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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 school 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

Silver Linings - Transfer Students May Have Higher Acceptance Rates

September 29, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Because of lower enrollment rates, transfer students can stand to benefit from colleges who are eager to hit their yearly enrollment goals. Schools with a smaller-than-average student body this year may be more receptive to accepting a greater number of transfer students than in previous years. [...]

Michigan Offers Free Community College Education to Essential Workers

September 24, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The state of Michigan is set to offer two years of free community college to essential workers who were required by their job to leave the house and work at least 11 weeks in the spring during the coronavirus pandemic. This unique opportunity, called Futures for Frontliners, opens doors to essential workers who are not commonly considered front-line workers and an estimated 600,000 residents could qualify. [...]

Colleges Waiving SAT and ACT Requirements for Merit Scholarships

September 22, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Many colleges have waived SAT and ACT score requirements for high school seniors currently applying to college due to how difficult it has been to sign up for standardized testing during the coronavirus pandemic. Now some colleges are also waiving standardized test score requirements when awarding merit scholarships to incoming students. Instead of requiring SAT and ACT scores, these schools will award scholarships based on high school GPA. [...]

Last Reviewed: October 2020