Outreach Toolkit: Rigorous Curriculum
Taking a rigorous course of study ensures adequate preparation for success in college and the work force, demonstrates maturity and gives students a competitive edge for college and scholarship applications.
1. Take challenging courses (including AP, IB and honors if offered).
- In the absence of AP or honors courses, take the most challenging, rigorous courses available.
2. Stay in contact with your school guidance counselor about resources for college. Be persistent in this effort!
3. Colleges often want to see that a student is well-rounded.
- Volunteer and become involved with extracurricular activities during high school.
4. Develop relationships with teachers, coaches, mentors or other adults, as they will provide recommendation letters when applicable.
5. Do your homework.
- Thoroughly research colleges and majors to find the right fit for you and your future career goals.
6. Talk to your guidance counselor about any college fairs or universities visiting your high school.
7. Thoroughly review all admissions applications and complete all parts, including essays.
8. Seek college application fee waivers where available.
- National Association of College Admissions Counselors Fee Waivers
- College Board: If you registered for and took the SAT or one of the SAT Subject Tests using a fee waiver, you are automatically eligible to receive four college application fee waivers from 2,000 participating colleges. College Board Fee Waiver Information
- Some colleges discuss college fee waivers on their websites.
9. Create folders (virtual or hard copy) for each college application and/or create a college application spreadsheet.
10. Research scholarships and other funding opportunities. There is plenty of aid available to attend college!
- Consider scholarships from non-traditional outlets as well, such as local non-profit organizations and large corporations.
- Some colleges offer institutional scholarships. Be sure to check their websites for deadline and eligibility information.