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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, Scholarships

    Start 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 Universities

    Look 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 Contrast

    Start 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/ACT

    Take 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 Recommendation

    Make 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.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

McDonald's, Ivy Tech Team Up on College Tuition Assistance Program

January 23, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

More than 300 McDonald's locations will participate in the new Archways to Opportunity education program which - through its partnership with Indiana's community college system - will help its employees afford college tuition. McDonald's employees who work a minimum 15 hours per week for 90 days can receive up to $2,500 in college tuition assistance each year - or $3,000 per year for managers - at 18 Ivy Tech Community College campuses located in Indiana.

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Get Paid to Play in College with ESA Esports Scholarships

January 21, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon. The ESA Esports scholarship program is "intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities" who currently "account for a very small percentage of Esports scholarship recipients. Therefore, in order to be eligible for the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, you must either be a woman or minority and pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences. Current high school seniors, college freshman, sophomore and juniors who are U.S. citizens may apply for the ESA Esports scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four (4) year college or university in the upcoming fall semester in order to be considered. All scholarship applications are due March 2, 2020 at 11:59 PST. Applicants will receive results by mid-June and funds will be issued to scholarship winners by end of August. [...]

Biggest / Largest Dollar Scholarships in 2020

January 16, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships after investing a decent amount of time and effort into applying for scholarships. Even smaller scholarships worth $500 are enough to cover books and fees, even if they aren't enough to foot an entire semester’s college tuition bill. [...]

Last Reviewed: January 2020