Ready or not, juniors, here it comes! Your college admissions process is gearing up now - more than ever, and it is only going to intensify from here on out.
We do not mean to strike fear within you but, rather, deliver a wake-up call: the more you prepare now, the easier things will be down the road.
Though we can warn you until we are blue in the face, it’s ultimately up to you to take the process into your own hands.
Here are tasks high school juniors should take on in March to prepare for college admissions:
Take the ACT and/or SAT
Make sure you have at least one standardized test score going into your senior year.
You will always have the option of retaking the test if you like and, if you are not happy with your score
, you have the entire summer to study and prepare for the retake.
That way, you are able to plan out how much study time is necessary to improve your score to get it to where you’d like it to be.
Identify the Admissions Criteria for Your Top Schools
If you haven’t already made a list of your top schools, it’s time to do so. Once you have created the list, do some research and gather the admissions criteria to figure out which schools are realistic and which schools are your reach schools.
That way, you can have an idea of where you stand academically and where you need to be if you want to gain admission into a particular school.
Plan College Visits and Interviews
Near or far, try to plan as many college visits as you’re able from this point on throughout the summer.
Keep in mind that it’s ideal to visit colleges while they’re in session
so that you can get an idea of what the student life is like at the peak points.
Contact prospective colleges you’re interested in and let them know you’d like to schedule a college interview and/or visit. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door early on!
Ask for Letters of Recommendation Early
It’s a good idea to ask for letters of recommendation from your teachers and coaches now
– before the rush at the end of your junior year or beginning of your senior year.
If you ask now, chances are your teachers will appreciate you doing so and, in turn, take more time and effort in writing a well thought-out letter, which only works in your favor.
Take some time (but not too much!) and think about potential teachers, coaches, mentors, etc. you could ask for letters and then ask as soon as you get the chance. Remember, the early bird gets the worm!
Plan a Strong Senior Year Schedule
Colleges want to make sure you’re continually challenging yourself throughout your high school career.
Ensure you have a strong, balanced schedule your senior year by planning it out now, rather than waiting until the last minute.
Apply for Scholarships
As always, you should continue to apply for scholarships
. Paying for college won’t be cheap and you can always
use extra money to pay for school. Start saving now to make give yourself more options later.
Make sure to continually apply to scholarships you match to and don't get discouraged if you don't win. Applying is ultimately a numbers game and the more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances are of winning. That means, applying early and applying often, juniors!