HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
As a sophomore or junior in High School college may seem a long way in the future, but there are things you can do now to help prepare you for the college process.
There are many Colleges and Universities out there and a ton of different majors to choose from. While it may seem overwhelming with all of the options available, starting this process early will relieve a lot of stress come your senior year. Some things to keep in mind while researching all of the options:
What type of school do you want to attend?
2-Year or 4-Year
Public or Private
Large, Medium, or Small
Single-sex or Coed
Where do you want to live?
Close to Home, Out of State, or International
Rural, Suburban, or Urban area
On Campus or Off Campus
What do you want to major in?
Liberal Arts Program
What extra-curricular activities are important to you?
Clubs and Organizations
How Important is Cost?
Is Financial Aid Available?
Are Scholarships Available?
There are a number of websites out there to help you with the college search process. Talk to your counselor or visit the Career Center to learn more about what resources are available; or visit some of our favorites at:
Visiting the college campuses you are considering is one of the most important parts of your college decision process. Physically being on campus will give you a good idea of how happy and successful you will be as a student and will let you know right away if it was all that you were expecting. Taking this opportunity will also allow you to explore the city and surrounding area that the school is located in, giving you a better idea of everything that will be available to you as a resident.
Most colleges offer a variety of ways to visit campus. Many will host both open house days throughout the school year as well as more personalized visitation days during the school year and throughout the summer. Some schools will offer different types of summer camps for specific majors they offer and some will even have virtual tours for students who just can’t travel across the country to visit them. To find out all of the ways to visit Montana Tech’s campus, check out our Schedule a Visit page.
Planning ahead will give you strong advantage when it comes time to actually apply to the schools you have been looking at. Think about things like what types of classes you can take now to help you prepare for your chosen major, what entrance exam you should take, ACT or SAT, and when you should take it, and what college level classes can you take now to help you get ahead and ease your first semester.
Choosing Appropriate Classes
If you know what you are going to major in, it’s a good idea to start taking classes in high school that will benefit you at the college level as well. For example, if you know you want to be an engineer, taking as many math and science classes as you can will better prepare you for the more advanced classes that will be required for your degree. Knowing what classes will be required for your college degree will help you decide what classes you should take now. Check out your major’s curriculum sheet in the course catalog to give yourself a head start.
All 4-year schools require either ACT or SAT scores as part of the admission process. The scores from these tests are used to determine your college readiness and will help place you into the appropriate math and writing courses for your first semester. While some schools prefer one test over the other, Montana Tech will accept scores from either test. Make sure to do a little research beforehand so you know what the requirements are for all of your schools of choice.
The best time to take your first ACT or SAT test is in the spring of your junior year; April, May, or June. This allows you to become familiar with the layout of the test and gives you an idea of which areas you many need to improve on or study for come your senior year. Most students will then take either test a second time in the fall of their senior year. Check your college’s scholarship deadline to make sure you have test scores submitted in time to qualify for all possible scholarships. At Montana Tech, our scholarship deadline is currently January 15th and we recommend you have scores submitted in early to mid-December to qualify. One last thing to keep in mind, Montana Tech allows students to take the ACT or SAT as many times as they need or want to, so don’t worry if you don’t do too well your first time!
To sign up for an ACT or SAT test visit:
There are a couple of different ways to earn college credit while still in high school, and depending on where you live, you may have more than one option available. Learn more about the types of college credit Montana Tech accepts. If the type of credit you are interested in is not listed below, contact the Enrollment Services office at 406-496-4256.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced Placement credit is earned by taking an AP class at your high school and taking the corresponding exam at the end of the class term. Montana Tech will generally accept AP examination scores from The College Board if you have scored at least a 3 or better on the appropriate AP examination. An official score sheet must be submitted to the Enrollment Services Office prior to class registration in order for credit to be granted. Contact the Enrollment Services Office for current information or visit http://www.mtech.edu/onestop/future/AP.htm.
To learn more about the Advanced Placement program, visit the College Board website at http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html.
Dual Enrollment is the broad term for the various opportunities available for students to take college coursework while enrolled in high school or home school, which can then be transferred to other colleges or universities for credit. While the exact terminology varies from high school to high school and college to college, the general purpose is quiet similar. As a dual enrolled student you will take college level courses that will either count as both college and high school credit or count as early college credit only. Some of the other terminology that exists may include concurrent enrollment, early enrollment, running start, or jump start. In the state of Montana, Montana Tech offers jump start/dual enrollment courses to a number of different high schools. This program was initiated for high-achieving high school juniors and seniors who are interested in attending Montana Tech. Classes are taught at the area high schools, on Tech’s campus, or via the internet.
Montana students who are interested in participating in Montana Tech’s Jump Start program should contact their high school counselor to see what opportunities exist. Applicants must submit a completed Jump Start/Dual Enrollment Application and Registration Form at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester to apply for participation in the program. Applicants must have a minimum 2.75 GPA and receive the permission of their parents or guardians and their high school counselor or principal to participate. Partial fee waivers are available (limits may apply) for students participating in this program. For more information on Montana Tech’s Jump start program, contact the Institute for Educational Opportunities at (406) 496-4565 or visit http://institute.mtech.edu/jump-start/.