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May Checklist for High School Juniors

Rising seniors, here's an action plan you can focus on in May.

Elizabeth Hoyt

April 22, 2019

May Checklist for High School Juniors
You're so close you can almost taste the glory of ruling the school. Senior year is just within your grasp. But, before you begin to celebrate, there's still plenty to accomplish. The month of May brings about the ending of the school year which means you've got a lot of loose ends to tidy up.

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Additionally, you need to begin to prepare for a successful summer in terms of jobs, activities and college preparation. It's more important than ever to make your summer count! Rising seniors, here's what you should be focusing your attention on during the month of May:
1. Letters of Recommendation
Consider your relationships with teachers this year (and past years). Are there any you’re particularly close with?

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College applications often require or strongly recommend recommendation letters. Now would be a great time to discuss it with one or more of your teachers since, come college application season, they will be overwhelmed with requests.
2. Consider Advanced Placement Courses
Talk to your high school counselor about any AP courses you may qualify for senior year. AP courses look great on your college applications and can even help you earn college credit. It’s always best to check in advance so now is a great time to talk to your counselor about the possibility.
3. Your Scholarship Search
Search and apply for scholarships on your down time – now and over the summer. The more time you give yourself to put in the effort to search for and apply for scholarships, the better your odds are of winning one. Our best advice? Apply early and apply often!
4. Standardized Testing
If you haven’t done so already, make sure to schedule standardized test prep courses over the summer and start studying for standardized tests as early as possible!
5. Build Your College Resume
Build your resume by signing up for summer volunteer programs, a summer job or extracurricular activities you enjoy. This will be quite a bonus on your college applications, too!
6. Campus Visits
If you have the opportunity, schedule college campus visits. Talk to your parents about the possibility about planning some trips over the summer. Visit as many as possible - it is absolutely the best way to see if a college is the right fit for you.
7. Summer Savings
Set up a summer savings plan, which allows you to start saving for college now! The earlier you get started on saving, the better financial state you’ll be in when you begin college.
8. College Lists & Research
Start thinking about what you want out of a college in terms of academics, social and campus lifestyle. Create a list of all of the factors you’re looking for – detailing negotiable and non-negotiable factors. Begin researching institutions that fit the criteria on the lists you made. From there, you can begin to decide which colleges you’d like to visit and learn more about. You can start to decide which colleges you’d like to apply to and consider as contenders for your college choice.
9. Attend College Fairs
Attending college fairs is a great way to weed out colleges before you’re able to visit. You can ask representatives questions you may have, talk to students who attend the school and get a feel for what the school is like. Make sure you prepare for the fair before you attend so that you can maximize your experience and get the most out of what’s being offered.
10. College Applications & Essays
You can begin practicing filling out college applications and creating outlines and rough draft of college essays – even if it’s just for practice. This will make the entire college application process much smoother once fall comes!

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