Talk with your counselor about the year ahead. Confirm that your courses will put you on the right track for college admission.
Ask about test dates for the PSAT, ACT, and SAT. You’ll need to register up to six weeks ahead of time.
Start developing a résumé—a record of your accomplishments, activities, and work experience. This will be an important part of your college application.
If you haven’t participated in many activities outside of class, now is the time to sign up. Consider clubs at school, team sports, leadership roles, or involvement in a religious or civic community group.
Take the PSAT. Taking the test as a junior will qualify you for some scholarship consideration and identify you to colleges as a potential applicant.
Begin to prepare for the ACT or SAT. Plan to take at least one of these tests in the spring. Ask your counselor if you qualify for a fee waiver.
Work with your counselor to set your senior schedule. Enroll in the most challenging courses.
Register for a spring SAT and/or ACT. Ask your counselor whether you should also take an SAT Subject Test.
Explore summer opportunities on college campuses—a great way to find out what college life is all about.
Start researching colleges and universities. Go to college fairs and open houses. Learn as much as you can about colleges online.
Begin planning college visits. Try to visit colleges near you over spring break. Include a large, medium size, and small campus.
Develop a preliminary list of colleges that interest you. Go online to request additional information.
Take a look at some college applications. Make note of all the pieces of information you will need to compile. Make a list of teachers, counselors, employers, and other adults who could write letters of recommendation.
Consider lining up a summer job or internship.
Continue investigating colleges.
Schedule campus visits at the schools that you interest you.
Begin thinking about your applications. Generally, colleges will have their applications online by the beginning of August.
Start brainstorming your college essay.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 26,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.
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