HS juniors: start college search

use the winter (spring) semester to start a college search

Where do you want to go to college? Now is the time to start your search based on the programs they offer that will achieve your career objectives.

Spend quality time in your search. You want to go to a college (or trade school) that fit your personality and education goals.

Below are four (4) quick summary tasks for the month of the HS junior winter (spring) semester:

Page Topics:

winter semester for HS juniors

Understand Types of Schools:

generally smaller in size. They offer 4-year degree programs (BA and BS) and many 2-year Associate degrees.

larger institutions with specialized degrees in business, engineering, pre-med, etc. They offer 2-year, 4-year, and many graduate and professional degrees.

Community Colleges:
a small college offering 2-year Associate degrees. Many students attend local community colleges with the intent to transfer to a larger institution to further their education.

Vocational / Career Schools:
specialized schools of training for specialized trade jobs such as mechanics, computer technicians, medical assistants, etc. Programs may vary requiring only a few weeks to complete while others may require a year or more. Upon completion, graduates will receive a license, certificate or an Associate Degree.

Online Programs:
programs and degrees that can be taken online. The advantage of these programs is that you can take classes from inside your home. These programs are great for part-time students and continuing education.

winter semester for HS juniors

Start Your College Search

Assemble a list of colleges or trade schools you'd like to attend. Meet with your school's guidance counselor to discuss your plans and to arrange important campus visits.

There are three categories you should search:

  1. 2-3 schools that you could definitely get in
  2. 4-5 schools that you could probably get in
  3. 7-8 schools that you would like to get in

You should budget on how much you can afford for application submission. If the application submission costs for 16 or more schools is too much. Narrow your search to 3-3-3.

search 4-year colleges-universities
search community colleges
search online schools and programs
search vocational and career schools

winter semester for HS juniors

Get Ready to Sit for the Exams

Almost all colleges and some trade programs require a college entrance exam. These exams measure your ability to understand college-level materials.

Most colleges require the SAT college exam; some require the ACT Assessment exam. A few college will require both exams. So check with your college which exam will be required.

It is highly recommended you take these exams in your Junior year so that test scores will be available when you submit the college application. Likewise if you take these exams early, it will allow time to retake the exam if needed.

about the two college entrance exams
about the SAT exam
about the ACT exam

winter semester for HS juniors

Plan for College Visits

As you search for colleges of your choice, schedule time during a weekend, Spring Break, and during a summer trip to visit each of the colleges on your list. These visits will give your a good idea whether or not you would like to attend.

What to do when you make a visit:

  • Plan to visit the college for a full day. Attend when the school is in session, if possible.
  • Arrange an interview with the admission office.
  • Meet with the financial aid office to get all related financial aid information offered by that school.
  • Check out the library,student unions,sporting facilities, and academic centers. Walk the campus to familiarize yourself with the layout.
  • Review housing facilities and dormitories to determine whether to live on-campus or off-campus housing. Note the college rules for housing. Some colleges require first-time Freshmen to live in dormitories.
  • Schedule time to speak with students and faculty visit the clubs and societies that are part of the campus life. Check campus rules, safety programs, and facilities that maintain the safety of the campus.
  • Drive around the surrounding community to familiarize yourself with restaurants, theaters, rec areas, job opportunities, etc.
view your college online
start with a virtual tour