September College Prep Checklist for High School Juniors

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 21, 2019

September College Prep Checklist for High School Juniors
Make a strategy on how you’ll approach this semester - and follow it.
Summer is over and a new semester has arrived. So, you're probably wondering: What should I be doing to prepare for college? Alright, maybe not, but you should be! Here are some suggestions of what high school juniors can work on to help move along their college search process this September:

1. Start your college search.

There’s so much to do! But we know you can handle it.
This includes evaluating different college options, attending college fairs, exploring new schools and creating your colleges list. Once you’ve created a list, work on ordering your list and narrowing it down by prioritizing it. You can do this by comparing your list to criteria you’re looking for in a college and seeing which colleges on your list match up to your criteria. You can then cross off colleges that don’t meet your criteria and bump up colleges that meet all or most of your needs.

2. Register to take or re-take the SAT/ACT exams.

Also, remember to prepare for the exams as early as possible. You can sign up for test prep courses, get a tutor or even practice questions online for free!

3. Schedule as many college visits as possible.

Campuses are so beautiful in the fall and it's always to your benefit to try to visit campuses when students are active and present on campus.
If you’re looking for especially beautiful campuses to visit, check out Fastweb’s list of the top ten fall college campuses. That means there's no time like the present to plan to see potential colleges, since everyone will soon be returning to campus for a new semester. Make a list of colleges you'd like to visit and try to schedule them throughout the next few months. Whether you're just starting out the college search or narrowing down your list, visiting a college is vital to the admissions process. Remember, seeing and experiencing a school is vastly different than researching it online!

4. Start out - and stay in - great academic shape.

Your junior year grades are what colleges look at so you’ll want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward – academically speaking. Make a strategy on how you’ll approach this semester - and follow it. A strict semester game plan helps ensure you’ll stay focused on achieving your best. As you know, your high school grades matter and any slip up is really difficult to recover from, especially in terms of your cumulative grade point average. It's not impossible to recover from a slump, but why give yourself the extra anxiety? If you stay on top of your grades, you won't have even more pressure than you already do!

5. Start evaluating how you’ll pay for school.

If you start applying for scholarships now, it will be a lot easier to pay for school later! Begin by organizing your scholarship search, then apply for as many scholarships as possible. Talk to your family about your college budget so that everyone is on the same page and you can have specific financial aid goals in mind. You do want to be realistic regarding your college choices and tuition prices, however, if you have your heart set on a specific school, you'll simply have to work a little harder to achieve the funding. Don't worry, any amount is possible to achieve with hard work and determination!

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