Junior Year is Coming to a Close, What Do I Need to Do?
Check out the following 7 steps for things you can do following the summer of your Junior year. If you are not yet a Junior, check out the list and the attachments below so you know how you can start preparing now. It is never too early to start planning for college.
1-Continue to draft your Personal Statement. Do some free-writes to identify the topic that you have the most to talk about and is the best vehicle for you to tell a story about your life/growth/ambitions/influences. Remember, you are not bragging about how they need to choose you as a student…you are a shining a light into who you are, where you’ve come from and where you are desiring to go. Tell your story.
2-Continue to draft your Resume and/or Activities Log. Make sure to include any awards that you have received or leadership opportunities taken on.
3-Use the Reach, Match, Solid approach to solidly list 6-8 schools that you will apply to next Fall.
Reach: Schools in which you are slightly below the minimum application requirements or schools that are known to be highly selective. Pick at least 2 of these.
Match: Schools in which you meet all of the application requirements. Pick at least 2 of these.
Solid: Schools in which you exceed all of the application requirements. Highly likely to be accepted. Pick at least 2 of these.
4-Identify application deadlines for the selected 6-8 schools and then establish personal deadlines to get your entire application package together through the fall. Break the large end-goal into smaller goals and steps.
5-Identify an ACT or SAT test date in the fall if you would like to have one more attempt at boosting your test scores.
6-Visit colleges of varying sizes, locations and qualities(public versus private, religiously affiliated or not) during the summer within a manageable radius to where you live. This will allow you check out what “feels” more comfortable to you and will aid in clarifying your searching qualities for in-state and out of state schools.
7-Start searching for scholarships now! Set up an account at www.thewashboard.org and keep in touch with the Franklin Counseling Department’s scholarship stacks and scholarship binder that are updated monthly. Make a point to apply to no less than one scholarship per month.
College Planning Calendars:
If you are not already, get yourself organized. Applying to college requires attention to detail, important deadlines, applying for financial aid, well-written personal essays, and letters of recommendation from teachers and counselors who know you well.
There are many college planning calendars available online, but here are a couple to get you started:
Letters of Recommendation:
Many, but not all, colleges require students to include a letter(s) of recommendation with your application. Most often they are required to be written by a teacher or counselor. It is a great idea to think about who knows you well and would be willing to write a positive and well-written letter of recommendation for you. Ask them as soon as possible if they would be willing to write one for you, and make sure that you give them at least 2 weeks to complete and send your letter in by the required college deadline. Do not ask for last minute letters as it takes quite a bit of time to write a quality letter of recommendation.
On Campus Resources
College Access Now (CAN)
CAN (College Access Now) works with Juniors and Seniors on every aspect of the College Admissions process, including deciding where to apply, visiting campuses, completing applications, working on personal statements, standardized test registration and preparation, applying for colleges, applying for financial aid and deciding where to attend! 100% of Franklin Seniors in CAN have been offered admission to college each year!
They also work with the counseling office to host college admissions representatives who visit Franklin and lead college and financial aid information nights at FHS.
For more information, please call the CAN office at: 206 252-6166.
The UB six week summer academy (June 24th – August 1st ) offers multiple college prep courses taught by UW professors and staff at the University of Washington. Throughout the regular school year the UW Upward Bound Program also provides Saturday Academy classes. UB provides SAT and ACT test preparation, intensive math and English instruction, career workshops, college tours, financial aid and scholarship assistance, academic and personal counseling, and much more.
Pick up an application in the Counseling Office, or email Fina Marino, UW-Upward Bound Counselor at email@example.com
Math Science Upward Bound
First, do research to find out whether this is a good fit for you
Take Compass Test, which is a college placement in math and English at any community College:
At Seattle Central Community College, the COMPASS test is walk-in. Testing hours are Mondays: 8am-7:30pm, Tuesdays: 1pm-7:30pm, Wednesdays-Fridays: 8am-4:30pm (arrive 45 minutes before end time)
Bring Student ID and $18. (If qualified for free/reduced lunch, see your Counselor for fee waiver)
After you receive test scores, go to the community college’s Running Start Office and get Enrollment forms
Meet with your FHS Counselor to complete high school counselor portion
Turn in Enrollment Forms to Running Start Office at the community college & register for classes
Attending College Fairs
You do not have to travel long distances to see hundreds of colleges in one day. College fairs are great vehicles to enhance your college search without getting on an airplane. Every year there are college fairs held in locations all over the United States. Standing behind each table is a representative from a college who wants to answer your questions. This is a great chance to get answers to specific questions about potential colleges, learn about new schools and get a sense for what might fit you.
Things to do before the fair:
- Make an appointment with your counselor or college counselor to discuss your college plans.
- Use resource materials in your guidance office or library to learn more about colleges.
- Find out which colleges will be at the fair. Make a priority list of schools you want to investigate. Which colleges are a “must see”?
- Discuss your plans for college with your parents, teachers and friends.
- Use the internet to search the websites of the colleges and make a list of questions to ask.
- Invite your parents to attend with you; they need to learn, too.
What to bring to a college fair:
- Small bag to hold college information
- Notepad and pen/pencil to take notes
- Specific questions for specific colleges
- Open mind to learning about new colleges
What not to bring to a college fair:
- Your application
- Letters of recommendation
- Gifts for the college reps
Things to do at the fair:
- When you enter the fair pick up a directory listing all the colleges and the locations of their booths. Identify the schools you want to learn about, seek them out.
- Take brochures from colleges you’re not familiar with. Don’t just spend time with the colleges you know.
- Plan to attend one or more information session.
- Make notes about the colleges you speak with and get a business card from the representative.
- Take your time. Don’t feel you have to speak with every college. Don’t leave a college booth until you have all of your questions answered.
- Stay focused on college. Lots of your friends may also be attending, so beware of turning this into a hang-out. Make plans to spend time with them afterwards. Make your time at the college fair count.
Questions you may want to ask:
- How can I arrange a campus visit?
- Are there any special visiting days coming up on campus?
- How do you assign faculty advisers to students?
- What types of internships or co-op programs are available?
- How many of last year’s freshmen returned for their sophomore year?
- What percentage of a typical freshman class will graduate from your college?
- What is the average high school grade point average of the entering freshman class?
- When must I declare a major?
- What is the average student GPA after freshman year?
- What sort of guidance do you offer students who are undecided on a major?
- How does your college place students in classes?
- What are the application deadlines for admission and financial aid?
- What kinds of extracurricular activities are there on campus?
Consumer Reports has produced a free guide to help prospective college students navigate the steps in college research and selection. Find the Best Colleges for You: Focus on the information that matters distills what can be a confusing and complicated process into actionable, research-based advice and includes two worksheets designed to simplify and support the research and evaluation process. By focusing on how to personalize this process to the needs of the individual, the guide serves a diversity of prospective college students.