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A student's life is all about preparing. Elementary school prepares you for basic life skills. High school prepares you for the working world or for college. College then prepares you for a career. But this time of preparation is unproductive if there are unknown expectations.

For a high school student, there may be a fear from not knowing how to prepare for college. The academic requirements to get into a college may be clear, but what about personal steps? Can your child benefit from preparing for college in other ways than just being a straight-A student?

I loved college! In fact, after college, my internship of choice was to mentor college students to be successful in life and faith matters. I would like to share some helpful tips with you today for a high-school student on the path for college.

Let's take a look at 5 tips to prepare for college, even as a Sophomore or Junior in high school, to lead to a successful college career. 

1) It's not Band Camp, It's College Prep Camp
This is one of the easiest ways to help your child get ready for college. These camps are designed for like-minded students to get together to prep for college. It can be more motivating to prep for college when other people are excited around you. Here is a list of Colorado pre-college camps. [1]

2) Internships are not Only for College Students
An internship is one of the best ways for a high school student to get a leg up into their field of study and later, their career. Although they are usually unpaid, the experience is invaluable. Internships can also help your child get into a specialty college. Search here for high-school internships near you. [2]

3) Clean Up
Don't just tell your child to clean up their room. But encourage them to clean up their social media account. University officials looking at college applications do have the right to look at your child's social media account. [3] Are there things your child may be embarrassed for them to see? Also, encourage them to start a new email address, with their name in it, if their current one is... whimsical.

4) Look for Leadership Opportunities Now
Often, colleges ask for a resume to go along with a college application. One of the best items to put on a resume is leadership responsibilities from extracurricular activities. But start compiling your resume in your Freshman year before you and your child forgets everything they have done in high school. Here are other tips to think about when your high school student is writing their resume. [4]

5) See with Your Own Eyes
The best way to learn about the college campuses your child may attend is by visiting them in person. While there, talk to the current students & faculty, check out the student life, and learn what safety precautions are in place. Best of all, take pictures! You'll be able to easily remember the feel of the campus if you have a visual clue. Listen to former high school students about the benefit of visiting a college campus. [5]   

Tight on Your Budget?
  • Combine your family vacation with a college campus visit to save money.
  • Visit the financial aid officer during your campus visit to learn about your financial aid options.
  • Virtual tours can help your student whittle down which colleges to visit before heading off to every college.

Lastly, for seniors in need of financial aid, Apply for Financial Aid This Month! Here is a link to learn how to get your FSA ID. [6]

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