Junior Junior Year Planning List
Junior Admission Strategy
Plan for Recommendations
Student Resume
Visual Arts Students
Volunteer / Summer Activities
Parent Involvement
High School Curriculum
Extracurricular Activities
Join Academic Programs
College Fairs
College Majors
Financial Aid
Test Prep (SAT / ACT)
ACT Registration
SAT Registration
SAT Subject Tests
Pre-College Programs
Senior Year Classes
Senior Year Scholarships
College Search
Select Colleges to Apply to
Campus Visits / Interviews
Impress Recommenders
Summer Activities
Senior Extracurricular Activities
College Expense Planning
Military Academies
Review Senior Strategy
Junior Junior Year Planning Outline by Month



  • Review the junior year admission strategy. This includes 12 basic steps to help students build their qualifications and prepare for next year's college application and financial aid processes.
  • Take the SAT Test™ this month (if you registered to take one or more tests).
  • Update your student résumé to include freshman and sophomore year activities and accomplishments.
  • If your summer activities include a job, internship, or volunteer service, give it your all and be outstanding. Work to impress your bosses and supervisors; these are people you may ask for letters of recommendation in the fall of your senior year . . . but only if you do an excellent job for them this summer.
  • Continue to build your vocabulary by reading during summer months (and throughout the year).
  • Continue to build strong academic, language and critical thinking skills during your four years of high school.
  • Parents – Plan to help your student with this year's college admission tasks and with preparation for next year's college application and financial aid steps. Plan on attending college campus visits, college information nights, and financial aid presentations with your student.


  • Start / continue saving money for college. It’s smart to save, but beware of pitfalls.
  • Start thinking about the cost of college and how much you and your family can afford. Knowing how much you can afford may help with deciding which colleges and universities to apply to in fall of your senior year.
  • If you want to play collegiate sports, take the steps necessary in increase your eligibility and to market your athletic abilities to college coaches.
  • Obtain a Social Security Card (if you don’t already have one). A Social Security number is required for college applications, standardized tests, and financial aid.


  • Earn excellent grades this year. Junior year grades are the most important grades for getting into college. Junior year grades show college admission officers how well you do in advanced, upper-level courses and indicate if you are capable of handling college-level coursework.
  • Make sure your fall and spring course curriculum
    is rigorous. Take Advance Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and/or Honors classes. The level of difficulty of student coursework is one of the most important factors college admissions officers analyze when deciding on accepting applicants for admission.
  • Join academic programs that recognize high-achieving students. Belonging to organizations that require student members to earn excellent grades will look good on your college applications.
  • Plan to meet with your high school/college-career counselor at least every six months to ensure you are on target for graduating high school and fulfilling college admission requirements.
  • Plan to compete in contests, matches, and challenges. Earn honors and awards to build your student résumé.
  • Be a leader in a few extracurricular activities this school year; be an officer in a club, serve on student council, start your own organization, etc. Leadership is one of the most valuable student qualifications sought by college admission officers.


  • Plan to attend college fairs and financial aid seminars; learn as much as possible about colleges of interest (and the entire college admission process).
  • Consider college majors you may wish to study. Research careers that may spark interest in a specific major; talk with your parents and counselor.
  • Focus your extracurricular interests on activities you are passionate about. Your activities should be those you are prepared to keep involved with throughout your high school career; ideally, activities should support your student theme. A high level of involvement and accomplishment in a few activities is more important than participating in numerous activities on a surface level.
  • Visit with college representatives who travel to your high school. Remember to be professional in all interactions with college and university representatives.
  • Obtain your high school CEEB Code Number. See your counselor for the code number or find it online. You will need this number when registering for the SAT® and ACT® tests and for next year's college applications.


  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT® this month. To be extra confident, familiarize yourself with the test ahead time by taking practice tests. On the test sheet, check the box that releases your name to colleges so you can start receiving information from them.
  • Continue to research scholarships for juniors. During your research, if you find scholarships for senior year students you're interested in applying for next year, make notes for your future reference.
  • Develop teacher and senior classmen relationships. Plan to use teachers and older high school students as mentors. Learn what you can from college-bound students going through the college admission process so you will be better prepared when you begin the process in spring of your junior year.
  • Begin thinking about who you will ask for recommendations next year. Think about teachers, counselors, coaches, employers, and community members you might ask for letters of recommendation. Work to build hard working, respectful relationships with these people.


