High school parent/student resources - North Branch Area High School - North Branch Area Public Schools

Preparing for college (grades 7-12)

PREPARING FOR COLLEGE: 

Most four-year colleges and universities require the following, at a minimum, for admission: 
•Four years of English (including composition and literature) 
•Three and one-half years of social studies (including one year each of U.S. history and geography) 
•Three years of mathematics (including two years of algebra and one year of geometry) 
•Three years of science (including one year each of a biological and a physical science) 
•Two years of a single world language 
•One year of either world culture or fine arts 

Public two-year colleges accept all high school graduates and GED holders. 
Students who master core subjects while in high school save money and time in college. 

Minnesota Resources: 
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities: www.mnscu.edu ;
Complete listing of MN postsecondary institutions: www.getreadyforcollege.org ;
Minnesota Career Colleges: www.mncareercolleges.org ;
Minnesota Private College Council: www.mnprivatecolleges.org ;
Career information: www.iseek.org ;
College credit transfer options: www.mntransfer.org ;

The following is from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education: 
www.mheso.state.mn.us ;

College Prep Timeline 
Use the timeline below as your guide to preparing for college. 


In 7th & 8th Grade: 

Begin thinking about the high school classes that will prepare you for college. Take the most difficult classes you can handle. 
Ask your parents or teachers to help you develop good study habits. 
Practice setting and reaching goals. 
Volunteer in your community. 
Take interest and skills assessments to help you think about possible career options. 
Talk with your school counselor and parents about careers that interest you. 
Create a tentative high school class plan. 
Enroll in a summer enrichment program. 

In 9th & 10th Grade: 

Take interest and skills assessments to help you explore careers options. You will have a two week Civics class on Career Exploration and take the assessment in the "Discover" program online. 
Talk with your school counselor about career options and the education required for those careers. 
Talk with your parents about saving and paying for college. 
Talk with friends, teachers, counselors and your parents about college. 
Check if your school requires 10th graders to take the PLAN to prepare for the ACT. 
Participate in extracurricular activities. 
Review your high school class plan. Take the most difficult classes you can handle. Stay focused on your schoolwork. 
Explore internships and apprenticeships. 
Enroll in a summer enrichment program. 

In 11th Grade: 

Attend college and financial aid events. 
Mentor others and have a mentor for yourself. 
Take the PSAT in the fall to prepare for the SAT, and to identify areas where you need improvement. 
Consider possible career options and investigate the type of education that is needed. 
Request materials from schools that interest you and visit their Web sites. 
Arrange campus visits to those schools that interest you. 
Participate in extracurricular activities. 
Request admissions and financial aid forms. 
Consider earning college credit while in high school through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Postsecondary Enrollment Options or College in the Schools. 
Register for and take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring. 
Review your high school class plan. Take the most difficult classes you can handle. Stay focused on your schoolwork. Make sure you are meeting your high school graduation requirements. 
Enroll in a summer enrichment program. 
Get a job to earn and save money for college, or explore your skills through an internship or apprenticeship. 
Research private scholarship options. 
Get a summer job to earn money for college. 

In 12th Grade: 

Meet with your school counselor to review your high school class plan. Take the most difficult classes you can handle. Stay focused on your schoolwork. 
Consider earning college credit while in high school through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Postsecondary Enrollment Options or College in the Schools. 
Arrange campus visits to those schools that interest you (if you haven't already done so). 
Take or retake the ACT and/or SAT in the fall. 
Select the schools to which you will apply. Make a list of important admissions and financial aid deadlines for each school. 
Attend a financial aid event. Review a copy of Your Guide to Paying for College. 
Participate in extracurricular activities. 
Create a resume of your academic, athletic and work activities as well as other achievements. Prepare a portfolio if you're interested in the arts. 
Search and apply for private scholarships. 
Ask for recommendations (if required) from teachers, counselors and others who can comment on your abilities and talents. 
Apply to four to six colleges that interest you. Do not wait until just before the deadline. 
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1. You and your parents must complete your taxes before submitting the FAFSA. 
Review you Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy. If you make corrections, return the form as quickly as possible. 
Have your high school transcript sent to those colleges to which you've applied. 
Choose a college and send in any required forms or deposits (housing, meal plan, etc.). Notify in writing those schools you don't plan to attend. 
Get a summer job to earn money for college.


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