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Timeline: Exploring college options


Throughout this section of the resource, we focus on activities to consider when exploring your college options.  This timeline-view gives you a guideline as to when in your high school career each activity is particularly relevant.  Certain activities have a single checkmark (for instance, under winter of 11th grade year), typically indicating a one-time or short-term endeavor.  Other activities have multiple checkmarks (for instance, every season from 11th through 12th grade), indicating ongoing commitments of time.


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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user clayton.starken
    So im in 12th grade getting ready to graduate 2015 what happens if your not the sharpest pencil in the box, but your a hard worker should i still try to go to college?
    (39 votes)
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  • spunky sam blue style avatar for user John McCarthy
    How many safty, match and reach colleges should we have.
    (7 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Magistra H
      Those numbers depend a lot on your individual situation. I know people who've had 6 or more of each, while I only applied to one of each, because I didn't have a lot of money to spend on applications. I also paid careful attention to scholarship opportunities and other aid I needed to make sure I could afford tuition. If you're on a tight budget, I would definitely limit your reach applications to schools you know you really would be happy attending, since your reach schools will be less likely to provide financial assistance than safety schools.
      (14 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user 1693874
    what is the difference between SAT and ACT??which one is better and best for colleges?? and from where should i get prepare for it?Do you know any cheap and good place to get prepare for it??
    (6 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user daphne.g230
      The SAT and ACT are pretty similar. Neither one is better, and most colleges will accept both. Unlike the SAT, the ACT has a science section and an optional essay, and you can use a calculator on all math questions. The SAT is graded on a scale of 400-1600 and the ACT is graded on a scale of 1-36. The SAT covers data analysis while the ACT covers statistics and probability. The PSAT and Aspire are prep tests, and Khan academy has a good practice SAT.
      (1 vote)
  • piceratops seed style avatar for user Chantel
    I'm 9 and how do I know what is a good college for me
    (4 votes)
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  • purple pi purple style avatar for user Madhu Madhumitha
    What if I am a student from Asia and wanting to get into a US/ UK university. How feasible would it be to make campus visits/ open houses?
    (6 votes)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Abigail Altman
    Hello, I just graduated as part of class of 2015. I'm planning to go to a community college first and then go on to University. I'm just wondering if the same things spoken about in the video still apply for those going to community college. I know I'm way late to start thinking about college but I'm the oldest of my family and my parents didn't have a lot of experience with the college yrs. Fortunately, my cousins have been a great help in that department since they are 4 and 5 yrs older than me and are completing their community college yrs. I'm wondering if anyone has a question or two that I should ask them and my counselor?
    (7 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user nealydebra
      I applaud you for asking such an important question. One of the most important things to understand when you plan to enroll in a a community college is which 4 yr colleges do they partner with and have an articulation agreement with. An articulation agreement is a legal document produced when two or more academic institutions follow a process leading to a partnership to provide a formalized pathway for student transfer. This way you can easily transfer the credits you earn in your community college to the 4 yr college. That will prevent you from wasting time and money on classes that are not transferable. Check with the admission office to find out which 4 yr colleges they partner with
      (3 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Dana Terrell
    I'm a 27 year old single mom that has never been to college and have dealt with the "breaks" practically all my life. I didn't really take high school as serious as I should have, and was never really encouraged to begin, or stay with an extra curricular activity. I would like to increase my skill set and knowledge to begin a career, but time and money are not of the essence....and I'm still undecided on a career path. Is it too late for me and where would I even begin?
    (5 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Brittany Pridemore
      I don't think it is. I have been asking a lot of the same questions... I am disabled and 26. I guess Khan Academy doesn't yet have videos directed towards us non-traditional students yet. But I really hop they get stuff up. Maybe we are a more complicated issue and that is why. But I would really like resources for us. But I want to believe and very strongly that it is never too late too start and that even if we dropped out in the past that we can always go back and try again.

      I have dreams of opening my own business.

      I think You first need to really decide what you want to do with your life before you commit to college. You know? It is a financial burden now. Think about what you have always wanted to do. We are non-traditional. There is no point in going back if we are just going to waste our time right? So study up. Figure out what is worth your time and effort and what will support your babies and make you happy. You can have your cake and eat it too if you will. And nothing in life comes free of risks. And some of the best things in life come from taking a leap of faith. And I think that is more about what being a non-traditional student is... a leap of faith and hope for the future and a better life.
      (6 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Li  Tan
    Hi I just got back to the United States a few months ago. I spent most of my schooling life in Malaysia and I did not have really good extracurricular. Now I am in a community college and I am doing my associate degree. Would the universities pay attention to my high school curricular at all?
    (4 votes)
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    • leaf green style avatar for user Jon Frank
      Hi There! This is a fantastic question.
      Since you're in Community College now, when you decide to transfer, the admissions committees are going to be paying close attention to what you're doing NOW. If you have great things to share from high school, then that is great! Be sure to include them. But, as in your case, you didn't do a whole lot of ECs in high school, do not worry.

      Just make sure you're getting involved in school NOW, taking on leadership roles when you can, and getting the best possible grades/scores you can get. THAT is what the colleges will be looking at. (And that's even more important/impressive than high school because you're doing these things on a COLLEGE level!)

      So get involved in activities at your school. And get...really involved. Don't join 50 clubs just so you can say you did. Instead, get active in the things you truly care about, and then really engage there. For colleges, it is all about DEPTH and not BREADTH when it comes to activities. They want to see who you are and what you care about, and seeing how active you get in a few things is going to show them that.

      Just make sure you're also focusing on your school work and keeping those grades up. Because colleges are also going to want to see that. They want to make sure that you can handle the rigor of college coursework, and that you'll be able to excel when you get to their school. The better your grades, the more successful you'll be when you transfer!

      Hope that helps. AND GOOD LUCK!

      Hope that helps!
      (7 votes)
  • leaf green style avatar for user Jon Dough
    So if you visit a college campus what should you look for on the tour? What's reasonable to find out on the tour (ie: wifi, if their lab computers are connected to the Internet and what OS they use, parking)?
    (5 votes)
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  • starky tree style avatar for user Kaitlyn Clark
    For someone who would love to get into Harvard or Stanford for law school, where would you recommend getting a prelaw degree?
    (5 votes)
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