The college process for most high school students starts Junior year with touring colleges. You will also begin to study for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. The summer going into Senior year you can start filling out the Common application which is best finished before school starts.
During fall of Senior year you should start to request written recommendations from teachers and high school transcripts from the college counselor to send to the colleges where you're applying.
Based on my research, one of the differences between in-state schools and out-of-state schools are that in-state schools are much cheaper. Other benefits of in-state schools are knowing what the weather is going to be like and having access to get clothes you may need. Another pro is being able to see family on the weekends. An advantage for out of state schools is that you will have the chance to experience new things away from home. Colleges out-of-state might also provide you with a better match than a in-state school. While out-of-state schools may be more expensive, FAFSA federal aid can help you. Their deadline is June 30th. There are also sites such as RISLA https://www.risla.com/college-planning/scholarships for Rhode Island and https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-state/massachusetts-scholarships/ for massachusetts that can give you scholarship forms to fill out.
Once you decide where you're applying, you should consider if you want to apply regular decision or early action. Early decision is when you apply to a school and if you get in you have to attend that school. Early action deadlines are around November and regular decision deadlines are around January. Both allow you to apply to as many schools as you want and leaves you many options. Deadlines for applications depend on the college. For most schools the application deadline is November 1st. By April 1st you should hear from your schools. I heard back from most schools by the end of December. Once your colleges have responded, a decision needs to be made by May 1st.
Now that you know where you're going it’s time to pick the style of living. Dorm style is living with one person and suite style is living with several people. I chose the dorm style living over the suite style living to avoid the abundance of people that might show up on a Friday night.
According to research I did, the following is a list of items that you should bring:
- a computer to help you with notes
- a bathrobe, shower shoes, and a towel
- a backpack, pencils, pens, highlighters, and a calculator
- shaving cream, razors, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and deodorant
I’m looking forward to attending Bryant University this fall. After college, I hope to open a business and become my own boss.
Anthony is a graduating senior at The Providence Country Day School who spent three weeks as an intern with us at The Reporter.