Juniors… The Time is Now!

Junior year has started and along with it all the chaos that is associated with it – taking classes, getting ready for exams or joining clubs and activities. Before things get in to full gear, it’s a great time to keep in mind that college is just down the road. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to invest a little time contemplating and getting ready for the college admissions process. Remember, the earlier you start, the less stress you’ll face down the road!

Keep the following guidelines in mind as you become invested in the college admissions process:

Class Selection
One of the most important factors in the college admissions process is the rigor of a student’s schedule and the student’s performance in classes. Both are compared relative to other students at the student’s own school and relative to the offerings at each high school. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are not for everyone, so consider what’s right for you before you go the entire school year regretting a decision that may adversely affect your GPA. Depending on the high school, certain school will offer less AP classes than others as they don’t have the capability to offer them. Students attending those high schools should understand that they will not be penalized by colleges. Colleges are mostly looking to see how students challenged themselves within their own environment among their own peers in school. That being said, it’s important to understand that certain schools, particularly ivy leagues, will compare top students throughout a region or area when deciding on which candidate is right for them.

It’s essential that you keep up your grades. Although, you may be applying for Applications for Early Action (non-binding) or Early Decision (binding), which are due in October and November, keep in mind that colleges have the right to ask for grades later on. Depending on the situation, they also have the right to rescind their offer. Therefore, it’s best to try to maintain your grades and GPA throughout your academic years.

October is the time when high school juniors will take the PSAT in school. Though colleges won’t see these scores because it is a “practice” run for the SAT, it is important to remember that a strong score could translate into scholarship money since the PSAT is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT).

Generally, the PSAT serves as a benchmark for future standardized testing. When you receive your results back, understand the areas where you can improve and work towards a better score.

Build Your Resume
If you haven’t already started building a strong resume for college admissions purposes, then this is the time to start. Join clubs and partake in activities that are of interest to you; take an active role and seek out leadership opportunities within these organizations. Leadership is considered the strongest transferable skill from high school to college, therefore, it is looked well upon by admission committees.

Visit Campuses
Build a list of colleges and universities of interest to you. Plan to visit a few that are nearby. If possible, select ones that are fundamentally different in size and type so that you can understand the pros and cons of each.

It’s never to early to start…To learn more about Dolphin Academic Prep and our college guidance and coaching programs, contact us today at 646.490.5075.