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When is the best time to prepare for college?

When is the Best Time to Prepare for College?  This is a question I am asked often, and I always pause before answering.

Carol Wood

In actuality, a child is always preparing for college, even from the time they are born because learning is a lifelong process!  However, since parents ask the question as to when their high school student should begin, I would respond, “Beginning the summer after the eighth grade is ideal”.

What can a rising high school freshman do to make sure they have taken every opportunity to prepare for the process of applying to colleges for admissions and in pursuit of scholarship money?  Following are just a few important tasks:

• The summer after your 8th-grade year, strengthen any area of academics; reading, writing and/or math, which is below the national average for your grade level in school.

• Prior to starting 9th grade develop the most effective and efficient study strategies by enrolling into a comprehensive, complete and proven study skills course.

•  Begin the freshman year respecting that your Grade Point Average (GPA) begins right then.  Every final course average has an impact of your post-secondary educational options.

• Take a career interest inventory and begin planning and establishing your career interests and goals.  

• Begin to create your portfolio in the ninth grade that you will share with the schools or universities to which you apply during the latter part of high school. 

• Make certain that you master the many topics and concepts taught during high school in your various classes since college admissions testing will ascertain what you have learned.  High scores on these standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, will enable you to have options for post-secondary education.

To learn much more about the many steps during 9th through 12th grades to take in preparation for college admissions, contact my professional tutorial center, Total Learning Concepts, and register for our upcoming workshop, “The College Admissions Process Workshop”.  You may reach me on 770-381-5958 or at

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