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Higher Education in Maryland

How do I choose a college?

Choosing the right college for you depends on what you want to be.  Nurse? Teacher? Engineer?  In Maryland, we have all kinds of colleges to fit your personal goals.  What if a community or four-year college is not the way you want to go?  Maryland also has many private career schools to choose from.  So, as you search for a college that fits you, talk to adults at your school and in the community about what they do.  Research colleges and careers on the internet and at the library.  Ask colleges to send you information.  Don't think it's ever too early to visit a college.  Just a stroll around a college campus to see what kind of campus you like can be helpful.  Some people like big campuses with lots of students.  Others like smaller schools.

 

How do I prepare for college?
Get good grades in challenging.
classes.  Start getting good grades now because colleges look at transcripts from all four years of high school.   They don't just look at grades; they look at how challenging the courses are.  So find a quiet place and make time to study.  Get help if you need it.  If your classes are too easy, check to see if honors course, advanced placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, or dual enrollment are available and how to get into them.

Take the right classes.
Colleges want to see that you have 4 English credits; 3 math credits (colleges prefer algebra I and II and geometry); 3 lab science credits in classes like biology, chemistry, and physics; 3 social studies credits; 2 years of the same foreign language; and other classes in art and health.  To be on the safe side, talk to a guidance counselor.  He or she can tell you just what you need.

Take the SAT.
Although it's not the only thing they consider, colleges look at your scores to see if you will be able to tackle college courses.  You should first take the SAT in the spring of your junior year.  You can also take a practice test,  the PSAT (Preliminary SAT), during your sophomore and/or junior year.  For more information about the SAT and PSAT check out www.collegeboard.com

How do I get money for college?
Talk to your guidance counselor and contact the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  Its Web site, www.MDgo4it.org, has information about all kinds of financial aid.  The most important tool for getting financial aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  You need this form to receive State or federal aid.  It can be downloaded at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

What should I do now?

 

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