  • Begin the process of selecting a college major. Consider your interests, skills, talents, and personality. It's alright to begin college with an undeclared major, but deciding on a major while in high school will help with researching and finding the colleges and universities that suit you best.
  • If you're interested in attending one of the military academies, learn about the application process so you will be prepared to apply in spring 2012.


  • Do well on your final exams this month. Junior year grades are evaluated very closely by college admission officers; earn the impressive grades needed to be accepted to your college of choice.
  • Review the results of the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test® (PSAT/NMSQT) to identify areas of academic weakness. Work to improve your weak areas so you earn the highest scores possible on the ACT® and SAT® tests you will this coming spring and next fall.
  • Register for SAT Subject test(s)™ if your high school uses transition block scheduling (in which year-long courses are completed in one semester). Take SAT Subject Tests™ in January for the courses completed this fall. It’s best to take SAT Subject Tests™ as soon as you’ve completed the relevant class instead of waiting until the end of the school year.
  • WARNING PARENTS! – Family financial transactions completed in the coming calendar year may affect your student’s financial aid awards. Work to increase your student’s eligibility for need-based scholarships and grants and avoid pitfalls!
  • Work to ensure excellent teacher recommendations. Become well-acquainted with your favorite teachers; have them become familiar with your high quality of school work and involvement with extracurricular activities. Assistance from these teachers is VITAL TO YOUR SUCCESS as a college-bound student.
  • Visit with graduates from your high school who are home from college on winter break. Try to get an overall picture of what to expect from college life. Ask these college freshmen for advice on completing the college admission process and how to avoid pitfalls.


  • Earn top grades this semester - this is the last semester to earn excellent grades before applying to college next fall.
  • Take SAT Subject Test(s)™ this month (if you have transition block scheduling and are registered to take SAT Subject Test(s)™).
  • Update your student résumé. Include all accomplishments and activities from fall semester.
  • Continue to think about college majors. Make a list of your top interests, values, and skills. Do research on possible careers that may generate interest in a specific major.
  • Based on last semester’s grades, join academic programs and organizations that recognize high-achieving students. See your high school counselor for instructions on membership.
  • Check with your high school/college-career counselor on your progress with achieving your four-year plan. Update your four-year plan to match revisions made to your education / career goals.
  • Continue participating in extracurricular activities (inside and outside of school). Dedicate yourself to a few extracurricular activities and work toward leadership positions. Sign up for leadership roles in clubs, organizations, committees, and other activities you are involved with this spring semester.


  • Plan your senior year classes. Be sure next year’s classes include required courses for both high school graduation and admission to top colleges and universities. Your senior year curriculum should be challenging to show college admission officers you are ready for the rigors of college-level coursework.
  • Continue to prepare for the ACT® scheduled for April and the SAT Test™ scheduled for May. Learn strategies for taking the tests, the types of questions to expect, and how to best use your time during the tests. It is recommended to enroll in classes given by an expert instructor who teaches test-taking strategies and approaches.
  • Register for the ACT® schedule in April.
  • Register to take AP tests if you are enrolled in AP courses. Work with your AP course teachers to make sure you are registered to take the tests in May.
  • Begin searching for colleges and universities that best suit your needs. Identify schools of interest so you can complete both detailed research and college campus visits prior to the coming fall.
  • Visit with college representatives who come to your high school. Read information and ask questions to see if their school may be a good fit for you.


