Preparing for college admissions as a high school junior doesn’t have to be overwhelming. November is the perfect time to start laying the groundwork for a successful college application process. Here’s a focused checklist for high school juniors:
Research Potential Colleges: Start by compiling a list of colleges you might be interested in. Consider factors such as location, size, majors offered, extracurricular activities, and financial aid availability.
Visit College Campuses: If possible, visit some campuses to get a feel for the environment. Virtual tours can also be a helpful resource if physical visits aren’t feasible.
Take Practice SAT/ACT Tests: Begin taking practice tests if you haven’t already. This will help identify areas where you need to improve before the actual exams.
Focus on Academic Excellence: Continue to work hard in your classes. Junior year grades are extremely important because they are the most recent grades colleges will see when you apply.
Engage in Meaningful Extracurricular Activities: Colleges look for well-rounded students. Engage in activities that interest you and show commitment and leadership.
Start Drafting a College Resume: List your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and jobs.
Build Relationships with Teachers: Cultivate good relationships with teachers for future recommendation letters. Engage in class and demonstrate your interest and commitment to your education.
Explore Scholarships: Begin searching for scholarships and note down deadlines and requirements.
Attend College Fairs: Take advantage of college fairs, both in-person and virtual, to gather information and make connections with college representatives.
Set Up a College Admissions Calendar: Keep track of all important dates and deadlines related to college admissions and standardized tests.
Begin Learning About Financial Aid: Understand the basics of financial aid, including the difference between grants, loans, and scholarships. Familiarize yourself with the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
Discuss College Plans with Your Family: Openly discuss your thoughts and concerns about college with your family. It’s important to have their support and to understand the financial implications together.
Stay Organized: Keep all college-related information in one place. This includes login information for the Common App, test scores, and communication from colleges.
Remember, the college admissions process is a marathon, not a sprint. Start early, stay focused, and use your time wisely. November is just the beginning, and you’re already on the right track by planning ahead.