2019 Hawai‘i College Guide

(Sponsored) Your guide to navigating the admissions process, financial aid applications, preparing for college, avoiding the Freshman 15, building a network and more. Plus, get an insider perspective on studying abroad.



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(page 13 of 17)

Timeline to Success

Finding and getting accepted to the right college or university is actually a four-year process. That may sound daunting, but take each step one at a time and stay organized, and you’ll be fine. Here’s how to manage the road to college admission:

 

9th Grade

  • Enroll in challenging classes.

  • Keep grades up.

  • Get involved in extracurricular activities.

  • Explore potential career paths.

  • Set up a college savings plan.

  • Develop good time-management skills.

 

10th Grade

  • Try some AP classes.

  • Take a practice Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in October (this year, it’s Oct. 10, 13 and 24). Juniors qualify to compete for the National Merit Scholarship Program, but younger students can take it for practice. collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt

  • Consider volunteering during the summer.

  • Visit campuses while traveling, just to get a sense of what type of college appeals to you. Small? Big? Public? Private?

 

11th Grade

  • In October or early November, take the PSAT/NMSQT.

  • Sign up to take the ACT or SAT. Colleges usually accept either one, but check with where you’re interested. Many students will take the test once as a junior and again as a senior. Is it worth taking it twice? According to ACT, 57 percent of students increased their Composite score on the retest.

  • Visit campuses if possible.

  • Attend college fairs and network with the college representatives.

 

12th Grade

  • In the fall, repeat the ACT/SAT tests. Sign up for the SAT Subject Tests, if appropriate. Send in scores.

  • Gather teacher and other personal recommendations. Send thank yous afterward!

  • Narrow down the list, but have at least four to eight schools to apply to.

  • Draft your essay. Leave enough time for at least two people to read it and comment.

  • Check all due dates at the colleges you want to attend; they vary by institution and you don’t want to miss anything.

 

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