It's never too early to think about and prepare for college! How do you make plans? What should you think about? We've compiled some useful information to help you along this journey.
Current High School Student
Parent/Guardian of High School Student
- Attend the annual CSI - the College Start Initiative - in the fall. This event will give you a good foundation on how to prepare for college. For upcoming PVCC recruitment events, click here.
- Do well in school. From now on your grades will count toward college and will show up on your permanent record.
- Get to know your high school counselor and let them get to know you and your goals, career aspirations, schools you are considering, etc.
- Make sure you take advantage of any events, information sessions, activities PVCC is holding at your high school or at PVCC. For upcoming PVCC recruitment events, click here.
- Start researching colleges (the Internet is your best tool). Attend local college fairs. Find out more about fairs near you from your high school's guidance office.
- Start a bank account and save money for college.
- Get a job to save money for college.
- Start researching careers and job opportunities in those careers. "Job shadow" someone who does what you think you'd like to do. ("Shadow" means to follow them around for a day.)
- If you are in public school in PVCC's service region, attend the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council's Come to College in the fall and the 10th Grade Career Fair in the spring. (Your guidance counselor will tell you more.)
- Try to take at least one PVCC dual enrollment course at your high school. With these classes, you earn both high school and college credit and usually there is no charge to you for the class.
- Visit college campuses. (Tour campus, visit with advisors/faculty, pick up admission packet.)
- Attend Super Saturday with your parents. This is a financial aid event usually held in February every year in the Charlottesville area. For upcoming PVCC recruitment events, click here.
- Pay attention to all admissions and financial aid deadlines given by the colleges to which you are applying.
- Research scholarship opportunities, both at your high school and online. Try www.fastweb.com or see PVCC's Educational Foundation Scholarships. Ask people to write letters of recommendation for your PVCC Educational Foundation Scholarships application, which is due in the beginning of May. Choose people who actually know you, not just those with an impressive title. Give them plenty of time to write the letter(s).
- Don't get "senioritis," that is, don't become less motivated to excel in your grades and subjects as you near the end of your high school education. Continue to do well in school. Apply yourself and do the best you can in all of your classes.
- Take the ACT/SAT. (SAT/ACT scores are not needed for PVCC. Students who meet certain scores will not be required to take PVCC's placement tests).
- Apply for financial aid as soon after Jan. 1 as possible.
- Make sure you register for fall classes as soon as possible. Classes can fill up quickly. Registration for PVCC's fall classes typically takes place in July and early August. Watch our Web site for details. We also have special workshops for high school students in June. For upcoming PVCC recruitment events, click here.
- Attend a summer orientation. Find out more from the college you will be attending. PVCC's New Student Orientation is typically the Saturday before classes begin. For more information about PVCC's New Student Orientation, contact the Admissions & Advising Center at 434.961.6551.
Parent/Guardian of High School Student
- Emphasize to your child the importance of education, of attending school every day, completing homework and getting good grades. Your support is vital to your child's educational success!
- Attend the annual CSI - the College Start Initiative - in the fall. This event will give you a good foundation on how you and your student should prepare for college. For upcoming PVCC recruitment events, click here.
- Make sure you take advantage of any events, information sessions, activities PVCC is holding at your student's high school or at PVCC. For upcoming PVCC recruitment events, click here.
- Plan ahead for college finances (save for college). Research Virginia's tax-deferred savings plan.
- Discuss college options with your child. Let her/him make the decisions.
- Visit schools with your child, but let them visit again without you.
- Make your child do the work. Help them (particularly with remembering deadlines) but don't do it for her/him.
- Do taxes as soon as possible after January 1 so you can get financial aid applications in early. [You don't have to submit your taxes, just fill them out. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) requires some information from your taxes.]
- Attend the Super Saturday Financial Aid event usually in the beginning of February. Contact our Financial Aid Office for details.
- Review PVCC's Web site's helpful information for parents.
- If you don't know what to study or the kind of career to pursue, use the online Education Wizard to assess your interests and programs of study.
- You can also meet with a career counselor to help you narrow down your fields of interest and then pick the academic program that will help you reach your career goal.
- College takes time, so make sure you schedule time not only for your classes, but also to study for your classes. There is no extra cost for tutoring at PVCC. It's included in your tuition.
- Find money. There are a ton of resources to help you find money for school. The best place to start searching for money is through colleges' Financial Aid offices. Attend the Super Saturday Financial Aid event hosted by PVCC. (Details to be announced.) Check with your employer as you may even have education benefits through your work.
- Do your research. There are a lot of college programs available in the Central Virginia area. Look at all schools to find which program is right for you. If you consider transferring to earn a higher degree, make sure that your college is regionally accredited and recognized by major colleges/universities in the area.
- Use a calendar. Pay attention to all admissions and financial aid deadlines given by the colleges to which you are applying.
- Get involved. Attend events, information sessions, etc. sponsored by the school to which you are applying.