College Application Game Plan

College Application Game Plan

March is a busy period for high school juniors. These students are reaching the end of their school year and are on the verge of their last year in k-12 education.

While junior year is certainly a peak in difficulty, slowing down during senior year is a common pitfall for many students.

Fortunately for current juniors, there is still time. 

March is the perfect time for students and their families to make a game plan for the rest of high school. Students who want to get into a university will want to flesh out what classes they plan to take next year, take time to  consider a major, and make sure to keep their grades up.

Alongside leisurely activities and other commitments, these academic priorities eat up a great deal of time. That is why it is important to make a game plan before the senior storm hits, rather than in the midst of it.

Classes To Take Senior Year

Many high schools use March to start planning for next year’s schedule. Students often take time during the month to pick out their next classes for the fall.

Upcoming seniors will not want to drop all core classes in favor of electives. While electives are certainly fine in moderation, dropping any math or english classes that don’t require a 4th year can come back to haunt you.

Incoming college classes take placement tests to try and fulfill basic class requirements. These tests aren’t especially hard when they are fresh off the brain, but taking a gap year in a subject can make them much more difficult. You want to get placed lower, as you will have to take (and pay for) more college classes.

If you get the chance to take an AP class, it will be worth the effort. Not only does this look good on an application, but if you manage to do well on the AP test at the end of the year, you will be able to skip the corresponding college class and save yourself some time and money.

Standardized Test

Another thing to prioritize this month is your standardized test date.

If you have not already taken an ACT or SAT, make sure you are ready to take it soon. Good scores are essential to stand out during the college application process, and taking it soon allows for plenty of time to do a retake if necessary. 

Many of the colleges that recently became test-optional are going back to their requirement for admission.

Extracurricular Activities

Do you have extra time to spare during your senior year? Try to keep (or start) your extracurricular activities.

Colleges love extracurricular activities. They see volunteering, internships, jobs, sports, and clubs as extra ways to get to know a student. These are all things that show you are hardworking and dedicated to getting out there.

College Visits

The last big tip for current juniors is to start planning your college visits.

Have you picked out a college of choice yet?

If you haven't, then this is the time to think about what career you'd like to pursue and find a school that supports that pathway.

If you've already chosen a school of choice, even better! You will want to plan a college visit to tour the campus and get a feel for the area to see if the school is right for you.

College tours can also be a great way to scout out potential campuses if you're unsure where you'd like to attend.

Regardless of if you know where you're looking yet, this is a good time to be looking into tours. Summer is on the horizon and there will be frequent campus tours during the warm weather.

Concluding Thoughts

College admissions offices deal with thousands of applicants, and it can be difficult to stand out amongst such heavy competition. 

It takes a great deal of time and effort to stand out and get into a school of choice. Do yourself a huge favor and get a head start before your senior year begins.

The college process is all about building a case to sell yourself to these institutions. A combination of a good GPA, a strong application, and high standardized test scores are the key to success. For help with the college admissions process, check out more of our website.
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