iT'S MY JUNIOR YEAR. wHAT SHALL i DO THIS YEAR?
- September & October: register in the counseling office to take the PSAT. Colleges won't see your PSAT scores, but a good score on the exam could turn into scholarship money through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Although you have to pay a few bucks for the exam, it will prepare you for the SAT in the Spring.
- Keep your grades up. Junior year is probably the most important year for earning high grades in challenging courses, especially if you have a few minor bumps in 9th and 10th grade. Improvement in 11th grade shows a college that you've learned how to be a good student. Your senior year grades usually come to late to play a major role on your college application.
- Continue gathering college information. Go to college fairs, attend college nights, and speak with college representatives who visit your high school; use an online college finder and search top college lists. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a school to your list.
- Make a college list. Your list of colleges should include schools that meet your most important criteria (for example, size, location, cost, academic majors, or special programs). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you and develop a preliminary ranking of the schools on your list. Include "reach", "safe", "target" schools in this list.
- Evaluate your education options. Now is the time to follow a more specific path. Decide whether you want to pursue full-time employment, further education or training (such as a vocational-technical school, career college, or two-year or four-year college), or a military career. If interested in attending a military academy, talk to your counselor about starting the application process now.
- Update your resume' to include leadership roles in extracurricular activities. Get involved and make a difference. Colleges are looking for future leaders, not passive bystanders.
- Talk to your parents about your future goals. Now is the time to have that sit down and discuss with them about what your post-secondary goals are. After all, they do have to participate in the financial aid process!
- PSAT results are returned. Access My College QuickStart to review questions you got wrong and why and practice for the May or June SAT.
- Register for senior year classes. Each February, juniors meet with their counselor to choose their classes for senior year. Remember to continue to take challenging courses like a fourth year of language, AP and/or honors classes. Some students may even be eligible for dual enrollment classes offered at PGCC or other local colleges. Senior year is not the time to "take off." Limit your selection of "filler" classes and "release time." Colleges want to see that you're still interested in school.
- March & April: Register for the May or June SAT or ACT. Students can also register for the SAT II, if required by the colleges. Registration information is available here.
- Attend the NACAC College Fair. Each year LHS takes a bus or two to the NACAC college fair for students to interact with college admissions representatives from all over the country. This is a great opportunity to find out what each school has to offer.
- Sign up to go on a college tour. Each spring, the counseling center hosts a trip to a local college for a nominal fee. Be sure to listen to the announcements and check your email and website for more information.
- Attend the College Information Night held at LHS. Each student is encouraged to attend with their parent or guardian the College Information Night held in June. Students will learn all about the admissions process to get them prepared for applying to college in the Fall of senior year.
- Student Athletes: If you want to play sports in college, you need to register for the NCAA Clearinghouse before the end of your junior year.
- Take AP exams as appropriate. Don't just sit for the exam, make an effort to do well on the exam. The score you receive could make a difference in being in college for three years vs. four or five years. Try to get the credit for the class.
- June-August: The summer before your senior year is a great time to visit colleges. Call ahead to schedule a time to visit so that admissions reps can accommodate you for a tour.
- Gather applications and materials for college. This is the perfect opportunity to "get your ducks in a row." Gather everything you need in the summer so that in the Fall you can concentrate on finishing school and completing college applications.