High School junior year can be an exciting time for students but it can also be stressful. Trying to navigate what they should be doing to aide the college planning process while still focusing on high school can be overwhelming. Use this Junior Year of High School College Prep timeline to help guide you through the process.
- Attend one of the many college summer programs for high school juniors that exist to help prepare you for the college atmosphere. Take classes that will better prepare you for your upcoming junior year. At Enrichment we offer several academic classes that will allow students to brush up on their studies while in summer mode. Additionally we have AP Courses to even better prepare you for the next step after high school.
- When trying to narrow down your list of colleges you are interested in nothing beats a campus tour or even spending a summer on campus. Since you will be spending a majority of your college career on campus, it is always a good idea to tour a campus to see what you like and don’t like prior to applying to that school. Check out this article, 6 Tips to Help You Find the Right Preprofessional Summer Camp for more help narrowing down your search.
- Meet with your guidance counselor to start the year off right to discuss what you need to do for the year ahead. This will give you the opportunity to go over classes you still need to take, recommended classes that will look good on a transcript, and discuss college options. Additionally, be sure to ask about upcoming dates to take the PSAT, ACT, and SAT.
- Take the PSAT. This is a preliminary test that helps students practice for the SAT and assess their academic skills. Juniors who score well on the test are also eligible for scholarship opportunities.
- Create a college list. Your list of colleges should include schools that meet your most important criteria (for example, size, location, cost, academic majors, or special programs). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you and develop a preliminary ranking of the schools on your list. Don’t forget to attend college fairs!
- Keep up with your current workload and extra curricular activities. While you might feel overwhelmed with looking towards the future it is important to keep your eyes on the present with your current school work.
- Prepare for standardized tests.
- Find out if the colleges you are interested in require the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests. Register to take the tests you need; most high school juniors take them in the winter or spring. You can take them again in the fall of your senior year if you’re unhappy with your scores.
- Prep for the SAT or ACT. Once you know what colleges you are interested in require for standardized tests you can prepare to study for them. Invest time in community classes or a tutor to get you ready for the exams.
- Register for SAT or ACT spring offering.
- Narrow down your list of colleges.
- Redefine your choices of colleges by comparing and contrasting schools and attending college fairs.
- Take the SAT or ACT
- Beat the letter of recommendation rush by asking your teachers before everyone else does. Contact your recommendation writers.
- Teachers and guidance counselors are often asked to write recommendations for lots of students. Consider whom you want to ask now and let them know so they’ll have time to prepare before getting tons of requests in the fall. Ask teachers who know you well and who will have positive things to say. Letters of recommendation from a coach, activity leader, or adult who knows you well outside of school are also valuable.
- Figure out what are admissions requirements for schools you are interested in.
- Begin planning college visits. Once again seeing multiple campuses allow you to see how the feel of being on campus will be and get an idea of what everyday life will be for you.
- Meet with your counselor to determine what classes you’ll take next year and to make sure you’re on track for graduation. When you pick your classes, don’t load up on easy electives. Colleges do consider your senior year courses and grades, so stick with a schedule that challenges you.
- Using your narrow list of colleges of interest visit again.
- Study if need be again for more standardized tests if you plan on taking it again in the fall.
- Practice makes perfect: start working on your college essay. Look for classes you can take to improve on your writing skills and focus on the college essay process, like a College Application Boot Camp course.
- Consider doing an internship for high school students in your interested field of study.