Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Welcome to the new school year!

With school starting back, here are some tips for all high school students!

-Get involved!
Join a club, play a sport, or participate in an activity that sounds interesting. The high school experience will be greatly enriched, new friends made and perhaps a passion found.

-Grades are important!
Every year! Think of it this way, by the end of sophomore year, 1/2 of a student's grades are in the books. One misconception is that junior year is the most important, but really every year is. In many cases, colleges will only see the first three years of a student's grades when applying to college.

-Take advantage of college visits to high schools and the college fairs!
Throughout the fall, many colleges will be visiting local high schools. Students can meet the college reps and learn more about colleges without having to take big trips.  Additionally, the national college fair at the Oregon Convention Center will be November 2-3. More than 300 colleges will be in attendance and another great way to learn more about colleges.  Go to for more info. After doing a bit of research, students can plan to make some visits.

-Have the Money Talk!
Families need to sit down and clearly communicate financial expectations for college. Will the parents/ grandparents absorb the cost? Is there an expectation for the student to contribute financially or otherwise (through scholarship, work)? Is there an expectation that the student should have some loan debt? Every family has a different philosophy and communicating this among involved parties will create a much less stressful situation later. And don't forget to think in terms of four years, not just the first year.

-Start early on applications!
There are many parts and pieces to college applications, so starting early with testing, identifying teachers for recommendations and essay writing will ease stress so often association with the college application process.  Be aware of all deadlines. Every school is a little different and late applications are not accepted!