Juniors, what’s the number one piece of advice from a college-bound senior? Start the college selection and planning process early!! The earlier, the better!
Not surprisingly, many juniors have a hard time accepting the fact that, in just 6 short months, they will be seniors, and subsequently, they will be applying to college. This notion may feel a bit scary- after all, it involves a lot of change. So, because kids love to procrastinate, they might put off serious college planning, research, and college visits until summer. The problem with this approach is that summer tends to get busy and fly by in a flash you can try this out. When students finally start to think about college in earnest, possibly half way through the summer, they get overwhelmed by the vast amount of choices, the lengthy applications, personal statements, and more. But it doesn’t have to go this way!
With admissions more complex and competitive than ever and the cost of college rising by the minute, knowing what you like and where you will fit in best is step one. Once you have a little clarity in that department, you can move on to other tasks. The time to start researching is now. In addition to research, juniors should be working on the following:
- Sign up for two SAT Subject tests given in May and June. Not everyone needs to take them, but it will be good to have them if you need them. Read more here:
- Visit some schools over spring break and take a guided tour, even local schools not on your list.
- Think about a potential major.
- Consider hiring a college planner to help you get organized and stay organized.
- Research, research, and more research.
The more time you put in now, the better the end result will be. While it’s true that you cannot guarantee yourself admission, especially with the ever increasing complexity of the admissions game, you can position yourself for the best possible outcome. As the Roman poet Horace famously wrote, “Carpe Diem!”