Junior Year

Summer before Junior Year

Visit college campuses – Your junior and senior year will be very busy so take every opportunity you have to go on college visits. Do not put off what you can do today! If you are on vacation, find the nearby college and attend an information session and a tour. Even if that college is not a true consideration, you learn a lot about the application process through campus visits as well as by visiting a school that is not a front runner on your list.

Naviance – if your high school subscribes to it, become familiar with the “College Scattergrams”. The scattergram profiles individual colleges acceptance rates in that specific high school based on the students’ SAT scores and GPA. If your high school does not use Naviance you can check with other nearby high school guidance departments and view their Naviance scattergrams as a online guest.

Fall of Junior Year

Make Friends with Your Guidance Counselor – During the first week of school review your course load and teachers with your guidance counselor. Did you get a terrible teacher? Now is the time to request an adjustment. If you were assigned the worst math teacher then make up an excuse to get reassigned. Do not wait until the first quarter ends. Be sure you are on track for four years of:

 English         Math          Science        History      Foreign Language  (3 years)

Although your high school may list some subjects as optional, many colleges consider them to be mandatory.  Take challenging level classes, but do well in them. Recognize your strengths and work to your ability. An “A” in Honors is better than a “C” in the more rigorous AP class.

PSATs are in October  High achieving students should study for the PSATs. Use the CollegeBoard online practice exams and SAT Question of the Day. Their scores will be considered for National Merit Scholarship, which may earn you scholarship.  Go to www.collegeboard.com to College Board Tests to PSAT/NM.

Write your Resume Now that you have previewed the common application, you see the value of having all your personal data on one document. You will be modifying this on an ongoing basis. It is very helpful to have it completed well before you need it.

Attend College Fairs Your High School guidance office will have a list of nearby college fairs or colleges who will be visiting your school. Stop by and ask a few questions. You can hand out your resume too!

Winter of Junior Year 

SAT and ACT Test Prep  Take an SAT or ACT Prep course if desired or self study by taking practice exams on Collegeboard or ACT’s website. 

Plan your test schedule & sign up  at least 6 weeks in advance so you can take the test in a preferred, nearby high school.

  • SAT tests are offered in: Mar, May, Jun, Oct, Nov,  and Dec.
  • ACT tests are offered in: Feb, Apr, Jun, Sept, Oct, and Dec.

Spring of Junior Year

Prepare  a “practice” FASFA, Calculate your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) You should try to figure out what FASFA will determine your EFC will be before you “go shopping” for schools.  Go to www.Fafsa4Caster.ed.gov  to get an estimate of your EFC.  The lower your EFC, the more likely to receive financial aid.

Take the SATs and/or ACTs  in early spring. After you receive your scores, determine which exam you did best. Then register to take it again, unless you got a perfect score!

Request recommendations from 2 Teachers.  Politely request this favor from your favorite teacher before summer break. Many other students will be doing the same. Give them your resume.

Summer Before Senior Year

Get as much done as possible before the school year starts! Senior year is incredibly busy with fun activities so the more tasks you take care of  the better your Senior experience will be.

Register with the Common Application and complete the basic profile (name, address, activities, etc.).

Write your main essay for the Common App. Proof read multiple times.

Create a word document of ALL the supplemental questions (with word count) that you will need to answer for your list of schools.

Go on more campus visits, create a list of schools where you will apply and write your essays!!