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College Checklist for High School Juniors



High School Junior Checklist

Your junior year in high school is a critical year in school.  We have distilled a quick list of the most critical components of your high school junior year to help you track with your college goals.  The quarterly list below is intended to be a companion with our award-winning eBook titled MatchCollege Complete Guide to College Admissions.

Ultimately, our ultimate goal is to provide parents and students with the tools and resources to effectively navigate the undulations of high school and the subsequent college selection process.  As with our college checklists for freshman and sophomore, we start at the beginning of the school year and toggle by three month increments to help navigate the upcoming years leading up to college.

Junior Year Fall: September, October, November

  • Register for the Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) that takes place in October.  The PSAT is a great tool to prepare you for the SAT and the NMSQT is your entry-point for a variety of scholarships.
  • Re-read the Match College Complete Guide to the College Admission Process as a refresher to keep on top of the variety of priorities at hand.
  • Continue to research colleges and universities to find the best fit given your specific set of priorities and overarching goals.  Attempt to narrow your list to under thirty prospective colleges in an effort to move towards a short list.
  • If you have yet to do so, join a club or extracurricular activity this quarter.  You will gain valuable insights and enhance your life experience.
  • Link up with your counselor or a private tutor to hone your test taking strategies and sharpen your college plans.

Junior Year Winter: December, January, February

  • Stay organized and keep working hard on your grades.
  • Continue to invest in your writing skills in advance of the SAT and ACT tests.
  • Go deeper with your extracurricular activities:  lead a group project, coordinate an event, learn a new skill, help build a team.
  • Learn more about potential grants and scholarships.
  • Leverage the tens of thousands of information on MatchCollege to help with your college planning.

Junior Year Spring: March, April, May

  • Get a jump on your peers by asking your teachers for a letter of recommendation.
  • Sit for the ACT and SAT test.  Succeed to plan by planning to succeed.
  • Understand the admission requirements for the colleges on your short-list and schedule school visits accordingly.
  • Consult your counselor or a private tutor to refine your writing skills for the essay portion of the application.
  • If you are able to sit for an AP test in May, schedule the test in advance and ensure you are well rested & ready to focus for the test.
  • Apply for summer jobs early.  Be polite, professional, and punctual for all meetings and/or interviews.

Junior Year Summer: June, July, August

  • If you have a summer job, make the most of the opportunity.  Remain curious and understand development happens in stages.
  • Get prepared for more standardized tests in the fall.
  • Work on your financial aid plan & refine piece-parts as necessary.
  • Tour a few colleges and universities on your short list.
  • Read voraciously and get mentally prepared for your senior year in high school.

Resources for High School Juniors

Visit our social media properties and blog for additional insights, tips, and college resources.  Counselors, parents, advisors, and students help to make MatchCollege the most trusted source for college information available.  Online college degrees, financial aid articles, and building key skills are only a small part of what we offer for millions of college-bound students each year.