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College Planning


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When is the best time to prepare for college?

Four years before you actually get there! Yes, right now! It’s not too early.

The classes you choose and the activities you get involved in during high school play a big part in getting you ready for college. Decisions like opting for a challenging college prep curriculum, finding a summer job, trying out for a play, or even staying with the basketball team can all play a part in your college choice down the road.

This simple guide will help you prepare spiritually, academically, socially, and financially for college:

Prepare Spiritually

Even though you can't know exactly what will happen in the future, God is always in control. If you seek Him first, everything else will eventually fall into place. Remember to:

  • Rely on God
  • Attend church
  • Use your gifts and participate in ministry
  • Pray about where God wants you to be

Prepare Academically

Carefully plan your high school schedule to take the challenging courses most colleges recommend:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3–4 years of math (algebra 1 and 2, geometry, trigonometry)
  • 3–4 years of history
  • 3–4 years of science
  • 2–3 years of a foreign language
  • 1 year of the arts
  • 1 semester of computer

When choosing electives, choose those that develop your interests and skills in the field you are considering for a major.

Prepare Socially

Colleges consider more than just your grades, so get involved in extracurricular activities! Start looking for opportunities at your school, in your community, or at your church. Here are a few examples:

  • Athletics
  • Student government
  • Academic clubs
  • Community service
  • Ministries
  • Keep track of the activities you are involved in and any awards or honors you receive. This will come in handy when applying for college admission and scholarships.

Prepare Financially

College may seem expensive, but it is an investment in your future. A college education pays for itself in the long-run and is worth far more than the money spent on tuition, room and board, and supplies. Keep in mind:

  • Colleges vary dramatically in cost.
  • More financial aid is available now than ever before through scholarships, grants, low-interest loans, work-study, and military programs.
  • You can start saving for college now.

Get a head start by checking out Cedarville's financial aid information. Also, talk to your high school guidance counselor, visit your public library, and search online for scholarship options. Cedarville offers a great scholarship search site to get you started.

Apply for need-based financial aid when you are a senior using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Now search online for colleges that match your answers. Often you’ll be able to take a virtual tour, interact with current students, and meet your admissions counselor via the admissions website.

Cedarville’s interactive admissions site includes all of those options as well as information about upcoming events, the application process, and financial aid.