College Preparation

BSTA School counseling

COLLEGE = “1, 2, 4 OR MORE!”

When I refer to “college” as a school counselor, what I really mean is post-high school education. That includes everything from a skills certificate to a four-year degree to an advanced degree. In Utah we call this “1, 2, 4 or more” years of post-high school education. The important thing for ALL students to know is that getting some kind of education past high school will make a huge difference in their economic stability and happiness as an adult.

Options for post-high school education/training:

  • Apprenticeships/Work Based learning
  • Applied Technology programs (like MTEC or SLCC School of
    Applied Technology)
  • Junior colleges (2 year) (like Snow College or SLCC)
  • Four-year colleges (like the University of Utah or BYU)
  • Graduate and advanced degree programs (offered at many
    four-year universities)



Preparation for college is really a long-term process. In elementary and middle school, it is important to build study skills and habits and learn material that you can build on in high school and beyond.

Starting in high school, though, everything counts. GRADES MATTER. Preparing for college means both learning the material and building academic skills and knowledge, but also earning good grades, participating in extra-curricular activities, developing leadership skills, and performing community service all matter, especially when it comes to getting into prestigious schools and earning scholarships.


From ninth grade on, write it down! Keep track of everything! Shoveled your neighbor’s sidewalk after a snow storm? That is community service. Write down the time you spent. Left in charge of planning an event? That is leadership. Write it down. Keep a list of community service hours, leadership activities, extra-curricular involvement (and hours spent), and awards on a spreadsheet or in a folder. Try to add these type of activities wherever you can, but strive to keep a balance with school so that you can still maintain good grades and your own mental health.


As you explore colleges, consider the following:

  • Programs (do they have the major you want, and is it a good program?
  • Learning environment (hands on, or big lecture halls)
  • Campus life (what fun activities do they have, what is the social life like)
  • Location (big city, small town, or something in between)
  • Distance from home
  • Type of college (private/public, single gender or co-ed, religious)
  • Size
  • Cost
  • Student body (diverse, or mostly people similar to yourself)
  • First impressions

Check out these college exploration resources!

Other college resources

A word about scholarships

A scholarship is financial recognition of achievement, to be used for post-high school training. Most people typically think of scholarships as based on academics and available only to high school seniors. However, there are scholarships available as early as elementary school, and in a large range of categories, including talent (performance, athletics), academic, leadership, community service, financial need, and field of study.

Scholarship resources

  • Download the Keys to Success app on your iphone or android. Utah high school students should create an account, which will then individualize scholarship and internship opportunities they are notified of. Middle school students are also encouraged to use the app and will soon be able to creat an account as well.
  • Use the Big Futures scholarship search feature to find scholarships without having to create an account.

  • Check the BSTA counseling scholarship list regularly


Use scholarship search engines to narrow down scholarships you might want to apply for, and receive notification about scholarships and other opportunities:

Mission Statement

At Beehive, students of diverse cultures achieve academic excellence and personal skills in a challenging and innovative STEM environment to become contributing global citizens.

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