In our first post in this series, we talked about The Obstacles (Post #1) that high school students face when planning for college and scholarship applications. The only way to ensure that students don’t miss out on opportunities or scholarships is through proper planning and organization.

When should you start getting organized and planning for college?

FACT: Did you know that you are officially considered a high school student as soon as you graduate from 8th grade? That means that anything you do after that day can be included on your high school resume for college and scholarship applications.

The summer before freshman year is a great time to start planning for college, even if it seems like college is so far away. A little planning over four years will make the transition to college less stressful and overwhelming.

Starting late?

High school juniors and seniors can still take advantage of the time they have left. They can identify areas where they need to improve, set goals and organize their information before they sit down to fill out applications.

TIP: Ask teachers, parents, employers, community leaders and even friends to help you recall what you have done during your high school career. It is amazing the things that are often forgotten that could be included on an application. 

The importance of a monthly commitment:

  • Make a monthly commitment to planning for college.
    • Just 15 minutes a month can make a significant difference in how prepared you are for the application process. It will also reduce the amount of time and stress involved in the long run.
    • It is essential that the student and a committed adult (parent/guardian/teacher/counselor/consultant) schedule a time to meet each month to document the previous month’s activities.
  • Each month, set and review goals.
    • For example, if the student has committed to joining two student clubs their sophomore year, they need to be reminded near the beginning of that school year. Perhaps they can also be encouraged to pursue an officer position to get some leadership experience. It will become apparent after a few monthly meetings which areas need more attention.
    • This monthly meeting will also keep you on track for important events, such as scheduling ACT/SAT tests. Most importantly, meeting on a monthly basis will allow you to record all the details of your activities. These specifics are much harder to recall if you wait until it is time to fill out lengthy applications.

TIP: Set a reminder on a calendar or your phone to ensure you meet every month.

What to track?

In our next post we will go into more detail about The Info (Post #3) you need to be tracking for college and scholarship applications.

Please tell us what you think in the comments below! Do you have any tips for parents and students on how to recall information? Would a monthly commitment work for you?

Other posts in this series: