College is just around the corner for those graduating in May, and Educate Midland wants to help prepare students for the journey ahead. Follow this college checklist to make sure you’re right on track; the earlier you begin, the easier it will be!  

Narrow down college list 

The first step in preparing for college is making a list of all the potential schools that meet your criteria. This could mean location, obtainable degrees, or even sporting teams. However you decide, narrow down your list of the colleges you want to visit.  

Register to take or retake the ACT/SAT 

If you are graduating in May, this step needs to happen ASAP! If you have not taken the ACT, SAT, or both, now is the time to register to take these exams. Additionally, if you have taken them once and are prepared to retake them in hopes of a better score, now is the time to do so as well.  

Schedule college visits 

Now that you’ve taken your exams, it’s time for campus tours! Touring a potential college is essential for several reasons. A campus visit allows students to experience the traveling involved to get to the school, the people there, and the actual learning environment on campus. Students can also get a glimpse into their future by visiting the dorms, tasting food on campus, and walking from building to building. All these factors can impact you in different ways, making it important to tour your future school and find the perfect fit. Simply call the admissions office of the school you wish to tour, and they will direct you on how to schedule a visit.  

Stay in academic shape 

While applying to colleges can take up most of your attention, it is vital to stay in great academic shape as well. Make sure that you are doing your very best in school to ensure you have the grades needed to be accepted into your dream school. Also, it is important to remember that even though a college has already accepted you, if your grades fall too far below the grades you applied with, colleges can rescind your admissions offer. So, stay on top of your schoolwork and finish strong!  

Evaluate how to pay for college 

If you start applying for scholarships now, it will be much easier to pay for school later! Start by finding all the scholarships you qualify for, and then apply to as many as possible—you never know if you don’t apply! Additionally, now is the time to apply for 2020-2021 FAFSA, or student financial aid. Visit educatemidland.org/student-resources for information about FAFSA, scholarships, and how to apply.  

Start Application Process/Essays 

Finally, after checking off the previous steps, you can start applying to colleges. Start gathering necessary documents, such as SAT/ACT scores, and any personal information that may be necessary for your application process. After choosing which schools to apply to, check out their essay topics and begin brainstorming what you would like to write your essay over.