about college. But it's not too late. Your counselor has probably spoken to you on more than one occasion asking you what your thoughts are about college. If you have so far been undecided, make a resolution to start making some decisions.
Talk to your counselor as soon as possible. If you really want to go to college, come up with a minimum of three college choices. Make certain your family is totally involved in your selection process. Check the entrance requirements of the colleges you've chosen. Obviously, they're going to have some guidelines; make sure your profile fits theirs.
Now you've got the ball rolling. Don't panic. There is still enough time for you to make the right choices about college. Again, remember to talk to your counselor, read the resource materials, and keep your family involved with every step you take.