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College Preparation Checklist

A Guide for college-bound students
on what to do and when to do it - and simplify the entire process!

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Junior Year: September through October

  • Talk with your counselor about the year ahead and align on a plan for college preparation.

  • Confirm that you are in the right courses; scheduled to finish on time and on track for college admission.

  • Review the available resources and support services provided by your school counseling office.

Junior Year: November through December

Junior Year: January through February

  • Ensure that you are on track to graduate and are meeting entrance requirements for the schools and programs on your short list.
  • Colleges tend to favor well-rounded students that participate in a variety of activities beyond school, especially if a student displays consistent involvement or takes on a leadership role.
  • If your extracurricular activities or volunteer service hours are low, now is the time to add them to your schedule. Whether it’s groups, clubs, sports or civic activities, now’s the time to get involved!

Junior Year: March through May

professor parchie

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  • You are going to need recommendation letters when you apply to schools in the fall.
    • Why not beat the rush by contacting those writers (teachers, coaches, mentors) you want to ask now.
    • This courtesy provides your writers with ample time to prepare and produce your letter of recommendation, often resulting
      in a stronger and more comprehensive letter.
    • Preparing for this requirement now will leave you with one less thing to do in the fall of next year.
  • Consider finding a summer job or internship, preferably one aligned to your potential future field of study.
  • Check on summer opportunities at local college campuses.
    • A summer job or internship on campus will help you get a feel for college-life while expanding your network.

Senior Year: February through May

  • Ensure that you are on track to graduate and are meeting entrance requirements for the schools and programs on your short list.
  • What additional resources are available through your school counselor?
  • Get their perspective, opinions, tips and notes, particularly if they attend a school you are considering.
  • Ask them about their experiences with the application process and first few semesters as a college student.
  • Note the documents, transcripts and additional pieces of information that will be needed to apply.
  • Begin compiling information and available documents proactively to best position yourself for application season.

College-Bound Preparation Checklist

for Junior Year High-School Students
Consolidated Resources Section

We reviewed and referenced several reliable resources, publications and organizations in order to create this guide including the Department of Education,, the National Center for Education Statistics, National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), College Board and others.

When possible and available, direct links to relevant resources have been provided and embedded within the checklist alongside with the related preparation item. We hope this consolidated resources page further aids you in your college preparations. You can do this!

US Department of Education Resources and Links

U.S. Department of Education - College Affordability and Transparency Center:

National Center for Education Statistics:

Scholarship, Grant, Funding Resources Database for Scholarships, and Grants with Free Access for Students: Database & Resource for Scholarships and Grants with Free Access for Students

Standardized Testing Resources

Student and College Counseling Organizations and Associations

American Counseling Association( ACA)

American School Counselor Association( ASCA)

district records services alumni records

Are you looking for more resources?

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