College Process

Aspire 2 Excellence
It’s never too early to start preparing students for college! Applying to college can seem like a difficult process for many students and families. Learning about the process early and taking small steps along the way can make the process much simpler and more manageable. There are so many questions that can arise and it can be difficult to know where to go to get good information. School counselors and the college and career specialist play a very important role in helping students and families navigate the maze of applying to college. There are many resources that school counselors have at their fingertips that can assist students and families from the beginning of the college process to college admission and transitioning to college from high school. The key to success is planning. Students and families should begin planning and preparing for college in elementary school and continue throughout middle and high school.

During the elementary school years students should:

  • Work hard and set academic goals
  • Learn more about careers and the connection to college
  • Set college attendance as the goal
  • Visit a college campus to learn about college life

During the middle school years students should:

  • Set academic goals and take challenging classes
  • Explore interests and match interests with a career
  • Get involved in co-curricular clubs and sports and volunteerism
  • Attend the annual APS College Night in October
  • Visit a college campus to learn about college life

During the high school years students should:

  • Meet all graduation requirements and set academic goals
  • Take advanced level college courses – Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and/or dual enrollment (DE)
  • Continue involvement in co-curricular clubs and sports, volunteerism, job or work experiences, internship or job shadowing
  • Complete pre-college exam (PSAT – during 10th grade) and college entrance exams (SAT and/or ACT – during 11th-12th grade)
  • Explore careers and research colleges through Naviance based on identified career field
  • Visit selected college to narrow options and/or do a virtual college tour on the web
  • Apply to college – learn the entrance requirements of the college, write a strong essay, get letters of recommendation and transcripts, college application fees
  • Apply for financial aid and apply for scholarships
  • Learn about the on-campus student supports to help new college students transition from high school to college