Applying for College?

Start Planning Now

Juniors, prepare for application season by following the four steps below.

Don’t wait to start gathering materials for applications. Throughout your senior year, you’ll face college and scholarship application deadlines but with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and other college planning on your plate, it’s important to plan ahead. 

Earn a Competitive ACT Test Score

Whether you’re planning to meet early or regular decision deadlines, you want to know what your ACT score could be by then. One point on your ACT test could make the difference in acceptance into college and/or thousands of dollars in scholarships. If you think you might test more than once, take it in the early spring of your junior year to see where you are and familiarize yourself with the testing environment. Then, if you want to improve your score, consider testing again in the spring, summer, or fall of your senior year. 

Create a College List

Narrow down your choices by considering: major programs, location, size, cost of attendance, extracurricular activities, and admission difficulty. Keep narrowing your college list until you have 8-15 colleges you want to spend time researching. 

Visit Campuses

Once you have a narrowed list of colleges, take time to visit college campuses and experience firsthand what it’s like to be a student. A school may look great on paper or online, but you might be surprised when you step foot on campus for the first time. A successful college visit can give you the confidence you need to make a final decision on your future alma mater. Learn more tips on how to master a campus tour.

Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

Requesting that someone write a recommendation letter for you can be a daunting task. However, you’ll find that your educators (counselors, teachers, and principals) usually have lots of experience writing recommendation letters and they want to see you succeed. If you’ve spent time cultivating good relationships with them, they will be happy to write you a recommendation. Consider these tips when requesting letters of recommendation.