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college countdown: your college success starts here


Junior Year

Junior: Spring

Jump to Parent Timeline.


Should have done by now
  • Register for a challenging but manageable senior year.
  • Talk with your parents about how your college education will be paid for and how much you can afford to spend.
  • Plan how many times and when to take the SAT/ACT.

 girls library

  • Take high school seriously. College admissions officers will look at your transcript and GPA.
  • Finalize the colleges to which you will apply (best to create this list before the fall of senior year).
  • Take the SAT or ACT (typically during junior year, but at least once before the winter of senior year).


Helpful, But Not Required
  • Contact military academies if you're interested in applying. The application process takes place earlier, and you may need to secure a nomination from a local member of Congress.
  • Plan to do something productive during the summer, such as volunteer work, internships, a part-time job, summer classes, etc.




For you to do
  • Establish a relationship with your child's counselor.
  • Think about how your child's college education will be paid for.
  • Determine your family's affordability threshold.
  • Go to any junior college nights or events offered by your child's school.
  • Talk with your child about how his or her college education will be paid for and your family's affordability threshold.
For you to help your student
  • Help your child with time management and organization.
  • Make sure your child has a quiet place to study without distraction.
  • Research colleges that interest your child.
  • Schedule and go on college visits with your child.
  • Talk with your child about SAT or ACT test prep.
  • Make sure your child registers and takes the SAT or ACT at least once before senior year.

Ongoing Tasks
- Review and update your academic plan; take challenging courses.
- Work hard to get good grades.
- Save a few examples of your best work (essays, projects, etc.)
- Keep an updated resume.
- Stay involved in extracurricular activities.
- Explore potential career options: talk to people, check the Internet, job shadow, etc.
- Prepare for standardized tests.
- Search for scholarships.
- Visit colleges of interest.

- Keep an ongoing list of colleges that interest you.

- Maintain relationships with your teachers and your counselor.
- Talk with college students about their experiences.
- Keep and organize any college and career information you think is important.