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College prep for high school students can be incredibly overwhelming for both children and their parents. Beginning early can relieve both parties of stress and avoid the “I don’t know what I want to do next year!” panic at the end of senior. Similarly to young children who learn the abc’s, the journey to post-high school education is filled with trial and error. However, it can be a lot of fun too if it’s met with an air of adventure. Speaking of the abc’s, here’s the ultimate, albeit cheesey, rhyme of proven tasks that will set even the most ambivalent teen on the pathway to success.

A is for application, your knock at the college door.  The admission process begins senior year, in fact, the summer before!

B is for books, online or in paper.  Study them now, ‘cause they’ll get REALLY expensive later.

C is for counselor, your advisor, your new best friend.  They will support you until you reach 12th grade’s end. 

D is for dual credit, for a high school class, how can this be?  Just remember, that grade, on your college transcript, you’ll see. 

E is exams, SAT, ACT, AP and many more.  The more opportunities the higher your score.   

 Waiting for scores can be stressful but there are many opportunities for FREE test prep.

F is for FAFSA, complete it by fall!  Otherwise, you’ll not get much aid money at all.

G is for GPA, through the average of grades it’s acquired.  It starts, freshman year, before you know it’s even required.

H is for honors, the tough classes and long study hours.  It won’t be easy but in the end, your application will have super powers.  

I is for identify, early, the schools that you like.  Schedule a tour, drive through campus in a car or on a bike.

Identifying target careers by job shadowing and talking to people who work in the industry

J is for job shadow, do it now, sample careers!  This could save you big money, college majors, and even school years.

K is for keep track of your activities each year.  This will help you remember your accomplishments through your high school career.

L is for letters of recommendation you will need.  Ask teachers, a mentor, or someone who’s seen how you lead.

M is for major, an interest you will define.  Not sure yet? Keep researching, you’ll find it with time.

N is for NCAA Portal, hey Sporty, watch it!  Did you know to be eligible, your grades you must submit?

O is for online, admission requirements you’ll find there.  Search your school, click some links, read in the comfort of your armchair.

P is for phone, the one glued to your hand. Turn it off during class; see what you’re missing my friend!

Seriously, put the phone down.

Q is for questions, you’ll have many, don’t fret.  Ask them now before you’re incurring any college debt. 

R is for resume, make one, keep revising.  The many things you’ve done by graduation will be surprising!

S is for scholarship, free money awaits.  Graduate, loan-free, unlike most of your classmates. 

T is for transcript, your marks since grade nine.  Colleges will need it before your admissions letter they sign.

U is for undergrad, a degree you can pursue.  Don’t forget there’s the vocational education pathways too.  

Vocational pathways include trade schools and technical programs.

V is for volunteer, go out and serve others.  Pick up trash, package meals, or be a Big Brother.

W is for walk-out, the thing you should do. When the peer pressures lead to situations that are bad for you.  

X is for extracurriculars like sports, clubs, music or drama, try them out, do your best, you’ll always get cheers from your mama!

Y is for “Yes!” the exclamation you’ll hopefully say, when you receive the award letter in your mailbox one day.

Z is for zero, the number of opportunities you will miss. If you work hard, start early, and always remember this… 

“You have brains in your head.

and feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!