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December 16, 2011 / michelleinclema

College prep: Start early and reduce stress

Just because you’re not a senior, (or even a junior) that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about college! In fact, starting your college research early will make you less stressed and more informed when it comes time to make the big decisions.

Here are some tips to get you started with college planning!

1)   Go online. Start researching colleges that interest you and request more information. You can do this direct through the college website, or through NextStepU. Our college match tool is unique because it allows you to search for colleges across the country based on interests and region!

2)   Get involved. College admissions offices want to see students who participated in extracurricular activities, both in their school and in the community. Don’t overload yourself with activities, but keep in mind that admissions officers are looking for well-rounded candidates. Visit NextStepU for articles on ways to become involved, and the benefits!

3)   Start looking for scholarships. You don’t want to wait for your college acceptance letters to start thinking about how you are going to pay for college. There are many terrific websites out there devoted to scholarship search, including the NextStepU scholarship search. Our search offers students access to over 3 million scholarships worth over $12 billion dollars! You may also want to start learning about free federal aid. Most students qualify!

4)   Maintain your GPA. Your grades prior to senior year will be what college admissions officers use to determine your ability to handle college-level work. Make it easy for them to choose you by keeping your grades up!

P.S. Did you know that we offer two scholarships of up to $10,000 every year? You can enter this contest at any stage in your high school career; visit WinFreeTuition for details.

Happy planning!


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