High school is obviously an exciting time for most kids—filled with fun times and lasting memories. While focusing on schoolwork is a priority not to be ignored, it’s never too early for high school students to start thinking about college.

High school can be a great environment for kids to prepare for the rigors of collegiate life. Many schools offer a variety of opportunities and resources for high schoolers who want to get serious about their college careers and want to start off on the right foot.

What are some of the best things high schoolers can do to get themselves ahead in college? Here are some suggestions.

Dual enrollment
A great way to get a head start on college studies is dual enrollment at a nearby college. Students who meet applicable criteria can enroll in first-year college-level courses and begin earning college credits.

This route has significant advantages, beginning with acclimatizing students to the college learning environment. Early exposure to college-level coursework can help give students a good idea of what lies ahead.

Dual enrollment also focuses students on core classes that are typically required across multiple college majors. Completing these classes ahead of time can allow students to begin focusing on classes related to their majors much sooner, preparing for potential career opportunities.

A student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is extremely important for students considering college. Most colleges base enrollment criteria at least partly on a student’s GPA and often give preference to students with higher scores.

Honor societies
Many high schools offer students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement opportunities to participate in honors programs. These types of programs stand out on a college application and speak volumes about a student’s commitment to academic success and achievement.

Extracurricular Activities
Colleges also look for well-rounded students who are involved outside the classroom. Participation in activities such as student government associations, athletics, academic clubs, artistic endeavors, and volunteer organizations can make a prospective student more desirable to college admissions departments.

Pre-college programs
Some students may need assistance to be fully prepared for the college experience. To help students prepare for the higher level of work they’ll encounter, Berkeley developed the Pre-College Jumpstart Program.

This program is designed to assist students during the semester before they begin their studies at Berkeley College. They receive instruction in reading, writing, and math skills to prepare for the level of coursework they’ll encounter in the College’s degree and certificate programs.

Looking ahead
These are just a few of the many ways high school students can begin preparing for a successful college experience. It’s important to look for ways of standing out on college applications and in admissions interviews. Expanding your extracurricular activities, developing good study habits and time management skills, and good old fashioned hard work should help tremendously with the transition to college life.

The Berkeley College Admissions Department evaluates potential students not only on their past academic performance, but also on their potential. Students that demonstrate the drive and desire for success benefit greatly from our proven career-focused degree and certificate programs. Think you have what it takes? Apply today!

The views and/or opinions in this article are those of the individuals interviewed. The academic achievements and/or employment outcomes described in this article are specific to each individual and are not a guarantee of similar results for past or current students. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu and view our catalogs at BerkeleyCollege.edu/publications