Juniors… It’s time to start college planning…

Wolf College ConsultingWhile most seniors are happily done (or almost happily done) with completing and submitting their college applications, now it’s time for juniors to get engaged.

Below is a checklist of some of the things that juniors and their families should be thinking about, discussing and doing over the next few months.

Start talking!  Now is the time to start conversations about the next steps after high school.  It is important to start “getting on the same page” regarding realistic expectations and hopes.

This is the right time for parents to honestly discuss financial capabilities and how much they can contribute towards their college education.  It is important for the student to know how much you can contribute so that they can look at college with realistic eyes.

Remember that financial aid can bring the cost of a college down, so don’t only look at the Sticker Price, but consider financial aid options as well.  Parents can get an estimate of what federal aid they might be eligible for at the College Boards EFC Calculator. You can also look at college websites to find out about institutional aid as well.

Learn More About Yourself!  This is a really important semester to invest energy in learning more about your academic and social needs.  This will be important to help make the transition into college a successful transition.  Do you know what you want to study?  Do you know what kind of learning environment will be best for you?  Do you know what type of location you want to experience college in?  Do you know what extracurricular activities you want at your college?  Do you know what type of services you will need to succeed academically?

This is a process that may be difficult for many students.  I am here to help you.  Through assessments and meetings, I can help juniors discover their gifts, talents, college needs and academic goals.

Work hard in your classes!  Your junior year is the most important year in your application process.  This will be your last semester of grades that will be sent with your applications.  Study hard (especially in your academic courses), get extra assistance for the classes you are struggling with, participate in class, and challenge yourself.  Also remember – your junior class teachers will be the ones that will fill out your academic references – so get to know your teachers, work hard and be respectful.

Also make sure to select your senior courses thoughtfully.  Continue to challenge yourself and take as many Honors, AP and/or IB classes (balance is important – only take as many as you can be successful in).   If you received any poor grades, summer will be an important time to retake classes.

Testing!  Do you have a testing schedule?  Do you know if you are stronger in your ACT or SAT test?  Now is the time to be taking your ACT and/or SAT tests so that you do not need to take them during your senior fall semester.  Also, do you plan to take any SATII tests?  It is important to make your plans now so that this Summer and Fall you can give more energy and time in your applications (not tests).

College Visits!  The Spring Semester is the perfect time to visit colleges.  Take advantage of Ski Weeks and Spring Breaks.  I recommend visiting a few different types of colleges.  If you can’t get out of the area, there are a lot of colleges in Southern California — go visit a UC School, a State School and a Private school.  Visiting colleges will help you build a strong application list.

Summer Plans.  What are you planning to do this summer?  Are you going to take summer courses?  Have you thought of participating in a summer program?  Colleges are looking for you to show intellectual vitality and curiosity.  Your summer plans can strengthen your admissions profile if you plan wisely.

Wolf College Consulting is here to help you… let us know how Wolf College Consulting can be part of your college planning process.

Posted on January 29, 2013, in Juniors, Parents. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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