Important Steps to Success

There are many things that go into being successful. There is a lot that you need to do in high school in order to be prepared and successful for college. Below is a guide that will help you get to success.


  1. Visit colleges and discover the things you like about them.
  2. Take the ACT or SAT if you haven’t done so yet, or retake them to increase your scores.
  3. Develop a system because you are going to receive a lot of information from colleges. Throw away what you don’t want and keep what you do want in an organized area.
  4. Meet your guidance counselor and discuss your college plans. They are more than happy to help.
  5. Start narrowing down the list of schools you’re interested in and start applying.
  6. Write essays and request letters of recommendation.
  7. File your FAFSA as early as October 1. The earlier the better.


  1. Keep your grades up. Whether you have been accepted to a college or not, colleges require you to send in final transcripts with final grades.
  2. Research and apply for scholarships. Check with your guidance counselor or librarian to see what scholarships are available to you.
  3. Attend a financial aid informational event with your parents.
  4. Follow up on your applications. Check with colleges that you haven’t heard from to make sure there are no outstanding items needed to evaluate your application.
  5. Check your email and mail daily for notifications and information from colleges.


  1. If you have not visited or toured the colleges where you were accepted, plan your trips.
  2. Attend an accepted student event to learn more about the school and help your decision making.
  3. Complete other applications and paperwork needed for enrollment, such as housing applications, meal plan selection, registration for orientations, and other forms.
  4. Sit down with your parents and discuss your options.
  5. Accept your chosen colleges offer if you haven’t already done so.
  6. Discuss finances with your parents and compare financial aid packages so you know a realistic expectation of what you can afford.


  1. Now that you have committed to a college, look for different ways to connect with your future classmates.
  2. Find out all the necessary items you will need before you start classes such as, a parking pass, student ID, what size bedding, when and where to get your books, what items you’ll need to do laundry, and who handles scheduling for your first semester classes.
  3. Make a list of what you will need in your dorm room and coordinate it with your roommate so you both don’t get the same item.
  4. Create a communication plan with your parents. In what way, when, and how often you will communicate.
  5. Establish a budget and financial plan with your parents. Determine who’s paying for what and how much is acceptable to spend, as well as emergency money, and your travels home and back to college during holidays.
Caitlin Brubaker

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