Form III Students
Most of the activities involved in the college planning process occur in Forms V and VI: preparing for SAT and ACT tests, considering college majors, selecting colleges for application, and drafting essays and a professional resume. However, some aspects of the college admissions process require earlier attention and preparation.
As Form III students begin their high school programs, families should consider the following.
- Create a study area and work schedule that will help you develop self-discipline and focus. Review strategies which help you study successfully for a variety of assignments, tests, and projects. Develop a calendar for school work that will help you complete work in a timely and efficient manner. Final course grades will become part of your official transcript. The transcript contains the most important information. It indicates the level of difficulty of the student’s academic program and how well he is able to perform daily. College representatives from highly selective colleges, for example, will want to see mostly A’s and B’s, with a higher percentage of A’s.
- Participate in extracurricular activities inside and outside of school. A long list of activities isn’t what colleges are looking for in their candidates. They want to see “passion and commitment” in a few activities of their applicants. Explore a variety of activities, and then become involved in a few that can help you learn about yourself, find possible career direction in your life, and help you further develop important life skills.
- Discuss with your Algebra II and Chemistry teachers the possibility of taking the June SAT subject tests in Math I and Chemistry, as the material will be fresh.
- Arrange for volunteer, employment, and learning experiences over the summer. This could help you, eventually, in choosing a college major and deciding upon a career. If you have a record of several summers engaged in a specific service or research project, it will enhance your college application for any field of study. Consult bulletin boards outside the College Counseling Office for information about the variety of available programs. However, be sure to make time to relax and have fun with your family and friends, too.
- Create a personal portfolio. Keep a file for the following: academic award certificates, athletic letters, letters of recommendation from work and internship supervisors, reflections on travel and service experiences, records of scouting achievements and summer learning activities, a log of leadership experiences, etc. This portfolio will help you to assemble a Student Self-Assessment and College Resume during your junior year. You will use the assessment and resume for admissions interviews, as supporting documents accompanying applications, and for drafting application essays. Your teachers and counselors will review these as well for writing college recommendations.
- Read, read, read! Reading helps students improve their learning skills. Your vocabulary will expand. There is also a direct correlation between reading and effective writing and performance on standardized testing. It will also help you develop your knowledge in areas that interest you, and you may even learn more about yourself.
- Start to save money for college.
- While it is necessary to do some preparation for the college admissions process now, it’s very important that you enjoy your time at St. Anselm’s Abbey School.
Begin to research the cost of college. Attend the College Financial Aid Night held every fall at St. Anselm’s to learn about the resources and procedures for filing forms and applying for financial aid during the college admissions process. Get started by consulting FAFSA 4Caster. This site will help you understand financial aid and provides the basic steps to get started in the financial planning process. Also, search http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/sa/ for more information on how to pay for college.