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Your 11th Grade Junior Year

Many consider their junior year in high school to be the most difficult. Classes become more demanding. Social pressures get harder. It’s decision time in so many ways. It is also action time for college bound students.

Continue to work hard for good grades. If you had a let down in your first two years, life is not over but you have to pick up the pace now. Colleges will understand if you had a bad year or a bad semester. Stuff happens. A death in the family or a divorce can have huge effects on your academics. Just continue to look ahead. Don’t look back. You are not going that way.

Start or continue you involvement in activities. Seek out leadership roles in school collegestudentsonlawnorganizations and be involved. Not everyone gets to be ASB president but be involved to the best extent you can.

Register for the PSAT in the fall of you junior year. Hopefully you took it as a sophomore so this will be your second look t it. Statistically, the more you take the PSAT, the higher you will score on the SAT. More will be said about the SAT in later post but get registered for it now.

Think about college options. Do you want to go somewhere close or far away? Consider the following when thinking about college.

Campus size
Location
City size
Reputation
Majors and programs
Cost/ financial aid
Admission requirements
Environment

You can find out a lot these days on the internet. You can even take virtual campus tours but nothing replaces the real thing. Identify several schools you are interested in a take a trip to see it. Your junior year is an excellent time to make college visits. To plan a college visit, call the admissions office several weeks in advance. They may transfer you to someone whose job is scheduling campus tours. Great. Now you have the person you need to talk to.

Carefully select your classes for your senior year. Don’t plan on coasting through your senior year with easy classes. some students have done that only to find out that it eliminated them from their first choice college. Continue to take rigorous math, science and English classes that will prepare you for college classes.

Look for scholarships your junior year. You want to know what you are eligible for and start making lists of scholarships to which to apply. Many scholarships require a personal statement. Find out what the want and start writing now. Do anything you can now because you don’t want to leave it all until your senior year.

Establish a permanent email address for communicating with colleges. Make it a sensible and professional sounding address. “partygirl@something.com doesn’t sound as good as your name.

More will be said about college visits later, but for now, know that your junior year is one of the most important in planning for and succeeding in attending college.

© 2013 Roger D. Chamberlain

Roger Chamberlain
Roger Chamberlain works for a university helping low income and under represented high school students prepare for and be successful in college.
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