There is much attention paid to what should be done to prepare for the senior year of high school, but there are several things high school students should do before junior year. Waiting until 12th grade to begin the college prep process is a big mistake.
In fact, there are many things that can and must be done to prepare for college before senior year rolls around and the summer before junior year is a great time begin.
Here are four easy things to do to get the college planning process underway:
- Hit the Road – The summer before junior year is a great time to visit university campuses. In fact, many families roll college visits into their vacation plans. Make sure that you have a smart strategy when it comes to scouting schools. Here are some guidelines that will help bring focus to your next college visit.
- Put Themselves to the Test – During the summer between 10th grade and 11th grade, plan out a schedule for college admission testing. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
Which test(s) will my student take (SAT or ACT)? When will he/she test? Do the colleges that my child’s interested in require SAT II Subject tests? Has my student taken any practice tests? Where does he/she stand with his/her scores?
- Plan to Run For Office – In order to be truly competitive in the college admissions process, students have to demonstrate strong leadership qualities. If you have yet to step up to a leadership position, use this summer to determine a good place to showcase your skills. Parents can help by encouraging their student to consider running for office or to try spearheading a project to establish themself as a leader.
- Serve –Almost every college application and scholarship form allows students the chance to spotlight the ways that they have contributed to their communities. Make sure you are seeking out meaningful experiences that will help to contribute to your total academic profile.
If you pay attention to important choices along the way, by the time that senior year arrives, you should be well on the way to success.
Sia Knight is an author, independent college counselor and youth development specialist at SiaKnight.com.