Embarking on the college planning process early is a strategic move that can significantly impact a student’s future. This early start is not just about getting ahead; it’s about making informed and thoughtful decisions that set the stage for academic success and personal fulfillment in college.

When students begin to plan for college in their earlier high school years, they gain the advantage of time. This extended period allows for thoughtful consideration of their academic and extracurricular choices. Selecting the right courses, engaging in meaningful activities and pursuing opportunities that align with their interests and strengths not only enriches their high school experience but also builds a strong profile for college applications.

Early planning also opens the door to thorough college exploration. Students have more time to research and visit a variety of colleges, gaining insights into what each institution offers. This knowledge is crucial in making a well-informed decision about where to apply, ensuring that the chosen colleges are a good fit for the student’s aspirations, learning style and personal preferences.

Additionally, starting early allows students to prepare adequately for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT without undue pressure. With more time for preparation, students often perform better, increasing their chances of admission to their preferred colleges.

As an added benefit, early college planning helps in developing essential life skills such as time management, goal setting and decision making. These skills are invaluable not only in the college application process but also in college life and beyond.

Early college planning is much more than a procedural step; it’s a critical phase in a student’s educational journey. It enables smart decision-making, which in turn improves the likelihood of a more successful and fulfilling college experience. For parents and students, beginning this journey early is a wise investment in the future.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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