College Prep Plans

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"We all need some sort of education after high school to ensure employability at a livable wage. The following statistics show annual median incomes for education levels for 1999 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Highest Education Completed

Annual Median Income

< High School


High School


2-yr. College










Regardless of how far you continue your education beyond high school, now is the time to begin preparing for it.

1. Take as many college preparatory courses as you can. Talk with your counselor if you have questions regarding requirements for college admissions.

2. Increase the amount of reading you do outside of schoolwork. Read newspapers every day and novels with subjects you enjoy.

3. Discuss your college plans with your family. Do not let the cost of a college education deter you! There are many kids of financial aid programs available. Scholarship Central, high school and college counselors are all able to assist you in finding financial assistance for your education.

4. Improve your study skills and earn good grades. These grades will figure in your high school grade point average.

5. Save money for college. It's not too late to start.

6. Get involved in extracurricular activities. Focus your activities in what best suits your talents, abilities and interest. Activities are offered at your school and throughout your community. (Make sure not to let these activities interfere with your studies.)

It is a good idea if you set aside a notebook, journal, or calendar with just these extracurricular activities listed. You will want to keep track of the date, time, and actual role you played in the activity. And remember - community service is anything you do that doesn't directly benefit you - this could be selling candy bars for the band, performing a choir concert at a nursing home, planting flowers with your 4-H club, running the light or sound board for a community theatre, or simply cutting your elderly neighbor's grass---write it
all down! This source of information will become invaluable as you fill out scholarship and college applications in the coming years.

7. Begin thinking about which type of school you want to attend and which attributes are most important to you.

8. Think about career choices. The Internet and your local public library have many resources to assist you with career research and your search for a school that helps prepare you for the career you choose. Visit Scholarship Central to use the OCIS software.

9. Participate in the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test) practice programs if they are available to you.

10. Take the PSAT/NMSQT when it is available. High scores on this test can earn scholarship dollars for college! Talk to your guidance counselor or Scholarship Central for more information on the National Merit Scholar Program."

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