College Planning Resources

College Planning Tips

Student College Tips



  • Understand as many if not all of the admission factors
  • Learn about and know when the ACT, AP, PSAT and SAT and SAT Subject Tests are scheduled
  • Explore all your college options
  • Develop a financial strategy


Size and Location

  • Consider the Size and diversity of the student body per college you are looking at
  • How far do you want to be from home - Location
  •  Type of Academic programs offered
  • Campus life — what do they offer in terms of athletics, activities, housing
  • Student graduation percentage, retention rates and job placement
  • Financial aid and other funding scholarship opportunities
  • Ask yourself “Where will be best suited for me”. Where do you think will you be the happiest and can be the most successful in your college days.  

Visit Campuses

  • Schedule a campus tour while college is in session and during summer classes where you can stay overnight
  • Speak with an admission counselor
  • Obtain financial aid information opportunities each college offers
  • Ask to monitor a class that will be included in your potential major of interest
  • Read all student life publications
  • Arrange to speak with other students and faculty

Get Organized Before Applying

  • Prioritize and categorize pros and cons relating to your college choices
  • Apply to at least 3 or 4 colleges that you feel are a good match for you
  • Think of applying to at least 1 or 2 “Reach” schools
  • Review all scholarship offers and financial aid requirements
  • Review and rewrite essay as necessary once you have asked for it to be it proofed by a teacher, advisor of family member
  • Ask for a minimum of 3 letters of recommendations and provide a specific due date for completion
    • Request transcripts and schedule interviews, if needed.


The Sum of it All

  • Determine all college costs (room, board, books, spending money, etc.) —not just tuition
  • Calculate your college savings per each college visit or college of interest
  • Estimate your Expected Family contribution (EFC)
  • Search for scholarships and other funding opportunities through your local community organizations


Comparing Your Options

  • Know what you qualify for if anything relative to grants, loans, work study and any other options
  • Fill out the free FAFSA application as early as possible, and meet all deadlines
  • Compare financial aid award letters and determine what best fits your family savings as it relates to scholarship offers


Decision Time

  • Try to visit colleges upon receiving an acceptance letter
  • Compare financial aid packages from all colleges and organizations
  • Send in your deposit as soon as possible once you have made a decision
  • Graduate with confidence


Understanding Admission Factors

Factors colleges consider when looking at students:


Primary Factors:

  • Your High School Academic Record
  • Quality/Rigor of Academic Courses
  • Academic Performance/ Grades
  • Test Scores (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP®, etc.)


Other Factors:

  • Extracurricular Activities (sports, performing/visual arts, volunteering, etc.)
  • Essay(s) that will demonstrate your self-expression writing capability
  • Letters of Recommendation from facility, mentors and community leaders
  • Demonstrated Interest in your enthusiasm for the colleges to which you are applying
  • Community involvement/volunteer work, paid art-time work or non-paid internship
  • Interview (if necessary)

© 2019 College Planning Resources - All Rights Reserved  |   Websites by SiteSteward, Inc