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New Year Resolution: Start Your College Research Now!

It’s a New Year. Time to Set Some Goals!

The new year is still young, and January is a perfect time to reflect on what went well last year and do some goal setting for the upcoming year. This applies to your personal but also your academic life.

Get ahead and start your college application research now!

The best time for starting the college application process is way before your senior year. In fact, the sooner you start with researching colleges, thinking about what extracurricular activities you enjoy, and exploring majors that might interest you, the better for you. You will have a head start once the pressures of writing essays and the actual college application process kick in senior year.

To help you start off the year with a focused plan and to get you excited for college we launched our yearly College Planning Promotion again and offer 10% off of our Comprehensive Packages (USA or International). Find more information at the end of this article.

So, when is a good time to begin the college research and where do I start?

While GCA helps students as early as 9th grade or even before (mainly with course selection and planning out the high school curriculum, extracurriculars, summer programs, etc.), you should seriously start thinking about college around 10th grade, but for sure in junior year.

While you can do a lot just on your own, it sometimes helps to have someone by your side who can guide you in the right direction, be a sounding board for your ideas, and answer candid questions about everything related to college. Besides, many details of your high school career that might have an impact on college admissions later are based on decisions you take in 9th or 8th grade!

5 Tips to get you started on your path to college admission

1-Connect with your high school counselor ASAP

A great start is connecting with your high school counselor. They are your best advocate during high school. Drop by the counseling office at your high school and introduce yourself, even if you think you have nothing to say. While your counselor will be happy to meet you and most likely ask you a few questions, you can start of the conversation as well. Tell them who you are, what grade you are in, and that you just wanted to come by and meet them. Perhaps you also want to find out more about a certain program at your high school.

This is the first ice breaker and I suggest that you visit your counselor at least once in each, 9th and 10th grade. It will make you feel so much more comfortable by junior year when you need to speak to your counselor more frequently as the college application process slowly starts to take off.

2-Choose your extracurriculars & summer programs wisely

Choose a program, club, course, or sport because you really enjoy it, want to learn more about a cause/topic, or like to explore something academically that’s not offered at your high school. Don’t sign up for something only because you think it’ll look good on your college application. Your genuine interest will make a big difference in terms of your engagement. And that’s what counts in the end.

On the other hand, don’t get me wrong, high school is also about exploring. Especially if you are in 9th grade, by all means, go try certain clubs just for the fun of it so that in 10th grade you can actually center in on activities you really care about.  

The same accounts for summer programs. Choose meaningful involvement over some course that (you think) might impress colleges later when it’s college application time.

3-Researching Colleges – Make it a habit

Finding out more about colleges and universities is not only the job of juniors or seniors. In fact, make it a fun habit to start researching colleges you hear about during lunch out on the high school quad or when you overhear an older sibling discussing one with their friends or your parents. Make note of it and check the college out on the internet.  Get acquainted with colleges visiting your high school college fair, talk to the representatives or get some info material and do some additional research at home. Get excited about colleges and universities!

Check out our resources for helpful websites that can help kick off your college research.

4-Visiting Colleges wherever you are

You don’t need to start planning out college tours already in 9th grade, even though some families do so. I suggest that wherever you and your family are for vacation, make sure you find out what colleges are nearby so you could possibly pay them a visit. This will not only help you explore a variety of campuses and give you a feeling for a big or small university at an urban or rural environment but spending time in the area itself while on vacation will let you experience a university in ways that internet research or reading about a college in a guide just won’t allow for. Spring is usually a great time for a visit, since colleges are in session and you can witness the school in action. Tip: You might want to start out by checking out colleges near you, initially.

5-Global College Advisers – We take the stress out of the college application process

We can help you with all the above and more. Let us be part of your college exploration and preparation so you can start off senior year in a calm and relaxed way and enjoy your last year of high school.  If you want to reserve your space in our program early, you can start our comprehensive program already in 9th or 10th grade. We recommend engaging with us at the latest in junior year, so you have ample time for college research and list building, self-reflection and essay preparation, and for planning your next steps on your path to college.

Take advantage of our yearly COLLEGE PLANNING PROMOTION and save 10% off our two Comprehensive Packages (USA or International). Promotion is available until February 28th, 2022, or until available spaces have filled up.


Discuss your college options with us. Set up a 20-minute Discovery Call !

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