College planning requires time and adherence to some very strict guidelines. Because of this, a student’s Junior year in high school is critical towards the process. Ideally, students should begin college preparation at the start of their Junior year or before. So let’s take a step back and talk about what needs to be done during that junior year in order to set yourself up for success in the future.
Get to know your counselor. Make an appointment to discuss your college plans with your school counselor. This person is a wealth of resources and information, and can help guide you through the college planning process. Plus, it never hurts to provide schools with a personal recommendation from a counselor who has worked closely with you.
Form relationships with teachers, too. High school is about more than turning in assignments and taking tests. Your teachers can become valuable allies when it’s time to ask for recommendation letters, so stop by during their planning period or after school to chat about your favorite subjects.
Take the SAT or ACT. Don’t wait until senior year to take these important exams. Schedule your first one during your junior year, and you’ll have plenty of time to retake the test if needed. The extra practice can help you earn a higher score, which can open up more doors with regard to scholarships and college acceptance.
Begin working on your resume. If you haven’t already, start building a resume of awards, extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences, and so on. It could be easy to forget something if you wait until you start filling out college applications.
Attend college fairs. Talk to representatives and get a feel for different schools, well before it’s time to apply. A college fair can even introduce you to smaller, lesser-known schools that might end up being a perfect fit for you.
Visit. By spring break, or at least summer, choose a few schools that you’d like to visit. The best way to determine whether a university feels right to you is by walking through the campus, meeting other students, and sitting in on a class or two.