For Juniors: Where to Begin
Back to Prepare Tips
Gearing up to apply to college next fall takes time and focus. Juniors should be developing concrete lists of criteria and putting their criteria in priority order.
What is important and what is really important? Could you deal with colder weather if a school in the North has a strong program for your major? Could you handle a college that is not connected to a big city if the special support
you need is visible and available?
There are many ways to navigate the search and selection process and no one will use the exact same route. However, there are some basic strategies that will provide a direct route to gathering the need to know information.
- Stay focused on academics
- Do not lighten academic load for senior year
- Meet with high school counselor
- Stay involved in school activities
- Register for PSAT
- Prepare for ACT/SAT tests
- Register for ACT/SAT
- Register for AP tests
- Register for SAT Subject Tests if appropriate
- Take a self assessment
- Take a career search
- Use the web to search college websites
- Explore college admission requirements
- Meet with college representatives
- Develop questions to ask college reps at a college fair
- Explore different types of college fairs like general college fairs, performing arts, special needs, student athletes, Historically Black College fairs, religious organizations, etc.
- Drive by local colleges and get a sense of the different types of colleges
- Make appointments to go on campus tours to colleges of interest
- Schedule to attend a class on campus
- Eat on campus
- Visit a residence hall
- Meet with admission staff
- Develop a list of questions to ask
- Review a list of questions colleges may ask
- Take a practice interview
- Find a list of tips and strategies on interviewing
- Let this search consume every dinner conversation at home.
- Bow out of the conversation and let others take over the driver's seat.
- Forget to recognize that cost is a factor.
- Forget that this search must, must, must include some colleges to which you are admissible. You need to have a safety school, a school to which your chances of admission is very high, and you need to love it.
Get ready to start the engine and survey the scene. Get set to make some major life decisions. Go head long into this search, keeping in mind that there are many colleges that can make that glove fit.