Junior Checklist draft

Find out what you need to do now to prepare for Senior year and learn how you can find money, resources, and support that will help you into college.

Write The College Essay
According to CollegeBoard.com, there are usually three types of College Essays.

The “you” question:
Colleges want to know who you are—values, priorities, etc.
Choose one or two things that reveal your best qualities.

The “why us” question:
Colleges want to know why you chose their school.
What are your goals and your commitment to their school?

The “creative” question:
Colleges want your reaction to a specific topic—national issue, book, famous person.
Colleges want to see how creative you can be and the extent of your knowledge.
Be creative but use common sense.

College Preparation Goals

Juniors – Look at the list below and develop your own timeline for completing the college access activities listed. Make sure to:

  •  Prioritize the list according to your plan. Some will require specific deadlines and some may be ongoing.
  • Keep a College Access Calendar for planned and completed activities.

REMEMBER! You are responsible for taking care of your college access business with the guidance and advice from your counselor and other school staff.

_____ Keep an Academic Portfolio and a record of your extra-curricular activities.
_____ Ask to see a copy of your high school transcript.
_____ Have a discussion with your parents or guardian about college, college finances, majors, and your future plans.
_____ Talk to college friends, relatives and teachers about their college experience.
_____ Get a professional sounding e-mail address; avoid cute or eye-brow raising informal addresses such as nicknames.
_____ Become involved in extra-curricular activities, voluntary community service, as well as church or community organizations.
_____ Pursue advanced placement or dual credit courses available in your high school to save money in college and increase your GPA.
_____ Register for and take the PSAT/NMSQT. Your scores could qualify you for scholarship money.
_____ Talk to your guidance counselor about your scores and investigate ways to improve your scores before taking the SAT.
_____ Stay focused on your grades and attendance in your classes.
_____ Write a resume and continually update it with current information about you and your activities.
_____ Make a list of colleges that you wish to research on line.
_____ Discuss the colleges in which you are interested with your counselor or other staff members assisting with your college access.
_____ Attend college fairs and college visits scheduled on your campus, and visit colleges.
_____ Become familiar with the requirements regarding standardized testing at the colleges in which you are interested.
_____ Register before the deadline for the ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests
_____ Follow through by reporting for the ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests.
_____ Select senior year classes which meet college requirements and which demonstrate to prospective colleges your ongoing commitment to challenging yourself academically.

Time Management: Manage Your Priorities
Here are some tips for taking control of your time and organizing your life:

  • Plan your work ahead of time.
  • Keep a planner to keep track of your schedule.
  • Use your time wisely—study while waiting for the bus or in between events.
  • Don’t work more than ten hours a week.
  • Find a solution if your grades start to suffer—talk with your boss, coach, or sponsor.
  • Your education always comes first!
Participate in Internships

An internship can last a few weeks to a few months and is one way you can explore your career interests and gain experience working in a field-from physics to advertising to fashion. Some internships are paid and provide housing, others provide neither, just the experience.

REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GET AN INTERNSHIP:

You Can Explore Potential Careers
It will help you figure out if the profession you’re thinking about pursuing is for you.

It Will Help You Stand Out from the Crowd
Gain experience in a field you plan to pursue in college strengthens your college applications.

You Will Gain Valuable Insight
You learn how to work in a professional setting.

You Will Meet Lots of New People
You will gain contacts that may lead to other opportunities throughout high school and can snag you a job right out of college.

Where to find an internship:

  • Talk with mentors, teachers, and counselors and see what is available in your community.
  • Look at company websites to see if there are opportunities in your area.
Investigate Job Shadowing

Job shadowing let’s you explore the career you’re interested in and gain first-hand experience by “shadowing” someone in their job for a day.

Unlike internships, job shadowing usually lasts only 1-2 days. It is an unpaid position which gives you valuable insight into the career field you are exploring.

Job shadowing helps you gain valuable insight into whether the job or career is for you!

Learn more about job shadowing here:
www.jobshadow.org/about/

www.wcpss.net/school_to_career/work_based_learning/job_shadow/index.html

www.groovejob.com/resources/job-shadowing/

Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is so important! Learn how filling it out impacted former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s decision to attend Stanford University. 

Challenge Yourself
Learn what you need to do get ahead and graduate on time.

Find the Money
Discover ways you can start saving and finding money for college.

Scholarships!
Everyone likes the idea of free money! Check out these links for local scholarships you may be eligible to apply for. Good luck!

Make a plan! College is just around the corner!