So you're thinking about going to college. Where you go to school is one of the most important choices you'll make, so you need to do some planning and preparation. But where do you start? Follow the steps below to ensure you get started on the right path.
SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER
- Review your courses for this year and plan for your senior year. Be sure to take courses required for admission or preparation in your field of study.
- Check on the availability of advanced placement courses. If your high school does not offer any, check with your local college to see if you can take course work for credit there.
- Meet with your high school counselor to review career options and college majors.
- Start a file system for mailings and email to organize information from schools. Begin a list of schools you find interesting and list reasons why.
- Take the PSAT if it is offered at your school. It is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the ST. It also gives you a chance to enter National Merit scholarship programs.
DECEMBER - FEBRUARY
- As you select courses for your senior year, take into consideration admission requirements. Be sure to take classes required for your field of study.
- Identify your academic strengths and weakness, and areas of study you may want to continue at the college level. Ask your high school counselor for assistance.
- Do some job shadowing to learn more about careers that interest you.
- Develop a financial plan. How do you plan to pay for school? Check out financial aid/scholarship information at www.finaid.org. Discuss your plans with your family.
MARCH - MAY
- Investigate ACT and SAT test preparation resources. Workshops, classes, online resources and books can help you prepare for these important tests.
- Take the ACT or SAT. Many students test more than once. You can re-take the test in the summer or fall if you need to improve your score.
- Research colleges that offer majors that interest you. Ask your high school counselor for assistance, attend college fairs, look at college Web sites and call schools that interest you for more information.
- Keep studying hard; seek help in subjects that are giving you difficulty.
- If you're taking the ACT or SAT, list NDSU as one of the schools you'd like to receive test scores. The ACT code for NDSU is 3202 and the SAT code is 6474. (The ACT writing test is not required at NDSU.)
- Make a personal visit to NDSU. Daily visits include a meeting with an admission counselor, a campus tour with a current student and, when possible, a meeting with a faculty member in your area(s) of academic interest. Schedule a visit by calling 800-488-NDSU or 231-8643, complete our online request, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's best to contact us at least a week in advance.
JUNE - JULY
- Continue to evaluate colleges on your list. Visit their websites to find out what is happening on campus.
- Save money from your summer job for college expenses.
- Prepare a list of questions for your campus visits to make the most of the experience.
- Visit colleges so you can narrow your list. Plan to tour the campus, meet with an admission counselor, a faculty member and students in your interest area. Students may be on summer break, but you can get a feel for the campus layout.
- Begin narrowing your list of college choices.
- Remember to schedule a time to take the ACT or SAT if you haven't already. Go to ACT or SAT for schedules and registration information.
- Research private scholarship sources and contact them for application information.
- Attend college fairs and visit with representatives from a variety of schools.
- Visit college Web sites or contact schools you are interested in for information and applications.
- Make sure you're aware of application deadlines. Make a calendar listing deadlines for admission, housing, scholarship and financial aid for all the schools you are still considering.
- Ask teachers, coaches, counselors and other mentors for letters of recommendation.
- Visit an NDSU representative at a college fair.
- Students can begin filing the NDSU Application for Admission this month. It is best to complete your application during the first half of the year to be assured that information about scholarships, housing and orientation/registration is received in a timely matter. Apply online using the electronic application.
- Take the ACT or SAT. Send your scores to the colleges on your short list. If you have already tested, you may want to re-test to improve your score.
- Schedule a second campus visit to your top choices. See what campuses are like when classes are in session.
- Begin work on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1. Helpful information and instructions are online at www.fafsa.gov. When completing the FAFSA, be sure to list NDSU's code, 002997. We strongly encourage use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to ensure easy transfer of your tax information. NDSU's priority deadline to submit the FAFSA is February 1.
- Get started on your application essay if one is required at colleges that interest you. Ask for input from your English teacher.
- Complete and submit college applications, especially if you are applying on an early decision basis.
- If you're taking the ACT or SAT, list NDSU as one of the schools you'd like to receive test scores. The ACT code for NDSU is 3202 and the SAT code is 6474. For more information on the tests, see ACT or SAT.
- If you haven't been to campus yet, visit during Discover NDSU. Dates and times are available on the Campus Visit Opportunities page.
- Collect scholarship applications and check deadlines.
- Students with outstanding academic records are encouraged to review scholarship information.
- Schedule a visit to campus if you have not officially visited. Call the Campus Visit Coordinator at least a week before your visit. Call 800-488-NDSU or 231-8643. You can submit your request to email@example.com.
- Apply to colleges remaining on your list if you haven't already. Keep copies of your applications. Promptly return all forms mailed to you by colleges where you've applied.
- Submit a request for housing or find out about housing options in the community if arrangements aren't made for you.
- The priority deadline for Guaranteed Scholarships (NDSU Presidential, Presidential Honor, and Provost's) is December 15. Students who have submitted all required application materials and meet required scholarship criteria as of the December 15 priority deadline are guaranteed an award. Students completing the admission process after December 15 will be considered for scholarships on a funds-available basis.
- Be sure to take time over the holiday break to complete paperwork such as the Housing Contract or New Student Scholarship Application.
- Log in to your NDSU Insider Page to check your admission status.
- See if any of the colleges you are considering offer an early financial aid estimate and check on deadlines for financial aid applications.
- Make sure you've submitted all required paperwork to colleges where you've applied, such as deposits, housing contracts, or supplemental applications for selective programs.
- Attend financial aid information programs at your high school.
- Keep your grades up. A drop in grades may affect admission offers.
- The deadline to apply for Additional Scholarships is February 1. You must be admitted to apply for these scholarships.
- Check with your high school guidance counselor and local organizations for more scholarship opportunities.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by NDSU's priority deadline of February 1.
- Continue saving for your college expenses.
- Watch the mail for information on admission, scholarship opportunities and housing.
- Schedule a visit to campus if you have not officially visited. Call the Campus Visit Coordinator at least a week before your visit. Call 800-488-NDSU or 231-8643. You can submit your request online.
- Decide which college you want to attend. Confirm your attendance, if required. Cancel your admission at schools you will not attend.
- Start looking for a summer job.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. This is a new experience for you. Call schools and ask for help if you need it.
- Visit campus during Discover NDSU. Dates and times are available on the Campus Visit Opportunities page.
- Sign up for a summer orientation session. Dates and times are mailed to all admitted students in April.
- At the end of the school year, have your school send your official transcripts to NDSU. Your transcript must have a graduation date and final grade point average.
- If you took college course work while in high school, have your official transcript sent to NDSU.
- If you received an NDSU scholarship, be sure to reply and accept your award by May 1.
- Make your commitment to attend NDSU by May 1.