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Calling All Juniors

Can you believe that the second semester is almost halfway over? While college applications may seem far off in the future, you should really start preparing for the process now. What does this mean exactly? Well, let us break it down for you!

Get those grades up!

Junior year grades are a critical component of your college applications. When you submit your applications, the last grade on your transcript will be from this semester; don’t think you can make up for weak grades during the first semester of your senior year -- it will likely be too late. So this semester you need to continue to study hard. If you are struggling in a class, make time to speak to your teacher about receiving help, re-taking tests, or making up assignments (if offered). You have plenty of time left in this semester to improve your grades!

Be thoughtful as you register for your 12th grade classes

Like we said, your senior year grades will likely not impact your admission outcomes, but that doesn’t mean you should treat senior year as a walk in the park. You still need to register for an academically challenging course load. Do not register for multiple “off-periods” or easy electives. An admissions officer will take note of what classes you are currently taking, and you don’t want to give the impression of being lazy.

Create a testing strategy

While most colleges made the submission of SAT/ACT test scores optional this year (and will likely continue with this policy for the next admission cycle), you should still plan to take and do well on the SAT or ACT. We know it is difficult registering for tests right now, but you should still try! We recommend scheduling at least two test sittings for late spring and early summer -- if a sitting is canceled, you then have a backup. In the meantime, you should start taking practice tests and creating a study plan based on areas of weakness. Good news: you don’t have to worry about taking SAT Subject Tests, woohoo! (More on this in a coming blog post.)

Step up your involvement in extracurricular activities

To say extracurricular activities have been affected by Covid-19 is an understatement. For most students, their extracurriculars have been outright canceled for the year. But unfortunately, colleges are not going to give you a pass on this. An admissions committee will likely be understanding about a gap in your resume during sophomore year. But now that you are in your second year of pandemic times, top colleges will expect students to have adapted to these challenges and will be looking at how you stayed involved in activities outside of the classroom. While your athletic season, club competition schedule, or volunteer opportunity may have been altered or canceled, you must still find ways to pursue your interests! Think of creative ways to contribute to your teams, clubs, and community that can’t be dampered by Covid restrictions, or elevate an at home hobby into a super cool passion project.

Start researching colleges

You have plenty of time before you actually need to sit down and work on applications, but now is the time to start building your college list! Begin researching colleges, majors, and admission requirements. We like to see students craft balanced college lists, so try to find a handful of schools you may be interested in that fall within the categories of safety, match, reach, and long-shot! Perhaps this summer you can even find the time to safely visit some of these campuses.

If you have any questions about how to best prepare for the college admissions process do not hesitate to reach out to us! Better yet, schedule a free consultation and learn more about our college admission services and how we can help you craft a strong and genuine application!


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