Feel Lost?

If you are not sure what to do, kick start your entry into college by following a few simple steps according to when you begin the process.

If you are a senior in high school

  • Don’t panic! It is never too late to think about college. Even if you are in the second semester of your senior year, you still have options.
  • Register for and take the ACT or SAT if you haven’t already.
  • Talk to your high school counselor about colleges and universities that fit your academic profile. Make sure to let him or her know that you will apply to college and you will need the counselor's office to submit recommendations, transcripts, and test scores.
  • Look at community colleges and regional campuses of public universities, since many accept admission applications during the spring and summer before fall classes begin.
  • Submit college applications and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
  • Think about different types of programs (certificate vs. degree).

If you are a junior in high school

  • Register for and take the ACT or SAT.
  • Think about colleges and universities that match your personality and interests according to academic and extracurricular programs, the size of campus, and proximity to home.
  • Attend local college fairs and college nights and speak with admissions representatives, and start visiting college campuses.
  • Talk to your high school counselor about colleges and universities that might be a good fit for you, and make sure he or she knows that you will apply to college during your senior year.

If you are a sophomore in high school

  • Get involved in school activities and/or sports, volunteer in your community, and find jobs or other opportunities to gain experience and leadership skills.
  • Make sure you are meeting the Ohio Core graduation requirements and look into Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Early College High School, Post Secondary Enrollment Options, and Ohio College Tech Prep opportunities.
  • Take the PLAN to get a feel for the ACT and/or the PSAT to prepare for the SAT.
  • Use online college search engines, visit college websites, and attend local college fairs and college nights to start a list of colleges that interest you.

If you are a first-year high school student

  • Get to know your high school counselor and share your college plans with him or her.
  • Do your best in school and develop a track record of academic success.
  • Get involved in school activities and/or sports, volunteer in your community, and find jobs or other opportunities to gain experience and leadership skills.
  • Start looking into summer camps or programs at a college campus which will enhance your skills and give you a feel for what college will be like.

If you are a non-traditional student

  • Explore evening, online and weekend classes available to you through colleges and universities in your area.
  • Meet with academic advisors from colleges or universities that you are interested in attending to learn more about programs to help you reach your goals and how you can apply college credits you have already earned toward your degree.
  • Look at community colleges and regional campuses of public universities, since may provide low-cost pathways to degrees and four-year degree completion programs at their locations.
  • Look for scholarships and grants available specifically for non-traditional students.
  • Think about different types of programs (certificate vs. degree).