Planning for College and CareerGrades and Test Scores are not the only thing that colleges look for. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students who have already done/been involved in things related to their future academic and career goals.
Discovering interests and skills
A good place to start on career exploration is with your personal interests and skills. You are young and haven't had a lot of experiences, but you know what you like and you have developed some interests and skills, such as working with animals, computer literacy, helping less fortunate people, etc. The Student Center at RHS is a great source for providing interest inventories and skill assessments that may help you to explore your interests and discover your skills.
What makes you standout?
Many colleges will be interested in you based on your grades and test scores alone. Smaller schools and state schools may have college scholarships designed for students like you. If, however, you want to attend a competitive college, you will need to find a way to stand out. There are over 26,000 high schools in this country, and each one has a top-ranked student. Thousands of students take AP classes and earn mostly A's. Each high school has captains of the football team, newspaper and yearbook editors, prom queens, and valedictorians. What makes you different?
Do something to increase your Standout Factor. The most interesting Standout Factors involve activities that are typically dominated by adults, or noteworthy tasks that no other high school student does. Being on the yearbook staff will show your involvement in high school, but it will not necessarily make you standout. Being the editor of the yearbook, however, will help as it shows leadership. Show sticktoitiveness in what you do. It is better to do one thing very well than a number of things just so-so. The more positive the Standout Factor, the better!
Examples of Standout Factors
What is the right college for me?
- Restore antique instruments
- Hike the Appalachian Trail
- Breed a special strain of flower and name it after your grandmother
- Research and publish information on improving cancer treatments
- Make a movie and convince real theaters to show it
- Invent something
- Start a real business with customers and employees
- Help run a political campaign
- Start a community charity or volunteer organization
There are many resources to help with selecting the right college for you. Most are free of charge. Make sure that you critically review this information and avail yourself of these resources during your junior and senior years. Get past any hype a college representative may be "selling" to you. Important resources for you include college nights, printed materials, virtual tours, visiting colleges, surfing the web, talking to college alumni, talking to your school counselor, and visiting the Student Center. CaliforniaColleges.edu is an extremely important tool in college and career planning. This powerful website is partnered with RUSD to provide our students with in-depth interest inventories tied to a vast database of related careers linked to colleges and universities offering preparation for these careers. Students are highly encouraged to utilize this important website to launch college applications.Helpful websites
www.californiacolleges.edu This site provides information about all aspects of California colleges and universities, including admissions, financial aid, contact information and career opportunities.
CollegeBoard.org is more than the site for signing up to take the SAT. College Board has a great college interest feature that can help you narrow down your college choices and expose you to possibilities you might not have considered before.