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Prepare for College: Build A College Prep Binder | Mom's Mimosa
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Prepare for College: Build A College Prep Binder

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Prepare for college

Prepare for College At The Start Of The Junior Year

Time can really get away from you. You blink and the next thing you know, your oldest son is a JUNIOR in high school! And now it’s crunch time – this academic year marks the halfway point of his high school journey and is a critical time to prepare for college. Junior year is a key year in the college planning and prepping process because students will be taking standardized tests, conducting campus visits, narrowing down their colleges, and learning more about financial aid. So it is imperative that we get serious his about college preparation process now.

Prepare For College The Right Way By Planning And Organizing

By creating and organizing a College Prep Binder that will aid in his planning and preparation, my son will be one step closer to a successful college application process! Making a College Prep Binder is so easy and only requires a few supplies and a printer.

Speaking of printers, we recently purchased a NEW Limited Edition Walmart Exclusive printer, the HP DeskJet 2636 All-in-One Printer at our local Walmart. The printer is available in some super fun colors including Gelato, Atlantic Blue and Dark Sienna. My son’s bedroom is decorated with hints of blue so he decided on the Atlantic Blue and it’s gorgeous!

Preparing for College

The HP DeskJet 2636 is perfect for my son as it allows him to easily print wirelessly, as well as copy and scan from his computer, smartphone and tablet. And it also allows him to manage print jobs through the HP Smart App. The HP Printer makes it so easy to create print jobs from anywhere on multiple devices! This printer will be an important tool during high school as well as college. And it’s just the right size for a dorm room. While we were at Walmart, we also picked up a HP Original Ink Combo Pack which allows us to print up to twice as many high-quality prints with its high-yield ink cartridges.

Preparing for College

Now let’s get a leg up preparing for college and start building our College Prep Binder!

Building A College Prep Binder

Prepare for college


  • 2-inch 3 ring binder
  • Tabbed dividers
  • Pocket dividers
  • 3 hole punch
  • Printer

You can find all of these supplies at Walmart.

College Prep Binder Cover:

Tab 1: Admissions Guide

Tab 2: Checklists

Tab 3: Credentials

Keep all website credentials for admissions, testing, financial aid and more in this section.

Tab 4: Test Planner

Organize a testing plan by scheduling out when you’ll be taking important tests like the SAT, ACT, AP exams and mark the dates on your calendar.

Tab 5: College Selection

Make sure you have all the information you need about the colleges you’re interested in (entrance requirements, tuition, room and board costs, course offerings, student activities, financial aid, etc.). Then begin comparing the schools by the factors that are most important to you and rank your choices.

  • Go to college fairs, attend college nights and speak with college representatives who visit your high school; use an online college finder and search top college lists. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a school to your list. Use pocket dividers for brochures.
  • Create separate pocket dividers for college correspondence from each college.
  • Use this College Match Tracking Chart to help you narrow down choices.
  • Guide to College Visits
  • Campus Visit Checklist

Tab 6: Financial Aid

Gather and collect information about financial aid from the colleges you’re interested in. Use this section to track details and applications.

Tab 7: Portfolio

Now is the time to create a college resume listing achievements, number of job and volunteer hours, leadership positions, honors and awards, etc. This is also the section to include letters of recommendation. It’s a great idea to have letters from several different people in your binder, including recommendations from employers, teachers, coaches, activity leader or an adult who knows you well outside of school. Use the pocket dividers to hold multiple copies of each letter.

A College Prep Binder Is The Key To Success During The Application Process

Creating and organizing a college prep binder will make college prep and the application process feel much less overwhelming. It will be an awesome resource to guide you and your high-schooler through the college prep and application process. And the HP DeskJet 2636 All-In-One Printer makes printing materials for the project a breeze!

Prepare for college with a college prep binder


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