Hello Juniors! Happy October! Here are some things to keep in mind as the year progresses.
Create your college list The first step in this process is to start researching colleges. Get on the CollegeMapper College Search and enter some parameters you think you might like. If you don’t know some things for certain (like the size of school you would like to go to) just make your best guess for now. You will find out more about what you like when you start visiting campuses. Be sure you look at whether the schools you’re interested in are Reach, Match or Safety schools.
You need all three types of colleges on your list! Don’t let anyone remove all Safety schools from your list. Also, don’t let the advertised price-tag of a college deter you from applying. Go to each college’s website and use the Net Price Calculator to estimate what your cost will be at that school. Also, make sure your colleges offer a few majors that you’re interested in.
Take a test prep course It’s become common for many students to do some kind of prep for their college admission test, so you should strongly consider doing some kind of preparing yourself. You have a few options to choose from. You can take a class with other students, use a book/CD-Rom, hire a one-on-one tutor, or use a mobile or web app to do your prep. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it’s not much fun, but it is extremely beneficial to you! October of Junior year (now!) is the time to start prepping. The latest you want to begin is January. This coming spring will be filled with SAT’s, ACT’s, AP’s, SAT Subject Tests, and finals! Prep now so you won’t be too stressed come spring semester.
Get your best grades ever Not only is Junior year significantly more difficult than the previous 2 years of high school but also, the grades you get during Junior year are probably the most important for applying to college. Remember, you’ll apply to your colleges with the GPA you have at the end of Junior year. Applications go in by around Thanksgiving Senior year, so your first-semester Senior grades won’t be in yet. This year is tough, but you can do it! Start strong so you can finish strong.
Think about recommendation letters Your Junior year teachers are who you want to write your letters of recommendation for college. Keep that in mind in your classes, not only do you want to get good grades, but also be kind, considerate and participate at least 2 times a week! Teachers love students who participate. Teachers from English, History, Math or Science are all good candidates for rec letters. Many colleges will not accept additional letters from neighbors and relatives, so don’t go out of your way to get more letters. Colleges require 2 letters from teachers and 1 from your counselor, so be extra nice to these people! That’s October, everybody!