Rising HS Juniors Can Prepare For College Now

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With two years left of high school, rising juniors may think that they have all of the time in the world to prepare for college. But your junior year is your most important academic year while in high school, the time when you must prove your smarts and fine tune yourself as you wind down your schooling.

college studentBesides making the grade, rising high school juniors should map out eight college prep steps beginning for the period when they return to high school this fall:

Why go to college – Maybe you’ve taken it for granted that you’ll be attending college, as you haven’t given much thought as to why you’re going in the first place. Family expectations, peer pressure and other factors can weigh in, but are they good enough reasons for you to go to college?

Make a personal assessment – If you’ve decided that college is right for you, then begin to think what you want to get out of college. Is it to learn a trade? Acquire new skills? Expand your learning horizons? To socialize? Perhaps it is more than one thing, but certainly it won’t be to dine on cafeteria food!

Decide your major – True, you don’t have to declare your college major until you are attending college, usually something you’ll do no later than your sophomore year. However, it certainly can help you to choose the right school for your needs if you have a good sense for what you want to study. History majors may not have a clear idea of what they’ll be doing after college, but they should know which schools value history and apply to those first.

Meet your guidance counselor – Most high schools have their junior year students see their guidance counselor at some point during the academic year. Try to meet up with him or her within the first few months to map out an action plan for the next two years. He or she might recommend an advanced placement (AP) class or volunteer assignment which would bolster your outlook with a particular college.

Admission test review – You’ll be sitting for you college admission tests before you know it, but why not start reviewing them right now? Practice test websites can help you prepare so visit them early on to stay in shape. Spend the winter quarter reviewing.

Search for colleges – Although you’re still months away from applying, when the spring quarter starts you should already be checking out which schools you’ll want to visit. Set aside time over spring break to research various colleges although more than likely you’ve been doing this for the past few years anyway!

Visit college campuses – By the time your junior year ends, you’ll probably have visited several college campuses, reserving the rest for that summer. By the time you head back to school for your senior year, all of your initial college visits should have been completed.

Collect college information – Along with your visits, do you have the material you need about your interested schools? If not, make sure that you have everything on hand because come the fall months of your senior year, you’ll be preparing your essays and applications as well as getting your letters of recommendation together.

You’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy your friends, study and make the most of your junior year if you plan wisely. Visit OfftoCollege.com to find a college planning checklist to help you manage your schedule.

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Categories: Education Tips