How to: college

Mr. Hendricks lends tips to college-bound high school students


Emma Scheer

Mr. Hendricks helps a student with the college process.

Jason Kappes, News Editor

As a college prep school, Carmel does all it can to help its students prepare for life past high school. But what should each grade focus on? Do freshmen need to visit colleges already? Should everyone take the ACT? We asked Mr. Hendricks for some college tips for each grade.


Freshman Year

The biggest thing freshman year is just make sure your grades are good. If you are struggling in a class, get help from a teacher, find a tutor, do whatever you need to do to set yourself up for a good GPA. If you start out poor freshman year, it’s a huge hole and it’s hard to climb out of. But if you start well, then you are setting yourself up to succeed for the next four years. Don’t worry about college or visits, concentrate on your grades.


Sophomore Year

Sophomore year is pretty much the exact same thing as freshman year, keep the grades up. Sophomore year is usually the hardest year for students because they might think they know what they are doing, then all of a sudden they forget everything. You could start looking at different careers, but I wouldn’t worry about majors yet. You can think about what you might want to do in a couple of years. But the main thing is keep your grades up.


Junior Year

Junior year is all about the ACT. I’d recommend taking a test prep class, and you will usually do pretty good. You could also do 1 on 1 tutoring on the ACT, whatever you need to do to get ready to take that standardized test. Second semester of junior year, you should do your ACT prep work on your own and just stay on top of it.Then start visiting colleges. You don’t need to go crazy over Street Scenes break, go visit 1 or 2 colleges.


Senior Year

Senior year is the big year. After the letters of recommendation, applications, and college essays in September and October, then second semester is when you start finding out about the financial aid process and how much money you get in grants, scholarships, and loans. I always tell seniors that you need to have the three fits: Personal, Academic, and Financial. You have to make sure you can stay there for four years. For the academic fit, you narrow down all the majors and make sure it has the major you want. You got accepted into that major, it has college tutoring services, it has internship opportunities. If it is an academic and a personal fit, but not a financial fit; you gotta cross it off your list because there is no need to go out of college with $30,000 in debt. If you can cut down the debt as much as you can, that’s important. By May 1st, you should have colleges with all 3 or 2 of those fits.