If you're a junior in high school, it's time to start thinking about the college process in a more concrete way. Don't worry, I've got you covered with some tips to help you get started!
First and foremost, focus on your grades.
Colleges want to see that you can handle rigorous coursework, and your junior-year grades are a crucial factor in their decision-making process. So, ensure you are working hard and doing your best in all your classes.
In addition, when it comes time to choose senior year courses, make sure to continue selecting rigorous courses.
Next, start thinking about standardized tests. The SAT and ACT are important tests colleges use to evaluate applicants. Consider taking a practice test to see where you stand, and start studying early to improve your score. If you're unsure which test to take, it’s a great idea to take a diagnostic test of both and take a look at the SAT/ACT concordance chart to see which you scored better.
In addition, remember many colleges around the country are test-optional. Here is the complete list of those: https://fairtest.org/test-optional-list/
Another important step in preparing for college is to start researching schools. Look into colleges and universities that interest you and start making a list of potential options. Consider factors such as location, size, programs offered, and cost to narrow down your choices. It’s important to have a list that is comprised of reach, target, and likely colleges. This can be determined by using your school’s Naviance or SCOIR programs to compare GPAs and test scores of accepted students.
It's also a good idea to continue with extracurricular activities. Colleges want to see that you are involved in your community and have various interests outside of the classroom. Join a club, volunteer, or pursue a hobby that you are passionate about. Taking on a leadership role is also a way to show colleges you are someone who will be an additive member of their community.
Finally, start preparing your college application materials. This includes your resume, essays, and letters of recommendation. Start early and give yourself ample time to revise and perfect your materials.
Overall, junior year spring is an important time to start thinking about college. Focus on your grades, research colleges, and prepare your application materials. With hard work and dedication, you'll be on your way to a successful college application process.
Lighthouse Guidance is here to help you navigate the process every step of the way!