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Junior Year Checklist

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by

Trisha Uhler

on 14 August 2015

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Transcript of Junior Year Checklist

Have Questions?
There are many things you should be doing during your junior year to make sure you are prepared for college.
Fall
January/February
March/April
May/June
Summer
Junior Year Checklist
From high school to college
Visit the Counseling Center or the College and Career Center for help!
A-C Alisa Ellis
D-Ht Ashlee Pope
Hu-Ne Rebecca Lyons
Nf-Sa Geoff Harter
Sb-Z Gareth Horwood

College Advisor Pam Mason
Career Counselor Trisha Uhler
Keep your grades up
Many colleges have admission deadlines in the fall or early spring. This means that your application will be based on your grades from 9th through 11th grade.

Go to tutoring with your teacher or in the tutoring center after school.

If you are struggling, don't wait to get help; ask your teacher for assistance immediately!
Start your resume
Keep track of your accomplishments, activities, and work experiences. You will need this information for your application and having it written down now will save you a lot of time later.

Did you know you can make your resume in Naviance? There is a resume section under the "About Me" tab. You can start it now and add to it later.
Get involved
If you haven't participated in activities outside of class, start now!

Join a club, take a leadership role, or volunteer at a place that supports your interests or career goals.

Remember -
it's about quality, not quantity
. It's better to be involved in a few things that really define you than to be involved in a lot of things that mean little to you.
Take the PSAT
All juniors will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 15th.

You'll receive your scores in December or January. The score report will outline your strengths and weaknesses. You can use this information to determine what to focus on before taking the actual test later in the spring.


Find out more about colleges that interest you
Visit with college representatives when they are at Anderson. This gives you an opportunity to really ask questions. Also, the reps that visit are often the ones who read your application, so they are great contacts! Sign up for the visits in Naviance.

Visit the colleges. Take a tour. Talk to current students. Every college has a different feel and the best way to know if one is right for you is to visit it!

Go to college and career fairs. They provide an opportunity to get information about a lot of colleges at one time.
Meet with your counselor about your senior schedule
Make sure that you enroll in courses that will challenge you. Even though your senior courses may not show yet on the transcript when you apply, you will be requested to list them on your application and your college will receive a final transcript.
Register for the ACT and/or SAT
The ACT and the SAT are different tests. Many students do better on one than they do on the other one. Colleges will look at your highest score only.

If possible, take both tests in the spring of your junior year. This gives you time in the fall of your senior year to retake them if you do not get the score you want.

You can buy study guides or check them out from the library. You can also find study questions and practice tests online - like Method Test Prep which is currently available for free and can be accessed through your Naviance homepage. There are also test prep companies that offer practice tests (that are sometimes free) and classes (these can be expensive).
Research colleges
In addition to the information you gather from talking to reps, visiting colleges, and going to college and career fairs, use online search engines such as the SuperMatch on Naviance or Big Future to help narrow down your choices based on your GPA and test scores, your interests (your major, your hobbies, Greek life, etc.), where you want to live (in TX, in another state, in another country, in a city or a small town, etc.), what type of college you want to attend (public, private, technical, large, small, etc), and many other factors.
Use Spring Break
Spring Break is a great time to visit colleges. Are you going on a family vacation? Visit colleges near that location. Staying in Austin? Visit the local colleges. Try to include different types of colleges to get a better feel for what you like.
Do you know what you want to do after college?
If you haven't decided on a major or a career focus, now is the time. Really research majors. Take a personality test and a career interest inventory (both in Naviance). Think about the things you really enjoy and how you can turn those things into a career.

Many colleges allow you to choose your major after you have been in college for a year or two, but many universities have you choose a major or a college when you apply.
Research ways to pay for college
Try the FAFSA4caster to estimate how much financial aid you will receive and how much your family will be expected to contribute.

Look at scholarships. Although most scholarships are for seniors only, there are some for juniors. You will receive emails about these and they are listed in Naviance. Most scholarships have the same or similar requirements and deadlines each year, so you can get an idea about which ones you may want to apply for and what the application requires.

Save money! No matter where you go, college is expensive. The more you save now, the less you'll stress later!
Think about summer activities
Consider getting a job or an internship. Look for summer camps at the colleges you are interested in or that are in the career area you are interested in. Look for other learning or service activities.
Look at some college applications
Find out all of the different pieces of information that you will need so you can start gathering them now.

Look at the essay requirements and start thinking about your topics. Your essay is your time to really show the college who you are. You'll want to make it original so it will stand out.
Think about recommendation letters
Start thinking about who you will ask to write your recommendation letters - your counselor, which teachers, your employer or coach, or other adults.

Some colleges require a letter from your counselor. If you are planning to apply to one that does, counselors require you to fill out a recommendation packet so you can start on this now. It is found in the document library in Naviance.

Some teachers have limits on the amount of letters they will write and junior teachers are the ones asked most, so, ask them early!
Continue narrowing down
your colleges
You should plan to apply to about 5-7 colleges: at least 2 safety schools (you know you are going to get in), at least 2 probable schools, and at least 1 reach/dream school. After all, you'll never know if you would have been accepted if you don't apply!

Don't let the cost of a school necessarily deter you since many more expensive colleges provide financial aid packages that make up the difference.
Decide how you will apply
Schools may have different deadlines depending on how you are applying: regular decision, early decision, or early action. Make sure you know the pros and cons of each type of application and that you have checked the deadlines and the requirements.
Write your essay and start your applications
Most college applications are available beginning in August. Get a head start on them so you won't have to worry about them when school starts.

Write at least the rough draft of your essay over the summer. Also, make plans to attend the College Boot Camp in mid-August at Anderson with your essay in hand. There are many college reps at this event who will read your essay and give you feedback. Never turn in a college essay without having someone proofread it first.
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