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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

PBS Airs Documentary About Higher Ed in Prison

September 18, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Photo credit: Jared Ames

A new PBS documentary exhibiting prison education, titled "College Behind Bars" is set to air on November 25 and 26. The four-part series documents the journeys of dozens of incarcerated men and women as they pursue college degrees in the Bard Prison Initiative - deemed one of the most rigorous prison education programs in the United States, according to Inside Higher Ed. [...]

$43M in Loans Forgiven for Students of Closed Colleges

September 6, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The federal government discharged more than $43 million in student loan debt for former students of recently closed for-profit colleges. Students who attended programs operated by Education Corporation of America, Dream Center Education Holdings, Vatterott College and Charlotte School of Law will be able to qualify for a full discharge of their federal loans if they were enrolled when their college closed or withdrew within 120 days of the official closure date and didn’t transfer to another institution, according to Inside Higher Education. [...]

College Board Backpedals - No Adversity Score to be Added

August 30, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

College Board is ditching its previous plan to capture socioeconomic information from students with a single score - also known as an "adversity score" - when scoring their SAT college admissions test. The score would have taken into account a student's socioeconomic background and the neighborhood in which they grew up. [...]

Last Reviewed: September 2019