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How to Prepare for College in High School (34 Prompts!)

This blog post now features TWO lists of How to Prepare for College in High School topics to explore. Oh yeah. Enjoy and take a look now. I think you’ll be glad you did.

High School Writing Prompts to Prepare for College

College is a time of immense change for any teen who is just finishing up high school—and it’s never too early to start preparing your students for all that lies ahead.

This is why…

The two excellent lists of how to prepare for college prompts shown below were specially crafted to help your high schoolers navigate this exciting time in their life. Yes!

Whether students are leaving the state or staying close to home, your high schoolers are in for some big changes and can probably use some help and guidance.


With writing topics ranging from academic goals to how to make new friends, there’s plenty here for students to reflect on. And with each new entry they write, they’ll develop a greater awareness of and appreciation for what it means to start this monumental new chapter in their lives.

So get to it and…

Use these 34 writing prompts to help your high schools learn how to prepare for college and get excited for all the fantastic adventures they’re about to have!

How to Prepare for College: 34 Writing Prompts for High Schoolers

  1. What schools are you considering? Discuss what appeals to you about each one.
  2. Do you think you would be happier at an in-state or out-of-state school? Why?
  3. Do you plan to live in a dorm? Why or why not?
  4. What aspect of college are you most excited about? Why?
  5. What aspect of college are you most nervous about? Why?
  6. What types of scholarships are you applying for? Do you think you’ll receive any?
  7. Are your parents excited for you to go to college? Why or why not?
  8. What do you want to study in college? Why?  If you’re not sure yet, how do you plan to decide?
  9. What extracurricular activities do you want to participate in during college? What attracts you to them?
  10. Would you ever want to study abroad? Why or why not?
  11. Will you have a job while you’re in college? Why or why not?
  12. How will you make sure you are managing your time effectively in college?
  13. Would you consider going to a school where you didn’t know anyone? Why or why not?
  14. How many years do you think you’ll spend in college? Would you consider an advanced degree?  Why or why not?
  15. Do you think you’ll stay in touch with your high school friends in college? Why or why not?
  16. What does “the college experience” mean to you?
    College Prep Writing Prompts for High School
  17. Make a list of things you would like to learn and accomplish in college.
  18. Why do you want to go to college? What do you hope to get out of it?
  19. What questions do you have about college? Where can you go to find the answers you need?
  20. Do you think you will adapt well to the freedom of college? Why or why not?
  21. What type of college class schedule do you think will be ideal for you?
  22. Write a letter to yourself to be read on the day of your college graduation.
  23. Do you plan to “reinvent” yourself at all when you get to college? What might you change?
  24. In what ways do you think college will be most different from high school?
  25. What are some things you can do to make sure you stay safe at college?
  26. What is your top goal that you hope to achieve in college? How will you prioritize it?
  27. Do you think college will be easier or more difficult than high school? Why?
  28. What aspect of high school will you miss the most?
  29. Make a list of things you can do at the beginning of the year to make sure your college experience is a positive one.
  30. How would you like people at college to think of you? How can you present yourself in that way?
  31. Do you think college will effectively prepare you for “the real world”? Why or why not?
  32. If you could see ahead to the day of your college graduation, what question would you ask yourself about how your time in college went?
  33. What would you do if you had a roommate who was loud, messy, or annoying?
  34. Do you think you’ll join a fraternity or sorority? Why or why not?

I hope you enjoyed this list of how to prepare for college in high school writing ideas.

Check out this list of…

15 More College Topics for High Schoolers to Explore

Now, for those high school students who want to take their college prep to the next level, here is that second list of how to prepare for college prompts and topics. Dive deep into one topic or all of them.

  1. What are some good study habits that will help you succeed in college? 
  2. Describe the difference between high-school and college-level courses and how you will navigate these changes.
  3. Have you taken advanced placement courses and coursework (ap classes/ap course) and received college credit during your high school years? Write about your experiences and how they will benefit you when you start your “official” college career.
  4. Do you think your time management skills are ready for your college experience? 
  5. What are your thoughts and/or feelings about the college application process?
  6. How do you envision the freshman year of your first college school year unfolding? 
  7. What different schools do you intend to explore and which college campuses do you hope to visit?
  8. What are the components of the college admissions process and how do you feel about it? 
    (Hint: Think grades, test scores letters of recommendation, etc…)
  9. Explore and write about what you know about federal student aid and/or financial aid for college costs.
  10. Are you seeking help from your guidance counselor/high school counselor in regard to your higher education goals and dreams? Why or why not? 
  11. What sort of volunteer work, community service, and the like have you done that you can include on your college applications?
  12. Do you plan to attend any college fairs?
  13. Do you plan to take campus tours and if so which ones do you hope to see?
  14. The last year of high school (aka the senior years of high school) is special and busy. What are your plans to enjoy it to the max?
  15. Research the enrollment and application deadlines, grade point average requirements, and so forth for the colleges you hope to attend.  What did you learn from your research? Have your college plans changed because of it? 

Okay, that’s all for our two lists of how to prepare for college in high school prompts and topics.

A Few Closing Thoughts

Whether they’re moving cross-country to live in a dorm or staying at home and going to a community college, your students are in for some big surprises and even bigger life lessons as they enter their first few years of adulthood. 

These How to Prepare for College writing prompts will help your students prep for college and help them get ready for the incredible new experiences they’ll soon face. 

So use these college prompts with your high schoolers today. I hope they’ll find a ton of inspiration!

Until next time, write on…

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creator and curator

Writing Ideas for High School Students to Prepare for College

PS Check out this helpful resource that can also work as writing prompts and ideas! —> College Quotes

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