Advice for high school juniors by Shereem Herndon-Brown, founder of Strategic Admissions Advice
What should you do as a junior to get ready for college? Lots. But instead of panicking, let’s get prepared.
1) Confirm the SAT and ACT testing schedules and register. When are you planning on getting your tests planned out? Get it nailed down now! Everything you need to know about SAT (including information about the newly revamped test) can be found at the SAT site.
The ACT is administered in February, April and June. The registration dates are here:
And finally, SAT Subject Tests should be taken in the spring of your junior year.
2) Start the Common Application. Yes, you read that right. The CommonApp is now available for juniors to create an account. Awesome! The only piece that will change over the summer is the individual college’s information such as supplemental essays. Juniors should create an account now and start to brainstorm personal essay topics, and add to the application as you can.
The Common App has also just released an update to their smartphone app which allows students to track their applications from the mobile devices. Download it now!
3) Visit schools. Long weekends and spring break are great times to visit colleges. Whether they are near or far, planning needs to happen now so that quality information about curriculum, activities and career counseling is gathered. Most schools make it very easy to register for information sessions and tours online.
4) Make an appointment to meet with your school counselor. No one is more essential to the process than the person who will be writing the counselor recommendation and sending the transcript. School counselors have historical data about how students from your school fare at certain colleges (Naviance) and genuinely want to help. Students need to make school counselors fully abreast of their plans. Most counselors will start meeting with juniors at the top of 2016. Be one of the first in line.
5) Summer plans. This is not the summer of sitting on the couch. There are academic programs, internships and jobs that students need to apply for. Time is of the essence and students should use the winter break to research what summer opportunities make the most sense for them.
6) What Should I Do? Where Should I Go? This easily could have been number one but these questions are often overwhelming. In the midst of doing well academically, juniors should start with checking off the top five above. Visiting a local school just to get a feel for the campus and culture is never a waste of time. Before we think strategically about where students should apply and why, it’s nice to line up the other pieces. If you prefer to invert this list and start with getting answers to the What Should I Do? and Where Should I Go? questions, we can help with that too.Sign up for Smart College Visit News
- an Admissions Expert
- Former Georgetown Admissions Officer
- IECA Professional Member
- Successfully owning and operating Strategic Admissions Advice for 10 years
- Coaches Students and Parents through the college admissions process