You want to go to college but you are not sure what to do. Well, let’s talk.
You’ll need a high school diploma or your GED certificate. If you did not complete high school then go ahead and begin to work on getting your GED certificate. GED means General Educational Development and it is the equivalent to getting a high school diploma. You must study and complete a test. You will need to contact your state department of education to get the facts, as some information given by unreliable sources might be incorrect. Also, there might be public high schools (evening/night classes) or private institutions that provide special classes, often free of cost, or for a minimal fee, to help you to earn your GED certificate. You do not need to complete high school before you start thinking about your future.
Think about what you would like to study in college. What is it that you like or enjoy doing? What do you find that you are able to do something almost effortlessly? Where does your passion lie? To what field/area are you constantly drawn? It is usually a good thing to go into a field where you find that your interest lies. Because you like the subject/field does not mean that you are not going to have to work hard. However, if you have the interest, you will be more inclined to go the extra mile and stick with it even when it gets rough. Now, build on your interest. Begin to learn all you can about what you want to do.
If you are still not sure about what you want to do, begin to research various subjects/careers that you feel you might like. Make an appointment and go and meet with an adviser at a local college. If you are still in high school then meet with your adviser or guidance counselor. Also, attend college fairs at your high school and plan on going to visit college campuses; many high schools plan one day or weekend trips to local and in state colleges. Many high school students engage in dual enrollment (while in high school they take few free college courses at local state colleges). Find out where you may be able to do a free aptitude test, maybe at a career center at school, the library, or at a local college. Be realistic; for example, if you know you cannot do math then do not plan to study to be an actuary or a high school math teacher because you think it’s cool.
You will need to think about how you plan to pay for school. Are you working at a job where they provide tuition reimbursement? Do you qualify for government grants/loans, or will you be able to get scholarships? Are you going away to college are will you be attending a local college? Will you start with a state community college or are you going directly into a university? Make an appointment to meet with a financial aid adviser at the college. Go online and visit www.fafsa.ed.gov for information and a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). Also, visit websites for colleges or buy books regarding scholarships.
Here are other points of interests that you will need to know. You will need to do prerequisites, regardless of what your area of study will be. Find out what general courses will be required and plan how you will begin. Find out the timeline for your particular course of study then give yourself a little extra time, no more than an extra semester (just in case of an emergency). Are you going to live on campus? Will you have roommate?
Get yourself a notebook and write down everything that you know or need to know about going to college. Get a folder/binder in which to put all the information you have gathered; place the information in labeled sections for easy access. Research! Interview family members, friends, teachers and others who have gone to college or are currently in college. Now, go after your dream!