Road Map for February: Juniors

Right now, juniors are getting focused on standardized testing and test prep. Congratulations to those of you who took the ACT last weekend, and good luck to those preparing for the March SAT. Many of you are also working with your parents to plan campus tours during the spring semester, especially if you’re planning to take advantage of spring break. To help you decide where to go, or to connect with colleges you aren’t able to travel to, consider participating in a college fair. NACAC is holding a series of in-person fairs, as well as monthly virtual fairs, this winter and spring. These events bring together hundreds of colleges for you to learn about in one place. Colleges That Change Lives is another organization that is holding fairs in the coming months, with a focus on liberal arts colleges. And keep an eye out for local fairs at your school or in your community where you can meet admissions staff face-to-face and ask them questions.

Another project that you can get started on is the Common Application. For now, stick to the Profile, Family and Education sections. The more in-depth sections and essays come later, but filling out your basic information will help you get familiar with the platform while you check off some easy to-do items. One thing to note: the Common App is still in the Class of ‘24 cycle right now, but information from these sections will roll over to your application cycle this summer. However, answers in the My Colleges section will not, so don’t spend time on those yet.

Finally, if you don’t have a summer plan in place, it’s time to start making one. Your plan might include work, community service, or perhaps a learning experience related to your academic interests. And of course your summer should include some fun, like time with friends and family. But be sure your plan also includes substantial time for working on college applications and essays. The more you can get done in the summer, the less stressful your fall will be.  (I’ll be posting a series of summer college application and essay workshops shortly. Click here to be notified when registration opens.)