Junior Year

To get you started in your college and career prep during your Junior Year, check out this tool posted on a website called Quintessential Careers:

College Planning Tutorial: Empowering College-Bound Students

“This free 60+ page tutorial is designed to help you walk through all the important steps in  choosing a college — including college search, college entrance criteria,  college application process — with special attention on the application essay,  and financial aid…  ” http://www.quintcareers.com/college_planning_tutorial

Next, check out this site for a fun and informative checklist into how to kick-start your college and career plans: http://www.knowhow2go.org/

Here are some things more to consider: From NACAC’s PACT Guide, 2000. Revised Online Only: March 2005

Begin the college selection process this year.  Attend college fairs, financial aid seminars,  general information sessions, etc., to learn as much as you can about  the college application process.  Make sure you are meeting NCAA  requirements if you want to play Division I or II sports in college.

September

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to  review your courses for this year and plan your schedule for senior  year.  Discuss whether to register for the October PSAT.
  • Save samples of your best work for your academic portfolio (all year).
  • Maintain your co-curricular record (all year).

October

  • Junior year PSAT scores may qualify a student for the National Merit  Scholarship Competition and the National Achievement and the National  Hispanic Scholars Programs. So, even though these scores will not be  used for college admission, it is still a good idea to take the PSAT.  The more times you take standardized tests, the more familiar you will  become with the format and the types of questions asked. If you wish to  receive free information from colleges, indicate on the PSAT test answer  form that you want to participate in the Student Search.

November

  • Junior year grades are extremely important in the college admission  process, because they are a measure of how well you do in advanced,  upper-level courses. Grades also are used to determine scholarships and  grants for which you may be eligible. So put in the extra effort and  keep those grades up!
  • If you will require financial aid, start researching your  options for grants, scholarships and work-study programs. Make an  appointment with your guidance counselor or start by visiting NACAC’s  Web Resources for the College-Bound to do research on your own using the Internet.

December

  • During December you should receive the results of your PSAT. Read  your score report and consult your school counselor to determine how you  might improve on future standardized tests. The PSAT is excellent  preparation for the SAT Reasoning Test, which you will take in the  spring.
  • If you plan to take the ACT, register now for the February ACT.  Many colleges accept the ACT (American College Test) or the SAT  Reasoning Test. Some colleges require the ACT or both SAT Reasoning Test  and the SAT Subject Tests. When you begin to explore different colleges  and universities, double-check to see if they prefer or require the  ACT, the SAT Reasoning Test and/or the SAT Subject Tests.

January

  • Begin to make a preliminary list of colleges you would like to  investigate further. Surf the Internet and use the college resources in the Career Center or library.
  • Be sure you know your Social Security number (required on  many college applications). If you were never issued a Social Security  number, contact the closest Social Security office as soon as possible  to obtain a number.

February

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss your preliminary list of colleges. Discuss whether your initial list of colleges meets your  needs and interests (academic program, size, location, cost, etc.) and whether you are considering colleges where you are likely to be  admitted. You should be both optimistic and realistic when applying to  colleges.
  • Register for the March SAT Reasoning Test if you have completed  the math courses covered on the SAT Reasoning Test. If not, plan to take the SAT Reasoning Test in May or June. Prepare for the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT by signing up for a prep course, using computer  software, or doing the SAT/ACT practice tests available online, in the Career Center or at bookstores. But don’t spend so much time trying  to improve standardized test scores that grades and co-curricular  involvement suffer.

March

  • Write, telephone, or use the Internet to request admission  literature and financial aid information from the colleges on your list.  There is no charge and no obligation to obtain general information about admission and financial aid.

April

  • When selecting your senior courses, be sure to continue to challenge yourself academically.
  • Register for the May/June SAT Reasoning Test and/or the  May/June SAT Subject Tests. Not all SAT Subject Tests are given on every  test date. Check the calendar carefully to determine when the Subject  Tests you want are offered. Register for the June ACT if you want to take that test.
  • Continue to evaluate your list of colleges and universities.  Eliminate colleges from the original list that no longer interest you and add others as appropriate.
  • Look into summer jobs or apply for special summer academic or  enrichment programs. Colleges love to see students using their knowledge  and developing their skills and interests.

May

  • Attend a college fair to get more information about colleges on your  list. NACAC sponsors college fairs in cities across the country during  the fall and the spring. Visit NACAC’s National College Fairs Web page to check out the schedule for the National College Fairs and the Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs.
  • Get a jump start on summer activities-consider enrolling in an  academic course at a local college, pursuing a summer school program,  applying for an internship, working, or volunteering. If you work, save  part of your earnings for college.
  • Begin visiting colleges. Phone to set up appointments.  Interviews are always a good idea. Many colleges will tell you they are  optional, but an interview will show interest, enthusiasm and initiative  on your part and provide an excellent opportunity to have your  questions answered. Do a practice interview with your counselor,  teacher, employer, or a senior who has had college interviews. Set up  interviews as early as possible-interview times become booked quickly!
  • Take the SAT Reasoning Test or the SAT Subject Tests.

June

  • After school ends, get on the road to visit colleges. Seeing the  college firsthand, taking a tour and talking to students can be the  greatest help in deciding whether or not a school is right for you.  Although it is ideal to visit colleges during the academic year, going  in the summer will be valuable. Admission offices employ their students  to give tours and answer questions from prospective students and their  parents.
  • Take the SAT Reasoning Test, the SAT Subject Tests and/or the ACT.

July

  • Visit colleges, take tours, have interviews and ask questions. Make  college visiting a family event. Involve your parents and siblings in  every step of your application process. Choosing the right college is a  tough decision; the opinions of those who know you best can provide  helpful insight into which college is best for you.

August

  • Continue to refine your list of potential colleges and universities.
  • Begin preparing for the actual application process: draft  application essays; collect writing samples; and assemble portfolios or  audition tapes. If you are an athlete and plan on playing in college,  contact the coaches at the schools to which you are applying and ask  about intercollegiate and intramural sports programs and athletic  scholarships.
  • Complete the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse form if you  hope to play Division I or II sports. (This form cannot be mailed until  you finish your sixth semester of high school.)