Considering College

  • Step One: Take Time to Think

    Why are you going to college? Do you want to learn a particular skill or train for a specific career? Or do you want a more general education before making career decisions? The more you know about yourself, the easier it will be to decide what type of college best fits your needs.

    Step Two: Consider Your Needs and Preferences

    Colleges differ in both major and minor ways. It is up to you to discover the differences and to decide which are important to you.

    Step Three: Research the Possibilities

    Now that you have decided the characteristics you would like your college to have, you need to start identifying schools that match those characteristics. The College and Career Center is a good place to begin. You can also talk with your counselors about the types of schools you are interested in. Your counselor and Mr. Barnes are familiar with many universities, colleges, and two-year schools and may immediately be able to give you some suggestions to research.       

    • Take Entrance Exams
      • Make plans to take the appropriate college entrance exams, such as the SAT I or ACT.
    • Request information
      • The College and Career Center has many catalogs and brochures for the colleges you are researching.  You can also work with Ms. Wray or Mr. Barnes, going online to college websites  and researching and/or asking for additional information. Colleges are more than happy to send information to prospective students.
    •   Meet with admissions officers
      • Many admissions representatives visit MVHS, so make the time to meet with the representatives of colleges you think you might like to attend. They can provide valuable information and personal insight. Upcoming visits announced on Google Classroom. If there is a college rep you would like to see, come and get a pass from Ms. Wray or Mr. Barnes in the College and Career Center.
    • Visit college campuses
      • There is no substitute for seeing firsthand the place you may be spending the next two to four years. So if you have the opportunity, VISIT! 

    Step Four: Narrow Your Choices

    Look over your list of colleges and eliminate those that no longer interest you. If you haven't yet visited a college that still does interest you, make arrangements to do so. If the college is too far away to visit, call to ask if it is possible to have an interview with an alumnus/alumna who lives in our area.

    Your final list of colleges should include:

    1. At least one school you are sure will accept you - known as a "safety school.
    2. One or more schools where you have a 50-50 chance of admission.
    3. One or more "long shots" - schools that receive many more applications from qualified  applicants than  they can accept, but where you have a chance of being admitted. 

     Step Five: Submit Applications

    • Complete Schools Application or the Common Application if accepted
    • Complete Essay/Personal Statement if required.
    • Get recommendation from counselor if required
    • Teacher recommendations if required
    • Request Transcripts to be sent to schools you are applying to
    • Send your SAT or ACT to your chosen schools 


    Step Six: Apply for Financial Aid & Scholarships

    • Please refer to our Financial Aid page 
    • For scholarships, please refer to our page 

    Step Seven: Final Steps

    When a college notifies you of acceptance and you plan to attend, inform the college of your decision. If you decide not to attend, please also inform them of your decision so that they can offer a spot to another potential student. The National Acceptance Deadline is May 1st. 

    Reference: College application process. Retrieved from Olympia High School.