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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

Proposed Pell Grant Expansion for Short-Term Training Programs

July 9, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Lawmakers are considering extending Pell Grants to people who pursue short-term training in order to land better jobs, faster. Federal student aid in the form of Pell Grants can currently be used for college degrees and qualifying certificate programs. [...]

3 Women Charged in $1M Student Financial Aid Fraud

July 2, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Three San Bernardino County women who have been accused of stealing $1 million in federal financial aid from Fullerton college, in California, have been arrested by the U.S. Justice Department and are charged with various counts of mail and wire fraud. The scheme involved enrolling hundreds of mainly non-existent students, successfully applying for grants and loans and pocketing the money. [...]

Patriotic Scholarships that Celebrate America

June 27, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Nothing says 'Merica like these Patriotic Scholarships as we approach Independence Day and remember how, in America, education is a great equalizer. Whether you are an American citizen searching for college scholarships or are studying abroad in the USA, these American-themed scholarships are for those who truly believe in the American dream. In the land of the free, we have plenty of free college scholarships to help you achieve your higher education dreams. [...]

Last Reviewed: July 2019