Dear Students and Parents:
Truman High School’s College Office has prepared a comprehensive College Handbook with all of the information you need to begin preparations for college. Some of the tips from that handbook are outlined below.
Preparing for College actually starts as soon as a student begins high school. How can a student prepare to gain admittance into a four-year college? By following our guidelines, students can lay all the groundwork and preparations necessary for the application process in senior year.
Freshmen: Is it too early for a freshman to start preparing for college? Absolutely not! Here’s what you can do to get started:
- Get good grades! The first place a college admissions advisor looks is at a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). This is the average of all final grades in both semesters (January and June) each year.
- Start exploring possible careers. You can do this by looking at a great website: http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm . This website lists every occupation in the United States! It gives a complete job description, salary, and education requirements for the position.
- Get involved! It’s not too soon to begin community service, join clubs here at Truman, or show off your talents in our Multicultural Show or our many athletic teams.
Sophomores: Tenth graders should not only be continuing what they started in 9th grade – they should be doing it better! Getting better grades, doing more community service, etc. In addition:
- Begin looking at college search websites, like the college match link at www.collegeboard.com .
- Check out the colleges listed at this website http://www.compassprep.com/admissions_req_subjects.aspx to see if you should register to take a June SAT Subject Test
- Take the PSAT exam in October, and check out your score report.
- Continue with extracurricular activities and community service.
Juniors: This is your last chance to get your GPA as high as you can! Sure, many colleges will look at your mid-year grades in senior year, but your official transcript (the one in which you will receive a rank) will be completed in August before you start senior year. This is what you should also be doing:
- Think leadership! Run for student council, become the captain or co-captain of your varsity team, become a peer leader for RAPP, lead your fellow students in a lively discussion in English or History class!
- Continue exploring college search sites and refer to Truman’s College Handbook for guidelines on how to pick the right college for you.
- Attend Truman’s Spring College Fair in May!
- Take the PSAT again. Yes, even if you took it in 10th grade, taking it in Junior year may qualify you for a National Merit Scholarship. Only Juniors taking the PSAT qualify for this scholarship.
- In the Spring, you should be taking the SAT in May, and any Subject Tests you may need in June.
- During the summer between Junior and Senior year, you should be visiting the colleges that interest you, taking a pre-college course and/or doing community service.
Seniors: You made it! Senior year can be stressful, so we sure hope you didn’t leave all your decisions to the last minute.
- DON’T DROP CLASSES!! Colleges are looking for students who challenge themselves in senior year.
- Take the SAT again or take the ACT. You should be finished all test-taking by December, at the very latest.
- Come to Truman’s Fall College Fair in October for more information from colleges.
- There will be lots of “open house” information on posters inside and outside of Truman’s College Office. Come and gather up lots of free pamphlets, brochures, and check out our references guides – and attend the open house days at the colleges you have chosen.
- Start applying to schools – but remember, the College Office must send out your official transcript. If you complete an application online, and do not bring us the transcript request for it, your application will sit in the college’s computer – incomplete.
- You can start applying for financial aid by filling out a FAFSA application at www.fafsa.ed.gov as of January 1 of your senior year. The Parent Association will have several financial aid workshops during the year, and co-sponsors a special FAFSA workshop for parents of seniors in January.
- Remember to bring into the College Office all of your acceptance letters and Scholarship awards so we can make copies and post them.
Good Luck! And remember to come back and visit us!
Parents: If you have questions, please contact your child’s Guidance Counselor. If you wish to speak to someone in the College Office, please call Ms. Joubert at (718) 904-5421 or Ms. Pinto at (718)904-5423.