Knowledge Bound: The RSC Blog
Visit the Knowledge Bound Blog regularly for news analysis, editorials and facts about education and financial aid.
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Ask your parents how old they were when they started thinking about college. Chances are they’ll say junior year because that’s the way it used to be. It’s old thinking that doesn’t work in the modern world.
So when is the best time to start? Ideally 8th grade. For some people, it’s hard to imagine starting so early. In this day and age of instant everything, including instant fame, instant millions and instant information, it’s easy to ask, “Who has a long-range plan?”
The answer? Successful people. They just happen to fit their slow plans into a fast-paced world. So how do you do it?
Reasons to Plan for College Now
The good news is that no matter where you are on the path to higher education, if you haven’t started, now is a good time.
— You 11th graders know college is around the corner, and if you haven’t started yet, you’re way behind the 8 ball. You need to begin studying immediately for the SAT or ACT, researching colleges, considering a major, signing up for Advanced Placement or Honors classes, and then figure out how you’re going to pay for your education.
— You 9th and 10th graders need to know that colleges are already looking at your applications. Colleges now look at all four years of your high-school achievements. It’s how they get the best students and how they decide who gets the best financial aid. You don’t have as much time as you think. The countdown to college has already begun.
— If you’re an 8th grader, you may also think you have plenty of time, but that’s not quite true. You’re also under the gun. After all, you start high school next year, when colleges will eventually examine your achievements with a microscope. The only way to be ready is to plan now. Pick your classes, develop a four-year plan, research possible careers, and know your strengths and weaknesses.
Planning early prevents problems later. It’s what gets you into those good schools with great financial aid. If you wait until junior year, you’re severely damaging your chances.
College Prep Tools You Can Use
Take advantage of our:
· Proven SAT and ACT prep materials
· College research tools (more than 4,000 colleges and counting)
· Financial aid experience
· Personality tests
· Extensive handbooks, video tutorials, worksheets and checklists all designed to do one thing – make you the best college candidate possible so that you get great financial aid at a college you want to attend.
Of course, you can wait, but that will cost you opportunities: opportunities for college, financial aid, leadership positions and more.
It’s said that fools rush in, but that’s only half true. Fools rush in without a plan. Our tools let you develop a detailed college-prep strategy that prevents future problems. That way won’t be a fool without a plan; you’ll be a wise (wo)man with a mission.
You’ll be one of those successful people who was thinking ahead.
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