For those of us living in the northern half of the U.S., the weather makes summer feel like a LONG way off. But, in reality, it’s already April and school will be out before we know it. Summer is a great time for outdoor BBQs, swimming with friends, and catching up on some ZZZ’s after a busy end of the year. It is also the perfect time to work on your college planning process!
Juniors Heading Into Senior Year
Senior year begins like a sprint in the fall, but it’s really a marathon of activities to finish out your last year in school. Focusing on a couple of activities over the summer will make you well-prepared to handle the busyness of the year as well as all the upcoming college deadlines.
Narrow Your List
The college application process kicks off around August 1st when many applications for the upcoming application year go live. Most of the earliest deadlines for applications occur in the first half of November, giving you a short window to get all your applications complete. Have the list of schools you plan to apply to narrowed down, and start researching deadlines so you know which applications to prepare first.
Start Your Essays
The majority of colleges use the Common Application, and may require a supplemental essay as part of the submitted application. Many Common Application schools release their prompts before August allowing you to get a head start on writing a few to have on hand. Register for a free account to see which of your schools from your list above require an essay, and knock a couple out before you even return to school.
Sophomores Heading Into Junior Year
Congratulations, you are now halfway through high school! For better or worse, your last two years will go by even faster than the first two. Even though you don’t start the college application process just yet, junior year is filled with many steps in the college preparation process.
Take a Road Trip (or Two!)
There’s no better way to know if a college is right for you than to step foot on campus and visit for yourself. Take advantage of the time you are not in school to travel to a few colleges that interest you to start to figure out the type of schools you would like to attend. College students may or may not be on campus, so always check with the admissions office for special events and tour hours.
No one wants to study over the summer, but it is even more difficult to do so on top of course assignments during the year. During junior year you will start taking one (or both) of the entrance exams used in college admissions: the SAT or ACT. Find a good resource and spend a little time each week on practice questions and strategies. You may be dreading it now, but your future test-taking self will thank you!
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