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Junior Year Checklist For College Readiness

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • Register for the PSAT in October
  • Register for SAT and/or ACT for late winter (SAT) (ACT)

  • Discuss your college plans with your parents.
  •  Research schools you like; keeping in mind the geographic area, size of school, activities and majors  they offer.
  • Think about what school would fit you and where you will be most successful. If you know what major or the area of study that interests you then research what schools offer that.
  • Visit the college websites and do the virtual tours, read blogs, books, and magazines about schools.
  • Check out to see what students are saying about schools and how they are rating them.

Remember the school you choose will be your home for 4-5years. You want to love it.

  • Check out Princeton Review The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition and College Board College Handbook 
  • Start completing any online program activities for college prep your high-school sets up for you.
  • Make lists of the schools you like and categorize in “Safety” “Target” and “Reach”.    

“Safety” are the schools you will most likely get into.

“Target” are the schools that will be difficult to get into, but not out of the question.      

“Reach” are the schools that will be hardest for you to get into. Always put some reach schools down.   You never know what the schools are looking for the year you are applying and it might just be you!

  • Discuss financial issues with your parents; so you are all on the same page, and know what is expected. Check out or information expenses and financial aid.

Winter and Spring Semesters

  • Take the SAT and/or ACT and any SAT subject tests you decide to take.

Check with the schools you think you are interested in to see if they require SAT subject tests.

  • Meet with your high school counselor to discuss your senior year courses, your college plans, and your academic progress.
  • Obtain a copy of your transcript.

Check your courses and credits and to make sure you are on track for the admissions requirements for all levels of schools you are or might possibly consider. (You need at least 150 credits at the end of first semester junior year)

  • If you are planning on applying to vocational or specialty schools research admissions requirements for those.
  • Start to visit colleges that interest you.

Make sure you visit the admissions office, sign in, and take a tour. Schools like it when you show an interest before you apply. They notice. Schedule a tour online before you visit and try to visit when school is in session; so you can get a true feel for the campus and student life.

  • Talk with students you know who are already attending the schools you like.
  • If you are considering schools that require letters of recommendation, identify and talk to two teachers you would like to write those for you.

The letters should be from classes that meet the college unit requirement not electives. If you have a specialized skill and major, such as dance or sports medicine, it would be a good idea to include a letter from that teacher as well if the school allows.

  • Take advantage of your high-school programs for having college representatives come visit.

Sign up and meet that representative.

  • Sign up for an interview if the school offers that if you are comfortable.

This is great for kids who don’t mind being put on the spot and being interviewed. It’s always good to put a personal touch on the application process.

  • NCAA. If you are planning on continuing your student athlete career at a Division I or II college make sure you visit to register.


I am sure I missed some things, but this is as comprehensive as I can make it for now. Please use different resources to make sure you don’t miss any crucial activities for college planning.

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1 Comment

  • samiam April 24, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    Great article! I will have to start following this in a couple of years for my daughter!

  • Leave a Reply

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