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January College Checklist for High School Juniors

It's a fresh start for your first semester!

Kathryn Knight Randolph

December 29, 2021

Make major moves on your college search this month with this checklist.
January College Checklist for High School Juniors
January is the start of a New Year and a new semester. Which means, you have the unique advantage of a fresh start in more than one way! How cool is that? Make sure you utilize this clean slate because it's not often that we're given such chances in life. Here's a checklist to follow with suggestions of ways you can start off January on a great note.

  1. Focus on Your Second Semester Classes
  2. You may be sick of hearing this, but college applications are right around the corner. It is important to keep in mind that, no matter how your first semester went, second semester is a fresh start. Your junior year grades are pivotal to your college admissions, so keeping your focus now is, perhaps, more important than ever before.
    If you underperformed, academically speaking up to now, here is your chance to really shine. Invest in your education by taking advantage of extra credit and tutoring opportunities. If your grades at the end of this semester are especially impressive, it will show admissions committees that you can do hard work to improve your academic performance.

  3. Register for February Standardized Tests, If Necessary
  4. Whether you’re taking your standardized exams for the first time or retaking, it’s still a good idea to prepare so you can continually improve your score.
    As you continue your college search, you may also want to check to see if the colleges you plan to apply to have gone test optional. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of standardized testing in some communities, many colleges are foregoing test scores in their admission decisions. However, if you're a great test taker and score high, many colleges are still offering institutional scholarships that require SAT or ACT scores. Check out Fastweb’s test prep section for additional tips and tricks that may give you an added advantage on your test day.

  5. Participate in Your Courses
  6. It’s important to stay active within class and participate in a manner that is impressive to your teachers so that when it’s time to ask for recommendation letters, you have plenty of options.
    Teachers don’t like to write recommendation letters for students they don’t know, aren’t familiar with or sleep through classes.

  7. Save Impressive Academic Work
  8. Some colleges request examples of your academic work, such as impressive essays, art work or lab reports you’ve created. Save any work that you’re most proud of and that you’ve received the best grades. If you have not already, start saving your best work by creating a digital folder and brag sheet. This will you save time, and you'll know exactly where to find your best pieces.

  9. Update Your Profile and Apply for Scholarships
  10. Make it a habit to update your Fastweb profile at the beginning of each semester. Your GPA may have increased, you may have a new area of interest or change in circumstance. Having an up-to-date profile ensures you get the best scholarship matches AND you don't miss any scholarship opportunities. . Continue to apply for scholarships. Submitting scholarship applications doesn’t take as long as you may think and has a huge pay off!

  11. Get a Part-Time Job
  12. Getting a part-time job is a great way to gain job experience for your resume and help stretch your student budget. A part-time job can also help you pay for school! Whether you work part-time on or near campus during the school year or a seasonal job during breaks from school, you can utilize the money from your paychecks to help pay for college. Some companies offer employee scholarships and employer tuition assistance, too.

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