Essentials Of College Readiness: Beyond Academics, Applications and Acceptance


Are you sick of hearing about “getting ready for college?”


If you are a high school student, especially a Junior or Senior, it is likely that weekly, if not daily, you are reminded about what’s to come. You can hear the near constant nagging: study for the SATs, get good grades, volunteer, be active in as many clubs as possible. Do everything you can to get that acceptance letter.

Then the day comes…you receive that envelope in the mail. You did it! All your dreams have come true! You got in! But, what now? Are you really ready for college?

The Best Resources Available

Of course it’s a great idea to be prepared for the future, but there’s so much to do! And where do even start? To get a little help, I sat down with Blueprint Summer Program’s co-founders to get their take on the vast subject of college readiness.

“The transition from high school to college is exciting. It’s also an important thing to get right.” – Michael Dodson, Blueprint Summer Programs’ Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

College readiness isn’t just about getting accepted, deciding on a major or even choosing the colors for your dorm room. College readiness entails all the mental, emotional and social preparations necessary to be successful while attending college, whether living at home or on campus.

Getting Ready For The Right College

Let’s back up for a minute. Though college readiness is a vast description for being fully prepared for life at college, it does entail that tiny little aspect of actually applying to and getting accepted to college. Justin Laman, Blueprint’s Chief Enrollment Officer and Co-Founder shares the importance of not just getting into college, but getting into the right college.

“Beyond being successful once you arrive at college, the most important aspect of college readiness these days is to apply to and attend the right college for you. I want our students to make highly informed decisions based on their goals so they don’t waste any time, or money, getting their 4 year degree.”

You may be mentally and academically prepared for life on your own, but choose the wrong college and you could spend your first year (or four) completely miserable. Urban or rural? State school or private university? Class of 900 or 9000? Established greek system or robust library? Every college will give you a different experience and not every experience is right for you. Determining what you want in a college is definitely the first step in college readiness.

Top 4 Essentials To College Prep (Beyond Academics)

As Justin and Michael explain to each of our Blueprint students and parents, college readiness goes beyond applying and getting accepted. What else down college readiness entail? Below are the top 4 essentials to preparing for college:

  1. Getting out of your comfort zone – College is a completely new experience, whether going to a community college close to home or moving halfway across the country to your dream school. Start trying new activities now that get you away from your normal environment and embrace the newness.
  2. Learning time management skills – Once you graduate, you won’t have your parents or teachers around to ensure you’re getting your homework done or waking up on time. While this sounds like an amazing thing, it can also be detrimental for students that aren’t ready to take on that responsibility. Practice handling your schedule and balancing your time while in high school to ensure a seamless transition to college life.
  3. Read, read, read – 75% of your coursework in college will be reading. Get used to daily reading books, magazines and news on your own and you’ll be ready when you get assigned the reading and summary of that 50 page section from your history textbook.
  4. Building a support system – Even though you are beyond ready for independence, there will come a time in college when you will need to ask for guidance or at least have someone to vent to. College can be overwhelming and terrifying at times – along with exciting and fun at other times. Find a mentor, family member or friend (even more is better) who you can confide in and who may have had similar experiences. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.

But these tips just barely scratch the surface of what college readiness is. So, how can you get more information and help preparing for life after high school? A pre-college summer program is coming to your rescue!


The Difference In High School And College

If you already have a 4.5 GPA, are captain of the basketball team and junior class president, you may be thinking you’re completely prepared. You have this high school thing down, how hard can college be?

“If success in one guaranteed success in the other, things would be a lot easier. But the rules of the game are much different, and successful high school students often struggle once in college.” – Michael Dodson

College is a whole different ball game. Everything from classes to week-end activities are vastly different from what you are used to. Every high school student should be concerned about college readiness. No matter your background, grades or interests, Blueprint Summer Programs can help you get prepared.

College Readiness At A Pre-College Summer Program

College is a major transition for each and every student. It will be incomparable to any experience you have had so far, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for it! A pre-college summer program can give you a true taste of college life – living in a dorm, making a diverse group of new friends, attending class on your own, learning to manage your time (and maybe even hitting up that ice cream line…twice)

Talk To The Experienced

What better way to understand college than spending your days with professors and recent graduates who have just went through the same thing you are about to? At Blueprint, our amazing staff are there to help you know exactly what to expect come move-in day.

“Blueprint’s staff is comprised of young professionals and current graduate students who have not only experienced college, but done so recently. They share their own experiences and stories of college life, while working with students one-on-one to answer their burning questions.” – Justin Laman

At Blueprint’s pre-college summer programs, students receive a real college experience and jump start their own college readiness. Not only by living on campus and attending class, but through Blueprint’s unique college prep course. For an hour and half every day, students learn the basics of college readiness by learning from recent graduates, talking to admissions officers and getting answers to every question and concern they have.

Get Ready For College With Blueprint Summer Programs

Find out more about Blueprint Summer Programs and register today!