For High School Students: Become College Ready

It’s officially that time of year—again! Summer is over, and a new school year is beginning. For seniors, this is a particularly exciting time as it is your last year of high school—not to mention the beginning of the rest of your lives! Let’s make this year count.

To prepare for college, there is a lot you can do whether you’re a senior—or even a freshman just entering high school. Here are some guidelines:


  • The earlier you begin to plan for the college process, the better. However, remember you are a student first! Maintaining good grades is the key to getting into the colleges or universities you love, so don’t lose sight of that as you research and apply to colleges.


  • Colleges are looking for well-rounded students who balance both academics and extracurricular activities. Fortunately, there are many ways to get involved in your community. Find something that is truly interesting to you, or something you are passionate about, and you will find a way to shine as a college applicant!


  • Let’s face it, college is expensive, and it’s never too early to start looking for scholarships! As it happens, there are scholarships for just about everything. Every year, over $100 million in scholarship money goes unclaimed, which means there is money out there that is yours for the taking!


  • Seniors: your college list may already be complete; if not, don’t fret! You still have time and resources. Reach out to your school counselors for help, or swing by the Central Library to receive support from one of our College Readiness Representatives.
  • Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors: we encourage you to start planning and thinking about what you’re interested in. This way, you can identify schools offering related programs. College Board is a great place to help you get a sense of what’s out there. Consider the following questions as you research and think about which school is best for you:
    • Where is the school located?
    • Which majors are offered?
    • Which sports are offered?
    • What is the social scene like?
    • What is the tuition?
    • What opportunities and resources are available?


  • Once you have done the research on the school(s) and created your college list, consider a college tour. You can either visit the campuses in-person, or virtually (pick up free tablets and Wi-Fi access from QPL, if needed). This is a great opportunity to get a sense of the school’s culture, campus, and environment!

College applications on top of schoolwork can feel overwhelming. But it is nothing you and your support system cannot handle. If you do find yourself in need of some advice or guidance, please reach out to us at

- By Danielle Clayton, College Readiness Representative, Queens Public Library

Posts in This Series

  1. Get Back-to-School Ready with QPL!
  2. Back-to-School Resources at Queens Public Library!
  3. When Kids Refuse to Go to School
  4. How to Get Kids Back on a School-Year Sleep Schedule
  5. Family Communication