Preparing your student for college at Columbia College

You and your child can begin preparing for college during his or her freshman year at Columbia College.

This includes keeping track of your student’s academic and extracurricular activities, and making plans to save for college.

Throughout your child’s high school career, remind him or her that every grade matters. All high school grades impact a student’s final GPA, and that will affect college acceptance and scholarship opportunities.

Freshman year

If you’ve not already started, now is a great time to open a savings account for college-related expenses.

Help your student start recording any extracurricular, volunteer and community activities to put on a college resume. You’ll want to build on this every year of high school.

Sophomore year

Encourage your student to start thinking about career interests if he or she has not already begun to do so.

Sign your student up to take a practice college preparation test. These can help gauge where a student may need additional academic help, and can get your child ready to take the ACT or SAT.

Junior year

Start visiting colleges. Make the most of each visit by asking questions and taking notes about what matters to you. Compare campus safety, scholarship availability and programs offered. Consider the benefits of a four-year college when narrowing your student's options.

Make sure your student signs up to take the ACT or SAT.

Encourage your child to find job-shadowing or internship experiences in areas of interest. These can be a great way to test career possibilities and gain valuable experience that will look great on college resumes.

Senior year

Help your student file the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1. Use Columbia College School Code 002456 to have results sent to us.

Have your student start applying to colleges even if he or she hasn’t made a final choice. Applying allows colleges to offer scholarships and package financial aid, ensuring your family can make an informed decision.

In addition to considering scholarships offered by colleges, have your child look for scholarship opportunities online and in your community.

Request ACT or SAT scores be sent with each college application.