Upperclassmen, here’s what to do to prepare for college


Photo Isabel Hanewicz

Preparing for standardized tests such as the PSAT as early as possible will give you a leg up on other applicants and help reduce stress when college application deadlines start rolling around.

Leana Pustam, Perspectives Editor

College application deadlines are just around the corner, and with college representatives visiting Robinson and college nights being hosted, seniors are scrambling to meet deadlines while juniors are just beginning to get a taste of what college they may be interested in.

Every junior and senior should make sure they are taking the right steps to prepare for the next chapter in their lives. Here are some of the essentials:


  • Start creating a list of what’s important to you when looking at a college. Whether it be the classes offered, the location or the size, everyone has must-haves and knowing what those are early on allows you to look at your options with a narrower mindset.
  • Attend the college nights. Just because you aren’t a senior doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be attending college information sessions.
  • Start studying for the PSAT. Although you may not think it’s that important now, you’re going to want to try your best. Imagine getting your score back and being one number off from becoming a National Merit Semifinalist- you’re going to wish you took that time to study a little more.
  • Take the SAT and ACT early. Study for it now (Khan Academy offers free SAT tutoring here). You have the advantage over the current senior class because you didn’t have the new SAT swoop in and ruin your superscoring. Now, every SAT you take can contribute to your superscore, which most colleges accept. Also, make sure you take both tests to see which one you perform better in. You might do a lot better on one test, and you never know unless you try.
  • Keep in mind that some colleges require specific SAT Subject Tests. Plan out test dates accordingly.


  • FAFSA, or the Free Application for Student Aid, opens Oct. 1, so be prepared. Colleges often offer financial aid on a first come, first serve basis, so it’s best to submit the FAFSA, if your school requires it, as soon as possible.
  • Early Decision deadlines normally start around November. so make sure your college list is finalized so that you know when your colleges’ due dates are. Speaking of deadlines, keep in mind that FSU’s early deadline is Oct. 19 and UF’s priority deadline is Nov. 1, so students interested in applying to either school should complete their applications soon.
  • Know your colleges. Many colleges require writing supplements, and if you’re applying to some that do, it’s definitely not something to leave for the last minute.
  • You should be finished, if not almost finished, with filling out the Common Application and the Coalition Application if your schools require it.
  • Send in your test scores, which take about two to three weeks to reach colleges. Make sure you send them in early to ensure the colleges of your choice receive them on time.

Additionally, don’t forget to sign up for the college representative visits on Edsby through Eventbrite. Colleges from across the country will be visiting Robinson in the upcoming months, and you never know what college may be the perfect fit for you.