As our scholars get older, Wise Readers to Leaders aims to continue to help them learn, grow, and thrive. College readiness is a major goal as our scholars reach high school age. We encourage our scholars to strive to continue their educations beyond high school.
Starting in our K-5 program, we begin to inform our scholars about college. We have a College Day at each of our Program Sites where Literacy Leaders, JLLs, and scholars are all encouraged to dress up in their favorite college apparel. On this day, Literacy Leaders take time to talk about the colleges they attend or attended. Literacy Leaders tell scholars about heir majors, their extracurricular activities, and fun facts about their colleges. Our Literacy Leaders are always enthusiastic and encouraging about college for our scholars, answering questions about college whenever they come up. We’ve even done field trips that have included tours of the University of Southern California, where many of our Literacy Leaders attend. In this way, we strive to increase excitement and awareness about college for our scholars from a young age.
Soon, we will be expanding our program to include a brand new College Mentorship Program. Teens from our program will be paired with adults from our community who have attended college and have some knowledge about how the college application process works. Teens and their mentors will create schedules, edit essays, select classes, prepare for college entrance exams, and more together.
College Prep Materials
Go College Now! provides resources and support for students and parents.
The Center for First-Generation Student Success has programs, services, resources, tips, and more for first-generation college students!
The BigFuture section of the College Board website is a great resource for finding and researching different colleges.
College Application Timeline
Freshman & Sophomore Years
- Take challenging courses in high school
- Focus on your grades
- Participate in extracurricular and leadership positions
- Find summer internship or volunteer activities
- If possible, meet with your guidance counselor
- Start researching colleges of interest
- Take the Practice SAT
- Prepare for the SAT or ACT
- Visit local college campuses
- Take the SAT and/or ACT during the winter or spring
- Search for scholarships
- Retake the SAT and/or ACT if you feel you can improve on your score
- Determine application deadlines and create a schedule
- Draft college essays
- Ask teachers for Letters of Recommendation
- Gather application materials
- Submit applications!
- Apply for scholarships
- Fill out the FAFSA for federal financial aid
- Receive decisions and choose a college!