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Juniors Checklist - almost there!
- Maintaining your grades during your junior year is especially important.
- Explore careers and their earning potentials in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
- Get involved! Look for leadership/volunteer opportunities. This looks good on your college resume!
- Talk to your guidance counselor about the following:
- Obtain schedules for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams- Students must take the test in 11th grade to qualify for National Merit scholarships and programs.
- Discuss why you should take these exams and how they could benefit you.
- Determine which exams you will take.
- Sign up and prepare for the exams you've decided to take.
- Ask for a preview of your academic record and profile, determine what gaps or weaknesses there are, and get suggestions on how to strengthen your candidacy for the schools in which you are interested.
- Determine what it takes to gain admission to the college(s) of your choice, in addition to GPA and test score requirements.
- Obtain schedules and forms for the SAT, ACT, and PSAT exams.
- Register for the PSAT exam offered in October. Remember that when you take the PSAT in your junior year, the scores will count toward the National Merit Scholarship Program (and it is good practice for the SAT).
- Take the PSAT. Narrow your list of colleges to include a few colleges with requirements at your current GPA, a few with requirements above your current GPA, and at least one with requirements below your GPA. Start researching your financial aid options as well.
- Begin scheduling interviews with admissions counselors. If possible, schedule tours of the school grounds on the same days. You are allowed two days during your junior year and two days during your senior year to use toward college visits. These are excused absences and they will not count against exam exemptions. Come by the Counseling Office for the College/Military Visit form.
- Review your PSAT results with your counselor in order to identify your strengths and to determine the areas that you may need to improve upon.
- Depending on the results of your PSAT, you may want to consider signing up for an SAT or ACT preparatory course. See your counselor for more information.
- Take campus tours online or in person to further narrow your list of colleges to match your personality, GPA, and test scores.
- Sign up for your senior year classes. Remember to choose your classes carefully and wisely. Choose the classes that will most benefit you academically, and that will best prepare you for college.
- Attend the College and Career Fair to find out more information about area colleges and the military.
- Register for the April ACT and/or the May SAT tests. Find out each college’s deadlines for applying for admission and which tests to take. Make sure your test dates give colleges ample time to receive test scores. It is a good idea to take the SAT and/or ACT in the spring to allow you time to review your results and retake the exams in the fall of your senior year, if necessary.
- If you are taking any AP classes, you should sign up for the exam(s) at this time. Scoring well on the AP exam can sometimes earn you college credit.
- Register to take the April ACT and May SAT.
- Take the April ACT test.
- Discuss post high school plans with parents/guardians.
- Gather information about careers and training.
- Gather information from school’s web sites (four yearcolleges usually end in .edu; i.e. www.utexas.edu or www.tamu.edu, or use links to Texas schools at www.collegeforalltexans.com). Research course catalogs, descriptive material, and/or financial aid information from post-secondary schools.
- Identify the characteristics of a college that matter to you – size, location, cost, academic rigor, social environment, and diversity, for example. Go online to specific colleges' websites to learn more information.
- Work up a list of schools to visit during the summer (or in the fall) with your parents. It's best to plan to be on campus while schools are in session if you can, so that you can visit classes and talk to students and professors. Remember that you get two college days to use during both your junior and senior years (four days total).
- Take AP and/or SAT exams.
- NCAA Registration is required to participate in Division I or Division II college athletics. Register at www.eligibilitycenter.org.
- Double-check your pre-registration senior schedule to see that you are taking the courses recommended for your college admission and NCAA requirements.
Summer Between Junior and Senior Years
- Take the SAT and/or ACT tests, if you haven’t already.
- Look for chances to talk to college students who are home for the summer about the schools that they attend.
- Compile a résumé of activities, honors, leadership positions, and job experience. You'll need this information for college applications and scholarship forms.
- Counselors advise entering your senior year with three or four schools in mind that are likely to accept you and one or two for which you might be "possibly eligible." Make a calendar of deadlines.
- Visit colleges. Call ahead for appointments with the financial aid, admissions, and academic advisors at the college(s) in which you are most interested. During your visits, talk to professors, sit in on classes, spend a night in the dorms, and speak to students about the college(s). Doing these things will allow you to gather the most information about the college and the atmosphere in which you would be living, should you choose to attend. Some colleges have preview programs that allow you to do all of these; find out which of the schools that you will be visiting offer these programs and take advantage of them.
- Access the Apply Texas Application at www.applytexas.org or download applications from colleges’ websites. Begin filling out your applications before your busy senior year begins. Spend extra time on the essays that are required on some applications. Be ready to apply to colleges beginning August 1, 2018. Applications should be completed by approximately December 1, 2018.
- Begin a scholarship search by filling out your student profile on one or more of these scholarship search engines: www.fastweb.com, www.scholarships.com, www.wiredscholar.com, www.collegeboard.com. These are secure web sites and there is no fee for their service.
- Continue to read extensively and work on your writing skills.
- Try to find a job that will give you experience in a field that interests you and that will sharpen your leadership skills as well as add to your savings account.
Talk honestly with your parents about how you will finance your college costs and how much they expect you to supply.