Countdown to University/University
Jun 29, 2018
The pressure is on. To compete in today’s global economy, teenagers must obtain collegiate degrees now more than ever. Our growing global economy has made it necessary for more students to attend university in order to obtain good paying jobs. New tools, such as the common application, encourage students to apply to more schools – which increases the competition.
With students reaching for their “dream” schools, many realize increasing their scores on their final exams is only part of the planning process. More students and parents today are learning the secret that top universities have known for years - systematically preparing for university-level classes gives students more confidence and more confidence can lead to higher academic scores, early admission to the college of your choice and a smoother transition into higher education.
It’s never too early – or too late – to begin preparing for college and lifelong economic success.
By the time a child is in Grade 6, families should start talking about the importance of higher education. Together, start planning how to get there – beginning with selecting the high school classes needed for university acceptance.
• Meet with your guidance counselors to ensure you are enrolled in college prep courses (for example, an “AP” course).
• Focus on doing well in your classes and seek extra help from peers, teachers and supplemental education providers when needed.
• Join a sports team or club to become involved in school.
• Volunteer for local activities to become a part of your community.
• Meet with your guidance counselors to select courses for Sophomore year.
• Investigate summer enrichment programs at your local universities.
• Create a summer reading list. Ask your teachers to recommend books.
• Take practice final exams for provincials/finals.
• Attend college fairs and open houses in your area.
• Talk to friends and relatives attending college and ask them about their experiences.
• Meet with your guidance counselors to select college prep courses for Junior year.
• Study and take AP exams for AP classes you completed.
• Attend a summer enrichment class at a local university.
• Plan visits to local schools to experience the different types of university settings.
Junior Year – This is a critical time for university prep:
• Take a leadership role within your sports teams, clubs or volunteer organizations.
• Register to take the PSAT/PLAN offered in October.
• Attend college fairs and open houses in your area. Question school representatives and recruiters about their academic programs, majors offered, application fees and admission deadlines.
• Analyze what you want in an institution of higher learning:
Small, medium or large school?
Urban, suburban or rural campus?
Distance from home?
Rigorous admissions requirements (SAT/ACT scores, GPA, class rank, etc.)?
Intended major offered?
• Create a first list of schools that meet your personal requirements.
• Begin to research national and regional scholarships. Note the requirements and deadlines.
• Concentrate on doing your best in class and seek supplemental assistance when needed.
• Prepare for the SAT/ACT by taking a practice test. Or, enroll in a SAT/ACT prep class.
• In January/February, register for the SAT/ACT dates in March-May.
• Meet with your guidance counselors
• to select college prep courses for your Senior year.
• Study and take any AP exams.
• Take SAT Subject Tests for any AP classes.
• Plan visits to colleges that are high on your interest list. Schedule campus tours and meetings with college staff.
• Attend summer enrichment programs at local universities.
• Request applications from colleges.
• Confirm submission deadlines.
• Take the SAT/ACT again. Prepare by using prep books or enrolling in a SAT/ACT prep program.
• Create a master calendar that includes:
University application due dates
SAT/SAT Subject Tests/ACT/ AP dates, fees and registration deadlines
Financial aid form deadlines
Recommendations and transcript due dates
High school deadlines for information requests
• Narrow down your list of universities to 5-10 and review your choices with your parents and teachers.
• Complete and mail your scholarship applications.
• Ask your teachers to write letters of recommendation. Give each person your resume, any required forms and a stamped and addressed envelope.
• Write your admission essays. Ask your teachers and families to proofread.
• Submit all applications by December 15. Keep copies of everything submitted.
• Send your high school transcripts to your college choices.
• Confirm that your applications were received.
• Have your parents complete the FAFSA (or CSS Profile) by March.
• Students should receive acceptance letters and financial aid offers by mid-April.
• Compare financial aid packages from the colleges.
• Study and take AP exams for any AP courses you have completed.
• Take SAT Subject Tests for the AP classes taken.
• Schedule extended visits to schools where you were accepted. Meet with students and professors in your chosen major.
• Inform colleges of your acceptance or rejection of their admission offers/ financial aid packages by May 1.
• Send a deposit to the institution you choose.
• If you are wait-listed and will enroll if accepted, tell the admissions officer your intention. Ask how to strengthen your application.
How Sylvan Learning Can Help You Prepare
Sylvan Learning is a one-stop-shop for navigating the post-secondary academic prep process by offering interactive tools that provide superior test preparation and individualized programs teaching academic life skills needed for university classes. Offered in small group settings, Sylvan’s SAT/ACT Prep classes are five to twelve weeks in length and focus on the exact skills needed to successfully answer test questions.
Additionally, Sylvan provides specialized instruction in specific subject areas such as University Prep Writing, Advanced Reading, High School Math and Study Skills. Sylvan Learning also offers free diagnostic SAT/ACT practice tests for students and free parent seminars and resources including college planning guides.
To obtain proven test-taking strategies that give students the confidence to raise their
test scores, visit the “SAT* and ACT® Prep” section of www.SylvanLearning.com.