Time to get…college ready

Kathleen Cook , Editor-in-Chief

From the first day of school freshman year, to the day you walk across the stage, students are preparing themselves for college. What students need to be accepted into the college of their dreams varies by school.
Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at UNC Chapel Hill Ashley Memory recommends that students start thinking about college during their freshman year.
“We encourage students, even as early as ninth and tenth grade, to challenge themselves,” Memory said. “Most importantly, however, we encourage young people to pursue a variety of activities – outside the classroom as well as inside the class room – as a way of learning about themselves as well as the world.”
Akeem Z. Mangum, an enrollment officer from North Carolina Central University says students should “make sure that they are building a solid GPA” and to also “take the SAT/ACT seriously.”
UNC-Wilmington looks for students to select courses that are a stretch for their abilities.
“Our admissions committee here at UNCW is looking for students who challenge themselves with those honors, AP, IB and even dual-enrolled classes, and we want to see that rigor in the class schedule. It is never too early to plan for colleges. So working hard in the classroom and getting some leadership experience through clubs and various organizations is key,” Janay Moore, first year admissions coordinator at UNCW said.
At East Carolina University, academics are a priority.
“Your grades are the first and most lasting impression on anyone that is reviewing an application, and grades alone can determine if you get into the school of your choice or not. Remember to study and avoid apathy,” Katie Jackson, admissions counselors at ECU said.
Kishia James, dean of students thinks students need to be academically conscious and proactive.
“Two things rising sophomores should definitely do in the next two years to position themselves for college is definitely keep their grades up by completing all of their assignments on time and start researching perspective colleges,” James said.

“Colleges are looking for well-rounded students who are active not only in the school, but outside of the school, too. Therefore, any volunteering within the community would be a plus.”
Counselor David Ruggerio thinks students should start planning as early as freshman year.
“If you’re considering a specific college down the road, the journey starts as early as ninth grade to make sure you are, not only staying competitive with all of the other students who will be applying for enrollment there as well, but to better prepare you for the challenges ahead,” Ruggerio said.
Good advice also can come from those who have recently gone through the process.
“Challenge yourself in classes. Never take the same level of classes over and over again. Also, find at least one extra-circular activity to be completely devoted to in addition to one or two smaller activities,” senior Alyssa Allen said.
Senior Josh Clemson reiterates Allen’s point.
“Join clubs to be social and active in the school and take harder classes to further your education,” Clemson said.
Clubs and academics are a winning combination for senior Lauren Conyers.
“They should take underclassmen classes seriously, and they need to get involved because it’s easier to meet people, and it will help you later when applying to schools,” Conyers said.
Senior Jack Denny thinks students should “do as many applications as you can” to give one as many choices. He also suggests that you visit the schools that you want to go to.
“Tour the campus you apply to and go experience the college life wherever you apply,” Denny said.
Jazmine Langley, senior, says preparation is key for preparing for college.
“Study for exams whether it’s class, ACT or SAT because that will influence where you go to college,” Langley said.
Senior Jermaine Johnson advises people to take advantage of class time.
“Pay attention in every class and don’t waste your time in class because, personally, I’ll do more at school than at home,” Johnson said.
Community service hours are also something to keep in mind when thinking about college.
“I suggest, before you start applying, to get community service hours,” senior Josh Iyamu said.
James thinks that starting early will allow the student to get ahead of the game.
James said, “Sophomores who plan over the next two years for their future can really narrow the list of colleges down in order to prepare for their choice of colleges. Remember, your school counselors, teachers, family members and other trusted adults are here to help, so ask as many questions as possible because we have been in your shoes and would love to help.”