- Make certain you are enrolled in courses meeting Westmont's entry requirements:
English 4 years Science 3 years (two years of laboratory science) Mathematics
3 years (including at least Algebra II)
*Algebra I taken in the 8th grade is acceptable
Foreign Language 2 years of the same language (3 years recommended) Social Science 2 years (history, government, sociology, political science, economics, psychology, civilization, geography)
- Challenge yourself! Take Honors, AP or IB courses when possible.
- Do you have a poor grade that needs to be retaken?
- Attend College Planning / Financial Aid programs locally.
- Gather college information and applications. Develop a filing system for college materials - a paper trail is important. Throw nothing away until you have decided on a college.
- Do some soul-searching. Think about the qualities you feel best fit you: location, size, public, private, or Christian college.
- Select a college search program on the Web: a popular one is bigfuture.collegeboard.org
- Be proactive. Talk with your school counselor, teachers, coaches, recent grads and visit your high school college resource center. Meet with college admission representatives who visit your campus. Read college catalogs, magazines, viewbooks, and websites.
- Westmont Preview Days, October 11 or 18, 2013. Register online!
- Visit and tour college campuses.
- Develop a list of your interests, educational priorities, talents and abilities, needs, preferences and personal qualities. Use these to match to colleges.
- Take PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholars Competition) or PLAN.
- Pay attention to what this year’s seniors are doing - especially the scholarships they are applying for.
- Westmont Preview Days, October 11 or 18, 2013.
- Westmont Preview Days, November 1 or 15, 2013. Register online!
- SAT’s (we recommend taking now and again in spring). Or, you might consider taking the ACT.
- Westmont Preview Days, November 1 or 15, 2013.
- Carefully go over your PSAT/NMSQT/PLAN scores and use the information to prepare for the SAT I and ACT. See your counselor if you have questions.
- Attend college planning classes when available.
- Consider using computer software to assist you with the SAT and ACT.
- Register for March SAT (or register for a spring ACT).
- Begin to make specific lists of colleges that stand out in your research.
- Review applications for colleges in which you are interested. Know what they will require from you.
- Explore financial aid options. A helpful website is: www.finaid.org.
- Meet with your counselor and parents to discuss the college selection process, classes, GPA, & test score requirements.
- Last chance to register for ACT, SAT I and SAT II's. You should take either the SAT or ACT at least once sometime in April, May or June. If possible, take the SAT or ACT twice. Register to take any SAT II tests necessary while course materials are still fresh in your mind.
- A few UC campuses recommend you take SAT II's (Subject Tests) for specific colleges and/or majors. Even if subject tests are not recommended, they do add merit to a student's application.
- Request viewbooks, magazines, catalogs, and applications from the colleges you’ve selected on your list. These can also be accessed online.
- Start planning how you will pay for college by attending financial aid sessions and researching scholarships at fastweb.com.
- Plan a strong senior year.
- Visit colleges, take tours, speak with admission counselors, professors, departments of interest, and financial aid.
- Consider helping your family with college expenses by getting a summer job. Consider doing an internship in something that interests you. This will look good to colleges!
- If your ACT/SAT scores are low, summer is a good time to strengthen your skills.
- Attend a college-prep summer program. Check out the Westmont Summer Scholars program. Se your counselor for other opportunities.
- Read!! Practice writing essays. Be creative: use your own words and style!
- Decide which application process you want to pursue: Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision. Be sure you understand the responsibilities of each. (Westmont has Early Action and Regular Decision only.)
- Continue working.
- Visit colleges - it's important!
- Have frank discussions with your parents about college possibilities and limitations.
- What is the bottom line amount you can afford?
- Continue seeking God’s wisdom.
How do you go about selecting the right college? Here are some questions that may help with this important decision.