Navigating Academic Requirements Before College Begins

Now that you’ve read up on how to prepare your financial aid and campus life required documents, you should know there’s still a bit more to do before your first fall semester. If you don’t submit your academic requirements on time, you may not be able to receive your schedule or sign up for classes. Make sure to contact your school to find out more about the deadlines and then text your Money Mentor for tips!

Final Transcripts

Before graduation, guidance counselors send out your final transcript to your university. However, there are some instances when the guidance counselor does not send it out on time or retires before the end of the year, so someone else has to complete this task. Whatever the case may be, make sure to email your guidance counselor to check that the transcript was mailed out, and then email your college to make sure it was received.

Placement Tests

Before selecting classes, you may be required to take a placement test to determine your academic range, meaning the classes you are eligible to sign up for in your first semester. However, many colleges will ask you to take these as early March or April, so be aware of the deadlines because they may not be the same for everyone in the incoming class. Students accepted through Early Action or Early Decision may be expected to take these tests much earlier than students accepted through regular decision. Additionally, some tests may be available online, while others must be taken in-person, depending on the college or just the subject. Be aware of your college’s expectations and if you find yourself confused, do not hesitate to contact your Money Mentor!

AP Scores, IB Scores, and College-Credit Classes

If you have not already asked CollegeBoard to submit your AP scores on the exam when you originally took it, make sure to submit them from their website as soon as the scores are released, which will cost you $15. You should also submit your IB scores from the form on ibo.org. Additionally, some colleges accept credits from other colleges and programs, so make sure to go to your academic advising office or officer to ask if these credits will be accepted and how they will translate towards your degree. Some colleges will accept these courses as actual courses and not just credits, which will allow you to take a more advanced class in the subject (ie. taking Calc 2 instead of Calc 1) or just make room for another kind of course.

Academic Advising Session

Almost every college will have an office dedicated to helping students plan out their course schedule for all four years. As many colleges have a myriad of requirements (i.e. core classes, electives, major classes, and minor classes), make sure to schedule a session as soon as you arrive on campus with the academic advising office. That way, you'll be sure to start your college career on the right foot and continue in the right direction. And remember, your Money Mentor is always there to help!