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May Junior College Readiness Tips

May is a pivotal time of year for highly school juniors. Proactive college planning will empower their senior year college application process. Below we provide key testing, summer planning, counseling, and college visiting tips.
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May is a pivotal time of year for highly school juniors. Proactive college planning will empower their senior year college application process. Below we provide key testing, summer planning, counseling, and college visiting tips.

1. Test Readiness
Juniors can take the SAT or ACT. Please take the optional writing tests on both tests as many colleges require them. Students do increasingly better on tests if they do full length practice sessions. Remember, college applicants can take each test--SAT, SAT Subject Test, and ACT--twice for free with fee waivers. They can find free online and in person sites to do practice tests. Please don't forget upcoming deadlines and recommendations. Here is a current site with all testing requirements. http://www.compassprep.com/subject-test-requirements-and-recommendations/. Below are specific requirements for several major tests.

SAT : June 4--May 11 (May 5 by mail) is the registration date for the June 4 SATS. http://sat.collegeboard.com/register/sat-dates

SAT Subject Tests: June 4
  • May 11 (May 5 by mail) is the registration date for the June 4 SAT Subject Tests Students can take three per test date.

  • Many colleges no longer require them, but good scores can only help.
  • Try to take tests that match with classes you took this spring.
  • ACT: June 11
    AP Tests:
    • AP test takers should do their very best.
    • If they don't like how they do, they can cancel their scores by June 15. http://tinyurl.com/hwuf4l6

    2. Finalize Summer Plans and Update Current Resumes
    Colleges expect rising seniors to use their summers productively and meaningfully. They also want juniors to have an updated resume.

    • It is not too late to find internships, jobs, and service opportunities.

  • Students can also use the summer to make up failed or missing classes and even move forward by taking electives at community colleges or local colleges.
  • Update (or create) a resume. Many colleges accept full resumes on their applications.

  • 3. Meet with School Counselors and Teachers

    Juniors and their families should meet with school-based counselors/college counselors before the school year ends. They should also pick the two junior year teachers they plan to ask to write letters of recommendation as most college prefer eleventh grade teachers. Students should

    • Go over current list of prospective colleges.

  • Learn about resources on Naviance and/or other school resources.
  • Complete required brag sheets with great attention to leadership and initiative.
  • Find schools that offer merit scholarships and beginning research external scholarships.
  • Ask teachers their process for writing letters of recommendation. Get contact info for any teachers who may be leaving schools at the end of year.
  • 4. Research and Visit Colleges In Person and Virtually
    May is a great time to visit colleges as well as attend local and virtual college fairs and presentations. Colleges increasingly count demonstrated interest as a key part of their admissions consideration.
    • Attend local college fairs. NACAC colleges are traveling around the country as well as colleges and groups of colleges. http://tinyurl.com/lgf6tz3

  • Sign up for College Week Live free events. This free site offers monthly online college information fairs and frequent college info sessions. May 19 is the next All College Day. http://www.collegeweeklive.com/

  • Sign up for Princeton Review's college major finder. It sends you lists of colleges that match your major interests. http://www.princetonreview.com/college-education
  • Buy great college information books from The Fiske Guide to The College Finder by Steven Antonoff, which sorts colleges by a million interests topics and themes.
  • Find great resources for under-represented students. First generation college goers and other underrepresented students can join I'm First http://www.imfirst.org/sign-up/. College Greenlight https://www.collegegreenlight.com/ is another great site that also shows school specific scholarships for diverse students.
  • Visit at least one college in their area in the next couple of weeks. Colleges are wrapping up, but juniors can see many of them before they finish up.