Junior Year Planning Guide
Maintaining your grades during your Junior year is very important. Make sure you are challenging yourself academically; colleges will consider how difficult your courses are.
Now is the time to really start focusing on your career and college research. Start making a list of colleges you are interested in attending. The school website under the "Counseling" tab has good some websites that can help you do your college research. As you research education and career options, talk about these options with your family.
Talk to your counselor about:
- How to prepare for the ACT Test
- How to research potential colleges/careers
- Questions you have about college, financial aid, going on college visits, etc.
Winter and Spring
Many students automatically decide they are going to go to a 4-year college; or to a Community College to do their "Generals" and then transfer to a 4-year college. One thing more students need to consider is looking at the 1 or 2-year college programs that are available at Technical and Community colleges. These programs are great opportunities for students. Especially considering too many young people are attending 4-year colleges while they aren't academically ready to attend a 4-year school.
Try to narrow your list of colleges that you are considering attending. Include a few "Good-Match" schools (have requirements at your current GPA), a few "Reach" schools (have requirements above your current GPA), and at least one "Safety" school (have requirements below your GPA).
Schedule tours for the colleges you are interested in. Try to visit colleges while classes are in session at those campuses. Many colleges will let you sit in a class to see what it's like. Check out the Majors that college offers to make sure you are interested in some of the programs that they offer.
Take a look at "Common App" Online and see if there are colleges on there that you are interested in. For Common App you only have to fill out one application; and you select the list of schools that you want your application to be submitted to. Then you don't have to apply to all the colleges separately.
Take a look at Questbridge Online. This is a program for students in approximately the top 5-10% of your grade. Students selected as Finalists for this program are able to receive "full-ride" Scholarships to some of the top colleges in America. It isn't a requirement; but Questbridge generally selects students from households that make approximately $65,000 or less per year.
Register for Senior-year classes that will challenge you so you are better prepared for College. Make sure to do a Math and Science Senior year to help you be prepared for College-level Math and Science courses.
Prepare for the ACT Test which you will take in April of your Junior year. It's also good to take the ACT a 2nd time in June. Talk to your Counselor or visit the school website if you need help finding ACT Prep resources.
Based on the colleges you are interested in; look on their website to see if you need any Letters of Recommendation written for you. Also right now is a good time to write your resume. Your resume will help you when you are filling out college applications and asking teachers or employers to write you letters of rec.
Summer between Junior and Senior year
Finish visiting any of the colleges you are interested in. Talk with your family about your colleges you are interested in attending.
Start finalizing your final list of colleges that you plan on applying to in Fall of your Senior year. Your final list should include a few "Good-Match" schools (have requirements at your current GPA), a few "Reach" schools (have requirements above your current GPA), and at least one "Safety" school (have requirements below your GPA).
Prepare for the start of your Senior year and make sure your schedule properly challenges you. This will help you be more prepared for your first year in college.