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: Challenge yourself by taking solid elective courses, such as extra math, science, foreign language, computer technology, and more. Colleges want to see demanding courses on your transcript.

: Run for leadership positions in organizations you’re involved with.

: Seek registration for post-secondary education programs at local colleges.

: Take the PSAT in October to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

: Attend an ACT/SAT preparation workshop. If you can’t, purchase practice books or software to help you prepare.

: Take the ACT and/or SAT during the spring semester so you have at least one score entering your senior year. Doing so also puts you on college mailing lists and provides the schools you’re considering with important information about you.

: Search for colleges. Talk to your counselor about the major and locations you’re interested in and possible scholarships. Ask for his or her suggestions on which colleges to consider. Ask friends and family for ideas, too.

: Request information from the colleges that interest you.

: Attend at least one local college fair.

: Begin collecting information on scholarship opportunities.

: Consider summer activities such as internships or programs on college campuses or in related industries.