Research shows that college readiness begins as early as 5th grade. Yes, you did read that correctly. 5th grade. Feeling a bit behind? Here are some tips to kick-start your college exploration process.
- Visit college campuses, as many as you can and as often as you can. If you are going on a vacation, look online and find one or two local colleges to visit on your trip. Call the admissions office ahead of time to arrange a tour. If you have specific interests (music, art, athletics, etc.), let them know so they can tailor the tour to the areas of campus you would be using if you were a student there.
- Talk to your older relatives and friends about their college experience. Find out what school they attended and how they chose it. Ask them if it was a good fit. You may be surprised to hear that it wasn't. That's what happens when you don't view the college selection process as an actual process, but instead choose your college based on where your parents went or where your friends are going.
- Pay attention to your habits. Notice what works for you as a student and what does not. Do you do better when your classes are small (15 students or less)? Are you active in clubs and extra curricular activities, a leader in the school community? You will want to look for the same things that you enjoy in your middle school/high school when you start looking for a college.