Higher Education in Maryland
Financial Aid
Career and Workforce Education
Press Room
Higher Education Accomplishments
Preparing for College

> Grade-by-Grade Planningopens a new window

> College 411 Student Guide

> Assessment & Career Planningopens a new window

> Calendar to Assist Seniors

> SAT Preparation

> USDE Preparation Publicationsopens a new window

> Importance of Accreditation

Online Services
For Students and Parents
> Financial Aid Applications
> Education Opportunities
> Academic Common Market
> Career Training
> MD CAPS (Student Inquiry)
> Advisor Tools
> Student Outreach Kit
> Veterans Benefits
> "Money for College" Events
> Student Guide to Transfer
> Guia para estudiantes (pdf)
For Counselors
>   Planning & Academic Affairs
> Colleges & Universities
> Education Search
> Academic Approval Process
> Programs Under Review
> Research
> Institutional Grants
> MD Fire-Rescue Education
> Career Training
For Counselors
>   Who We Are
> Contact Us
> Meetings
> State Plan for Higher Ed
> Office for Civil Rights Report 
> Advisory Council
Interagency Initiatives 
Base Realignment & Closure
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?


Hours of Operation:  Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM  |  Back to top  |  (PDF) Links require Adobe Acrobat Reader