JUNIOR YEAR CHECKLIST
Updated: Aug 18, 2021
Your junior year can be stressful, but these steps can help it feel more manageable
SUMMER BEFORE JUNIOR YEAR
☐ Take the True Compass Career Aptitude Assessment www.truecompassllc.com
· The assessment results equip students with improved self-awareness of their natural
talents and abilities, a custom list of best-fit careers, resources and tools for
researching potential college majors and careers, and an action plan outlining
· The results can help guide Junior and Senior year electives.
· The assessment process empowers and encourages students to take the next steps
with direction and clarity.
FALL SEMESTER OF JUNIOR YEAR
☐Keep your grades up and stay on track. Junior year grades are the last ones some schools will see before making an admissions decision.
☐ Create your high school resume and continue updating it throughout the year. Your resume should highlight your activities, talents, honors, leadership positions, interests, and job experience. Stay consistent with your non-academic extracurricular activities. Seek community service opportunities, volunteer work, and leadership roles.
☐ Take the PSAT (Register in August/September and take it in October)
☐ Attend local college fairs
☐ Attend college admission rep presentations at your high school
☐ Schedule a meeting with your school counselor
o Find out your current GPA
o Make sure you’re on track to graduate on time
o Discuss colleges you’re interested in
o Ask for their suggestions of colleges that might be a good fit for you
o Inquire about local scholarship opportunities
o Decide when to take the ACT/SAT
☐ Start a preliminary list of colleges that interest you.
o Start thinking about what you want out of a college in terms of academics, social and
campus lifestyle. Create a list of all the factors you’re looking for – detailing negotiable
and non-negotiable factors.
o Visit college’s websites as well as college search sites like:
- Common Application
☐ Mark the dates on your calendar for upcoming ACT and SAT exams
☐ Begin preparing for the ACT/SAT. Create a study schedule.
o Take advantage of free test prep resources and practice tests
- SAT Practice Tests at www.collegeboard.org
- ACT Test Prep at www.act.org
- SAT Practice Tests at www.khanacademy.org
- How to Improve Your ACT Score by 2 Points in 20 Minutes – Podcast by College
☐ Register for the ACT/SAT
o Anticipated ACT test dates: February 12, 2022 and April 2, 2022
o Anticipated SAT test dates: March 12, 2022 and May 7, 2022
SPRING SEMESTER OF JUNIOR YEAR
☐ Start prioritizing and narrowing down your college list.
☐ Visit colleges.
☐ Continue to refine your resume.
☐ Request letters of recommendation (from teachers, counselor, coach, employer)
☐ Take the ACT/SAT. Once you receive your score report, determine if and when you should take it again.
☐ Sit down with your parents to talk about finances and commitments
o Together, fill out the FAFSA4caster online at
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/estimate. This will give you and your parents an idea
of what the federal government determines your estimated family contribution will be
based on income and non-retirement assets. In general, this is the amount your family
will be expected to contribute.
☐ Start the scholarship search
☐ Meet with your counselor to decide senior year courses. Remember colleges will want to see a strong senior year course load.
☐ Start planning summer experiences
SUMMER AFTER JUNIOR YEAR
☐ Participate in summer experiences in the area(s) you wish to study (summer courses, volunteer work, internships, job shadowing, etc)
☐ Start searching and applying for scholarship opportunities. Apply early and apply often!
o Use the free scholarship search tool at StudentAid.gov/scholarships to find
scholarships for which you might want to apply. Some deadlines fall as early as the
summer between 11th and 12th grades, so prepare now to submit applications soon.
o Create a scholarship spreadsheet to list deadlines and requirements
☐ Research Financial Aid. What are the financial aid policies of the colleges on your list? Do they guarantee to meet full need? Do they offer merit-based aid that does not consider need?
☐ Finalize your college list. If you start your senior year with a list of 5-10 colleges, you can keep track of deadlines and submit well-written and thoughtful applications.
☐ Research the type of applications required for each school on your list.
☐ Research the admission requirements and deadlines for schools on your list and create a spreadsheet to organize information and deadlines.
☐ Consider completing the Common Application www.commonapp.org
o “The Common Application, which is accepted by more than 900 schools, helps
streamline one essential part of the admissions process for students. Through the
platform, applicants can apply to multiple colleges at once. So students only have to fill
out details that most schools require, including name, address, parental employment
and education and extracurricular activities, one time.”
☐ Write your personal essay. Not every college application will require an essay and some will require multiple essays and/or short answer responses.