High school juniors will need to begin planning for the college search and application process early on to ensure that the process goes smoothly! The earlier that one begins the process the better, as the admission application process if full of deadlines and requirements! To make sure that you are as best prepared as you can be, please see our Summer Timeline for College Bound Students below which highlights important things to think about during the summer after junior year!
Build a strong resume – colleges like to see applicants that both excel in school but that also participate in extracurricular activities, community involvement, volunteer work or a combination of the three. It is important to highlight all of your activities on your resume. The summer is a perfect time for students to continue building their resume. Take advantage of your summer to volunteer, get a job, engage in your community ~ fill that resume, gain valuable experience, and have some fun! Make good use of the summer to gain new experiences as well as continue with current activities ~ all will build your resume and help prepare you for the college admission process! Remember to write details of your activities down so that you can easily compile the information and include on your resume!
Understand the very important financial aid process that corresponds with the college admission process. Learn as much as you can about the financial aid application process so that you are best prepared. Similar to the admissions process, there are many related deadlines and necessary steps to take when applying for financial aid. We designed a useful and practical guide entitled Financial Aid Sense. This financial aid book will walk you through every step of the process and also provides you with handy check lists and support materials to help you keep organized from beginning to end. Don’t miss out on financial aid opportunities – pick up a copy of Financial Aid Sense today!
Tour as many colleges as possible! See our article “Preparing for College Campus Visits” for helpful tips on preparing for and getting the most out of a college campus visit. By visiting colleges, students can get a good idea of what campus life is all about and determine if the college may be a good fit for them. Take advantage of your college visit by following some of the guidelines outlined in our article “Preparing for College Campus Visits”.
Develop a list of colleges that you are interested in applying to. Use a reputable college search program to research colleges. Sign up for the college’s facebook or twitter updates so that you keep informed about important happenings at your colleges of interest. Be sure to include academically safe and financially safe schools on your list. In addition, keep in mind that there are hundreds of colleges that do not require standardized tests. Check out information on test-optional colleges on this site! Aside from making a list of possible schools to apply to, be sure to include important deadlines and requirements on your list as well. Your Plan for the Future, The College Board, and Petersons all have helpful college search databases that offer you a good place to start your college search.
Brainstorm college essay topics and begin working on an essay. Essays should be well thought out, passionate, and grammatically correct. Check out the Common Application for suggested essay topics as a great starting point! You can also familiarize yourself with this popular online college application system which is used by hundreds of colleges in the country.
Research Scholarships for College! There is money out there and students should start researching scholarships as early as possible! Lots of great scholarship information and guides in Financial Aid Sense! In addition, lots of articles devoted to finding scholarships for college on our website. Check out Scholarship Searches, Outside Scholarship Searches, Outside Scholarship Considerations, and Scholarship Search Guidelines for helpful information pertaining to finding scholarships for college.
Stay motivated and on track and make good use of your summer after junior year in high school! Anything that you do now will help to keep you on track and make the application process during senior a smoother one!
For additional information on College Planning, please visit that section of our website.