Your Junior year is the year where a lot of big decisions are made in order to make sure you are on track to the college of your choice!
Below are some things you should do to stay on track to your college plan.
Tip: Paying for Standardized Tests can be expensive. There are also options of getting a fee waiver for your SAT, ACT or AP Courses based on your family's income. You can ask your school counselor for assistance, or contact SAT/ACT Testing Helpine.
Tip: When you attend summer programs at the specific college you are applying to this can make your application stand out more, by showing your interest in the school at a young age.
Begin Going on College Tours
going on college tours is an exciting time so you can visualize yourself on campus and see first hand what they have to offer. I highly encourage you to pick your top three colleges and tour them. This also helps eliminate colleges you may have thought about but after touring you might not like it anymore.
Then comes time to start finalizing your college list. For a guide on how to keep track of your college list click here
There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to pick the best college for you. For a more detailed list check out the Choosing The Right College page
Take the SAT/ACT for the 1st Time
The SAT/ACT are tests that everyone needs to take to get into college. But no fear, there are practice SAT/ACT Prep books and free online sources for you to use. Make sure you check the colleges you're interested in to determine what tests you need to take. Some colleges, depending on the major you choose, will require you to take an SAT Subject Test. This is basically an SAT Test based on a specific subject like Math, English, Science, etc.
It is important that you take the SAT and/or ACT at least once. Also if you do not like the score you got, don't worry you always have the option to take it again your senior year. I encourage taking it twice if possible. It shows colleges that you are willing to attempt to improve your score.
High School Summer Internship or Job
Now is a great time to start thinking about getting a summer job or internship. Having an internship in high school is a great way to immerse yourself in the field of work you are interested in. This will greatly enhance your resume once you get to college and put you one step ahead of everyone else. If you cannot find an internship or job but are still interested in learning what someone in a specific career does, ask to job shadow them. This may sound a little boring, but you may learn a lot by observing what they do and you can still add it to your resume.
You can find internships by simply using Google, Indeed, or Internships.com
Take an AP or Dual Enrollment Course
Taking Advanced Placement (AP) Classes are great for boosting your GPA and earn college credit in high school! Talk to your college counselor to see if your school offers AP courses, if not do not worry! When they apply to college they know that not every school has AP courses, so they will look to see how much you challenged yourself. Take honors courses instead.
Dual Enrollment is taking college classes at a local community college or university for college credit. This is also a great way to get a head start and experience college-level difficulty. Make sure that the classes you are taking, the credits will transfer to the colleges you are interested in. To figure this out, email or call the admissions office at that school to find out more information.
Consistently attend a club or organization or community service
Starting your own club at school or joining one you are highly invested in shows the people reading your application that you have leadership skills and dedication to the cause of your organization. Colleges want to see well-rounded students, so joining a club or organization can help you do so! It is also a great talking point in your college application essay. If there is an organization that you see yourself being in a high leadership position within the board, then join as a sophomore and work your way up!
Participating in Service or Service-Learning events is a great way to serve your community for a greater cause. By participating in these events you will be able to impact others and have something to reflect on when it comes to writing college essays.
Create a Resume
What is a resume? Well, it's an important document that everyone needs to have when they apply for jobs, internships, etc. It is a one-page paper that shows your education, extracurriculars, job experience & so forth. This will also help you keep track of all the things you have done & accomplished so when it's time to apply you won't forget anything. For an example of how to write a resume click here.
Spend the Summer at College
Don't want to sit around all summer? Why not spend the summer at college? It doesn't have to be your local college it can be anywhere your parents are willing to take you. By going to college summer programs it exposes you to college life, getting a feel for the campus, and also help figure out what major you may want to get your degree in. There are endless opportunities when it comes to spending the summer at college.
To find a summer program at a college near you, click here!