8 Important Things High School Juniors Should Be Doing Now For College Admissions
1. Plan, plan and plan.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else” – Yogi Berra
Create a timeline and meet your goals. Deadlines are a crucial aspect of the college admissions process.
2. Make a balanced preliminary college list. Start your search by familiarizing yourself with many different colleges and universities. Use the Internet to facilitate your research on the different options that are available. Visit the webs sites of the schools you are considering.
3. Visit colleges. Start to visit campuses. First, the ones that are close by, then schools that are farther way. More than printed materials, websites, virtual tours and visits from admissions counselors, college visits allow you to get a true feel for the campus environment and the students that attend.
4. Begin to consider letters of recommendation. It’s not who is writing or what they are writing. It’s how they are writing about you in a meaningful way. Choose your recommenders wisely.
5. Carefully Consider Financial Aid. If your family can not pay $26,000 – $53,000 through investment income, savings or a fund for your college tuition, then you and your parents should plan to fill out the FAFSA and a CSS/Financial Aid Profile.
6. Standardized Tests. Plan your SAT and/or ACT timelines. Don’t forget SAT subject tests.
7. Grades. Colleges view grades with the utmost importance. Remember, your grades should come first. Colleges look at junior year grades to understand the academic abilities of a student. Junior year grades are the last full year of grades for admissions committees to look at in determining a student’s acceptance. A recent survey by the National Association for College Admission Counselors (NACAC) found that admissions officers gave “considerable importance” to grades in students’ college-prep classes.
8. Energize your Holistic Acceptance Profile. College acceptance is not just about high scores on the new SATs, high GPAs and a manufactured Common Application or personal statement. Ivy League and highly-selective colleges and universities use a holistic approach and review assessments to admit qualified applicants. Admissions committees want to know the student behind the application. Only by understanding the person behind the scholarly achievements (behind the application), and the context in which they were earned, can universities make a proper assessment to accept a qualified applicant. What’s your “holistic acceptance profile”? Visit our website to see what schools use: Holistic Approach.
Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Woodbridge Admissions Advisors. Tel. (203) 387-1574, and founder of Ivy League Admissions Advisors a part of the Pinnacle Educational Admissions Advisors Group network. Pinnacle is located in the 245 Amity Office/Retail Complex at the corner of Amity Road and Bradley Road.