Creating a Space for College Prep

Most parents know that a designated study space is the key to good study habits responsible for academic excellence. But did you know that having an area for college prep is just as important? The college prep process is long and intensive. It often spans four years during high school and requires a tremendous amount of organization. Without a dedicated area, it’s easy to lose important documents and miss critical deadlines.

A landing spot 

As senior year approaches, the mounds of mail and information that will start arriving can be overwhelming. Without a landing spot, critical information and materials will be lost. For many teens, their bedroom floor, backpacks and cars become the place where this material lands. If you establish a place at the beginning of the process it makes it easier to collect and file it. Just about any spot will work, but it should be easily available when you come in the house; a desk or area in the kitchen often works best.

A filing system

Over the course of high school, you will collect a vast amount of information that will need to be used when completing the college application. From volunteer logs, to report cards, to awards and honors, to essays, it’s critical to hold on to every document. A filing system, preferably near the landing spot, will help you organize the documents. Create folders and bins for each category and file the information as it is received. A filing cabinet should be used as well. This will make it easier when applying to scholarships and creating the high school resume.

A large visual calendar 

Even though most of us use digital calendars on our portable devices or computers, having a large visual calendar serves as a daily reminder of tasks that need to be addressed. With test dates, scholarship deadlines, and college application deadlines a calendar that can be seen by both parents and students will help keep everyone on task. Placing the calendar above the desk and the filing system makes it easier to access the information to complete what needs to be done. 

A bulletin board

All throughout high school, students will be receiving information from the high school counselor regarding college fairs, sessions for the parents on financial aid, meetings with representatives from the colleges, and scholarship applications. A bulletin board allows you and your student to pin these notices to be seen throughout your day. This will serve as a reminder of special events. You can use a traditional cork bulletin or any form of magnet board will work just as well. The college prep process requires planning and organization. Without a designated landing spot and organization system, important documents and tasks will fall through the cracks.

This is a guest post by Suzanne Schaffer. Suzanne writes regularly about navigating the college maze at

Related Links: 
Stylish File Cabinets
Creating a Home Command Center
7 Ways to Transform a Dorm Room with Decor
How to Turn a Kid's Room into a Teen's Room

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