Planning for College
Exploring your options and deciding what you want from a college will supply you with the information you need to make the right college choice. The timeline below is designed to help you plan ahead for the academic preparation you will need for admission to Ohio University.
Study Hard! Now is the time to build up your grade point average by concentrating on your studies and take courses that will build a college-prep curriculum foundation. At Ohio University, we recommend that you take the following courses before graduation:
- 4 units of college prep English
- 4 units of math (including Algebra II or higher)
- 3 units of science (including 1 unit of physical sciences, 1 unit of life sciences, and 1 unit advanced study)
- 3 units of social studies (including .5 unit of American history and .5 unit of American government)
- 2 units of a foreign language (3 units required to earn an honors diploma)
- 1 unit of visual or performing arts
- 4 units of other electives
Keep up your grades. Stay involved in your high-school's extra-curricular activities.
September - March
Explore your college choices! As you begin to visit colleges, you should think about the major you want to study. If you have no idea about what you want to study in college, don't worry about it. Ohio University offers incoming students several undecided majors that will allow you to take a variety of classes so that you can explore your options before you make a decision.
March - August
Consider taking the ACT and SAT. Many colleges will require you to take either the ACT or SAT tests to be considered for admission, but Ohio University has adopted a test-optional pathway for admission. Your school counselor can provide you with registration information for you to take the ACT and SAT tests. We recommend taking at least one test during the summer of your junior year. Taking a test now will ensure that your scores will be available when you start applying to colleges in the fall of your senior year. If you are not satisfied with your score, you will have plenty of time to take the test again.
Research scholarships. Begin researching scholarship opportunities in mid-summer. You may want to check with the companies where you or your parents are employed. Look around your community and neighborhood such as your church, civic, and charitable organizations. The Ohio University Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships provides information on Ohio University scholarships and the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. If you are interested in other sources of funding visit Fastweb.
Visit college campuses. Now is the time to make a list of qualities you want in a college. Characteristics you may want to consider include:
- Academic reputation
- Admission requirements
- Campus diversity
- Residence hall living
- Tuition, financial aid, and scholarships
Also, be sure to start visiting colleges during your junior year. To prepare for your campus visit you should:
- Call or register online early to make an appointment. Visit on a weekday, if possible, for a more personal visit and to see the campus while classes are in session.
- Allow at least three hours for a campus visit to include an information session or interview, a campus tour, and a meeting with a faculty member in your area of academic interest.
- Make sure you have good directions to the campus and allow adequate travel time.
- Prepare a list of questions for the admissions staff and your tour guide.
- Be on time.
August - November
Consider applying for admission. Admission to Ohio University is granted to the best-qualified applicants as determined by a selective admissions policy. Admissions decisions are based on a number of criteria including your college prep curriculum, overall high school GPA, positive grade trends, optional essay, and ACT and/or SAT scores (if provided).
The freshman early action application deadline for fall admission is November 15. Complete applicants by the deadline will receive priority consideration for direct entry to academic programs, merit scholarship programs, and University honors experiences.
Research financial aid opportunities. The responsibility of paying for your college education will rest mainly with you and your family, but there are many types of financial assistance for those who qualify. Make sure you meet all deadlines when applying for financial aid. You should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which allows you to be considered for various financial aid programs. The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.gov, or from your school counselor starting in October, and should be completed by January 15 for priority consideration.
Finalize your decision. Review your financial aid opportunities from all colleges and universities to which you have applied. Make visits to your top choices to help you solidify your decision and be sure to confirm your intent to enroll at your final college choice by May 1. At Ohio University you can confirm your intent to enroll by submitting your housing contract with deposit or commuter application.