  • PARENTS – Over the next several months, plan on attending college campus visits, college information nights and financial aid presentations with your student. Get informed to help with the important decisions that lay ahead.
  • Register for a college summer enrichment program if you're interested. Many programs get booked by early spring so don't delay in finding the program you want to attend and submitting your application as soon as possible.
  • Register for the ACT® scheduled in April.
  • Register for the SAT Subject Tests™ scheduled in early June. Subject Tests™ should be taken as soon as possible after completing the relevant course in that subject.
  • Continue your efforts to select a college major (if you haven’t already done so). Examine careers you may be interested in pursuing; consider your interests, values and skills.
  • Plan your summer activities. Your activities should reflect meaningful and continued involvement in the things you are passionate about (and ideally have been involved with during your freshman, sophomore, and junior years).
  • Check your e-mail notifications for senior year national scholarships that may be worth applying for next year. Keep notes on these scholarships and be ready to apply to them in the coming fall.
  • Attend a college fair this spring. See your high school counselor for information regarding dates and locations of college fairs.


  • Plan your senior year extracurricular activities. Sign up to join school clubs and organizations that interest you and be a LEADER in those organizations.
  • Take the ACT® this month.
  • Register for the SAT Subject Tests™ scheduled in June (if colleges and universities you plan to apply to in the fall require SAT Subject Tests™).
  • Continue to check national scholarship notifications. Print (or save to an electronic file) information on scholarships you want to apply to in the fall. If possible, get a head start on the process by filling out applications and writing scholarship essays this summer.
  • If you’re interested in attending a military academy, request information to learn about that academy and their admission requirements.


  • Take the SAT Test™ this month.
  • Volunteer for leadership roles during your senior year: Run for class office, start a new club, be student leader in a community organization, etc. Leadership experience is one of the most highly prized student qualifications sought by college admission officers.
  • Attend a college fair (if you haven’t already). College fairs offer an excellent opportunity to visit with admission officers and to compare and contrast schools for free.
  • Take steps to obtain great recommendations from educators. Mention to teachers and counselors with whom you have established respectful, hard-working relationships that you plan to ask them for letters of recommendation this coming fall. They will appreciate being informed early and may place you on top of the stack of requests next fall. Say goodbye before you leave school for the summer and demonstrate some of the personal qualities college admission officers are seeking - be engaged and caring.
  • Secure jobs and internships for the summer. Ask your high school counselor, local business owners and service clubs about summer jobs and internships that involve your college major. Ask early – the closer time gets to summer, the more likely the preferred jobs and internships will be taken by other students.
  • Plan to work hard this summer to impress your employers, supervisors or course instructors; these are people you may ask for letters of recommendation in the fall of your senior year . . . but only if you do an excellent job for them this summer.
  • If you will have a job this summer, save as much money as possible for college. However, beware of pitfalls.
  • Consider enrolling in a community college class this summer. Taking a class will impress college admission officers and will put you "ahead of the game" by earning college credits before you graduate high school. Go to your local community college's website to see the classes offered this summer.
  • If you plan to major in Visual Arts, the colleges you apply to will require a portfolio of your best art work (or photographs). Save your best works of art from your junior year; you may have the opportunity to include them in your portfolio.
  • Update your student résumé to include junior year activities and accomplishments.
  • Be prepared to implement the senior year application strategy. The senior application strategy emphasizes the importance of highlighting your strengths and uniqueness to show that extra “something” that sets you apart from other college applicants.
  • If interested in attending a military academy, contact an academy representative and start the application process as soon as possible.
  • Discuss college options and costs with your parents over the summer. Keep in mind a small, private university may offer you substantial scholarships and cost you less than large, public schools that offer very little financial aid.
  • Parents - Plan to help your student with college preparation, the admission process, and college enrollment tasks over the next 16 months. Get informed and help with the important decisions ahead.

Admission Keywords
Admission Strategy Juniors
Application Strategy Seniors
Campus Visits / Interviews
CEEB Code Numbers
College Fairs - Overview
College Fairs - National
College Fairs - Performing Arts
College Search
Common Application
Community Service
Curriculum Recommended
Essays - College
Essays - Scholarships
Extracurricular Activities
Financial Aid
Grants - Federal
Items to Take to College
Loans - Student
Letters of Recommendation
Military Academies
Pre-College Tasks
Scholarships - Juniors
Scholarships - Seniors
SAT Test
SAT Subject Tests
Test Prep (SAT / ACT)
Universal Application
Visual Arts Students

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