Make the most of your college prep - start early, be prepared, and stay organized: The key is to start early and think ahead. Take the most rigorous courses available at your high school, particularly in the field of your intended major or in something that might interest you. Apply to extracurricular activities, select a few that are of interest and engage deeply. Perhaps the most important way to prepare is by doing careful and extensive research. A college should be a great fit for your career aspirations, as well as your academic, social, and financial goals.
Leverage available resources: There are a number of new online resources available to help guide you and your family as you tackle the college decision-making process, like: 1. University Rankings helps students identify and rank universities that are launching graduates into their desirable jobs in key industries.
2. Decision Boards is a great new tool that helps prospective students organize their school search in one place. It also helps students make well-informed decisions by enabling friends, family, alumni, and current students to provide advice and insight on a school that might interest you.
3. University Finder helps students achieve their career goals by easily identifying schools that meet their interests based on desired area of study, companies of interest and preferred location.
Connecting is king: Even though students do not have decades of professional experience, they can still develop strong relationships with their network of teachers, family friends and coaches to help provide insight into suggested schools, how to tackle college applications and to provide recommendations. Connect with admissions officers, as they hold the keys. Introduce yourself at college fairs, on college visits, and request their contact information in order to establish a line of communication. Use connections to seek out internships or volunteer opportunities to get hands-on experiences in a particular field.
For more information, visit the Arkansas Department of Higher Education at www.adhe.edu or Arkansas Community Colleges at www.arkansascc.org