College Awareness Activities for High School Students

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has a master's degree in cancer biology and has taught high school and college biology.

This lesson is designed to cover college awareness activities that can be set up in order to introduce college as an option to high school students. We will discuss activities that can be done on campus as well as activities away from high school.

High school is an exciting time for most teenagers. They learn to drive, gain some independence, and start thinking about the next chapter of their lives, college. Although this is exciting, the thought of college - the cost, moving away from home, and becoming an adult, can be daunting. Luckily, teenagers do not have to make this decision by themselves. There are many adults, family and teachers, to help.

High school students become more interested in college when they are make more aware of the possibilities. For some students this happens at home, but for others, they rely on teachers and school counselors to help them make this decision. High schools need to be actively promoting college for all high school students. Let's look at some of the best ways to promote college awareness both at school and away from school.

College Awareness Activities

High School Campus

High school is already full of every resource needed for college awareness activities. One idea is for the very people that are promoting college, the faculty and staff, to show their own alma mater school spirit. The faculty and staff can have a college spirit day where they wear clothes from their alma mater and bring in other memorabilia representing the college they attended.

Banners like these can be hung on the teachers
Picture of college banners

School Spirit

To make the day more interesting, teachers can use this day to colleges to the students at the beginning of each class period. Teachers can spend a few minutes discussing their own college experience with their classes. By the end of the day, each student will be exposed to six or seven schools. Teachers can encourage students to ask questions about their experiences at their particular colleges. Teachers can then assign a college assignment related to a particular subject. Math teachers can assign something like cost analysis or determining financial aide, English teachers can have students put together college collages. The bottom line is teachers should help all students see college as an option.

Picture of University of Kentucky

College Visits

Another great way to expose high school students to college is inviting college representatives to visit. Representatives from a variety of public, private and community colleges can set up information booths for students to visit and ask questions. Teachers who know their students well can help guide them to specific booths for schools that might be a good fit.

School Counselors

School counselors are an important part of the college decision process. School counselors can help students begin the college decision-making process freshman year. Putting a college portfolio together will help students keep organized and informed about how to apply, the requirements, application deadlines, recommendation letters, and anything else they may need to complete the application process. This will help them to organize the application process and give them one place for which they can find everything that they need.

Financial Aide

The cost of college can be very daunting, and many students and parents might assume that college is too expensive. Teachers can help ease fears about the cost by promoting an informational financial aide night for students and their parents to attend. Posting fliers in the classrooms and being present themselves will help students and parents attend.

Away from the High School Campus

Some activities that promote college awareness might happen in the spring and summer. High School teachers can promote these activities by hanging flyers and encouraging students to attend. Teachers can even arrange to take students on some of the activities, especially those that might not go by themselves.

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