Junior Year Timeline
Opt for A.P.
Most high schools offer Advanced Placement courses for juniors and seniors. If you can handle the challenge, talk to your guidance counselor about enrolling in a few classes. AP courses look great on your transcripts, and will count for college credit if you score well enough on the exam. This will save money because you are taking care of general education requirements before starting college. You will also know what to expect academically when you get to college. If you are nervous about AP classes, start with one or two before adding more to your class schedule.
Scholarships, Scholarships, ScholarshipsStart your scholarship search early. Many universities offer scholarships for incoming freshman. Most scholarships are merit-based, but there are others available for race, religion, and students with unique circumstances or special talents. Essay and sweepstakes scholarships often allow students to apply during their junior year, so make these your first priority.
Visit Out-of-State UniversitiesLook at the out-of-state universities on your list. When comparing schools, factor in the price difference. Out-of-state schools are always more expensive, so have a budget in mind. Know how much you will need from a financial aid package to make an out-of-state school affordable. Also, look into housing options. If you plan to live off campus, check the surrounding area for neighborhoods that are safe and affordable.
Compare and ContrastStart narrowing down your college choices, and focus on your top few. Take note of what characteristics these schools share to confirm the qualities you are looking for. Consider their differences, and how those differences would impact you if you attended that school.
Take the SAT/ACTTake the SAT/ACT as early as possible so you can retake the test to get the best score possible. Check score requirements for each of your top schools. Look at what test each school prefers. Most schools accept scores from both exams, but some universities request a specific exam.
Letters of RecommendationMake a list of teachers you plan to ask for a letter of recommendation. Ask early, because teachers will be writing letters for every college bound student in your graduating class. Have at least 3-4 letters in hand by the end of your junior year.
Last Edited: November 2015
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