The Verdict is in: Start College Planning Early!

Graduation is here!

I'm wrapping up my closing interviews with my seniors as they transition from high school students to college freshmen. I always ask if they have some advice to younger students- something they wish they had known. 

While I get lots of wonderful responses like "Keep your grades up" and "Join some clubs in high school", every single student, without fail, advises, "Start Early!

So, how early is early? Personally, I love to start working
with high school freshmen and sophomores. We get a chance to plan class schedules that show rigor, but are manageable and balanced. We can work on assessments to reveal career and major interests. We can discuss summer
program opportunities and begin planning a reasonable testing schedule. The spring of sophomore year is a perfect time to visit local colleges with different characteristics- small liberal arts college, large research university in a city, mid-sized suburban campus. These visits become the foundation for beginning to construct the college target list in the fall of junior year. 

The last two years of high school are extremely busy and starting college planning early reduces stress and makes the process more meaningful...at least that's what my wise seniors tell me!