The Road to MBU: A Roadmap to Prepare for College
So, here you are – about to be a senior in high school and begin the journey of a lifetime. You probably feel like you’re standing on the edge of a cliff; the vast expanse of your future spreading out before your eyes – and you have no idea what you’re doing. In fact, you barely remember how you got here. But now, as you look ahead to your senior year and the uncertainties that loom beyond, you can’t help but look around you and wonder how everyone else seems to know exactly what they’re doing. They’re doing this for the first time too, right? The truth is, everyone has felt the same way; even the people who look like they’ve got it all together. Everyone wonders, “Where should I go to college? What should my major be? What career should I choose?” It’s okay to feel uncertain and uneasy about the future because that shows you care about what you do and who you become. Being in a place of uncertainty is not a bad thing, but don’t stay there! What if there was a way for you to stop worrying about your future and actually enjoy your journey to college? Think of your journey as a road map to college, with four stops that represent the different legs of your journey. The first stop is the summer before your senior year, the second stop is your senior year, the third stop is the summer before your freshman year, and the final stop is freshman orientation – Jumpstart weekend!
First Stop | Summer Before Senior Year
Your road trip to college begins before your senior year of high school starts. In fact, if you plan ahead, the summer before your senior year can be one of the most productive times in your preparation for college. First, you need to finalize your college essay for your application. If you feel unsure of what to say or you just feel stuck, ask your parents or trusted teachers for guidance.
Next, it’s time for you to gather a list of references – people who know you well and will give an honest character review about you to MBU. Start with a pastor, teacher, boss, or coach, and go from there. After your references are compiled, you should apply for college at MBU! You can find the application form at mbu.edu/apply. Next, you need to register for the ACT. I know you don’t like the idea of ANOTHER test, but trust me, you need it to get into college. You can find testing dates and locations, study helps, and practice tests all online at act.org.
The summer before your senior year is also a great time to explore some of your interests. What do you enjoy doing? What gets you excited? If you love sports, join us for Sabercamps in June and July where you can attend week-long soccer, volleyball, and basketball camps that will challenge you mentally and grow you in your skill. This is also a great time to connect with MBU coaches and learn from their experience and expertise. If you’re more into music or acting, join us for Music and Drama Camp! This unique experience lets you choose from six different tracks ranging from band to drama. Maranatha’s summer camps are exciting ways for you to build new friendships and to make the most of your summer.
If you haven’t already begun building your résumé, this is the time to start! Résumés are important to because they help future employers at MBU and beyond see your previous work experience as well as your strengths and weaknesses. If you’ve already begun a résumé, make sure you’re updating it consistently so that it contains your most current information.
Finally, stay active in your local church and your community. It’s important to continue to grow in your relationship with the Lord and to be a bright light in a dark world. If you take advantage of these opportunities now, you will be well on your way to a great senior year.
Second Stop | Senior Year
Senior year is an exciting time to learn and grow while planning your future. It’s also a great time to save money and get ahead in school by taking Dual Enrollment classes at MBU. You can earn high school and college credit as well as save 60% on tuition through Dual Enrollment! Plus, you can get familiar with the MBU portal – MyMaranatha – before you start your first semester. An even better way to get familiar with MBU is to come visit campus for our Experience MBU days! During special opportunities like Experience MBU, you can stay in the dorms, attend classes, meet professors, and go to special events with MBU students. We believe that the most powerful impressions are made in person, so plan your visit today to get familiar with the MBU campus and culture.
Though it can be easy to let your grades slip when you’re this close to graduating, remember that maintaining a good GPA is important. Hopefully, you’ve been studying for the ACT because now is the time to take it! Try your best and send the test scores to MBU. Remember, better scores equal better opportunities to earn scholarships. Now, it’s time to begin the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which will allow you to qualify for student aid. You can find this form beginning October 1 at studentaid.gov or you can visit mbu.edu/finances to learn more. Once this is completed, be sure to apply for scholarships so you can get extra money towards your education.
Explore Maranatha’s extracurricular options online so you can find out what opportunities you can get involved in once you’re here! If you’re planning on being a student athlete, you will need to schedule a physical with your primary care physician to be cleared to play.
As always, stay involved in your church and community as you prepare to take the next big step in your life. Be diligent in your schoolwork and your prep for college, but don’t miss out on all the fun memories that make your senior year special!
Third Stop | Summer Before Freshman Year
Congratulations! You graduated high school! Take a break and celebrate with your family and friends because you deserve it. Once you have your official high school transcripts, send them to MBU. Either your school or your parents (if you’re homeschooled) can email your transcripts directly to Admissions@mbu.edu.
Next, you can submit any final forms required by the Admissions office. If you have any questions about what is required, your admissions counselor is on standby all summer to keep you on track with enrollment details. It’s also important to keep saving money and get ahead with dual enrollment. Your high school discount includes two more sessions of online classes this summer, so take advantage of this great opportunity to get ahead in school!
Here’s a pro tip: set up a student banking account before getting on campus. It’ll definitely make life easier when you get to MBU. Maranatha also offers on-campus student employment. Students who work on campus don’t have to pay FICA tax during the school year, so begin thinking about on-campus jobs and ask your admissions counselor to help you decide which job would be a good fit for you.
Begin the process of registering for classes by paying your required deposit at mbu.edu/deposit. Once you’ve paid your deposit, you can contact your admissions counselor who will send you a class registration form for you to fill out with the help of your academic advisor.
Fourth Stop | Jumpstart
You made it to college! Welcome to MBU! All your hard work has paid off and we are so excited to see you for Jumpstart – the first event of the school year. This is the perfect opportunity to get familiar with life on campus and make new friends before the school year officially starts. During this time, you will also get to know Maranatha’s student leadership – like the student body president – and begin forming relationships with faculty and staff. Enjoy your time at MBU and get ready to learn a lot! MBU will train you to be a leader both in the local church and in the world around you for the glory of God, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!