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Regardless of the month, during your junior year you should....

  • Plan to take the ACT. Be aware of registration deadlines. Some people prefer to take this test more than once, so plan accordingly.
  • Plan to take the PSAT (if interested, especially those interested in National Merit Scholar; recommended for those students in the top 20% of their class)
  • Keep your grades up. When applying for scholarships and admission to colleges, they look at your cumulative GPA from all 4 years.
  • Make sure your class schedule is meeting all of the requirements for graduation and college admission. Those of you hoping to play sports in college also need to make sure you are meeting all of the requirements determined by the NCAA.
  • Start making decisions. What do you want to do after high school?
  • Start doing research on colleges.
  • Start doing research on careers.
  • Attend a college fair.
  • Attend college planning night at your school (Nov. 21, 2013 @ 7:00 p.m.)

Below is a list of guidelines for you to follow throughout your junior year to help prepare you for the future. Ask your school counselor if you have any questions or concerns.



  • Obtain dates and locations of college fairs and "parent nights" in your area. Check out for our calendar of events. 
  • Keep your grades up. Colleges look at your overall GPA through all four years of high school. 
  • Review your college savings plan; start saving money if you haven't already done so. 
  • Talk to your parents and your school counselor about where you want to go for college.


  • Register for the PSAT/NMSQT, a two-part exam similar to the SAT. Scores are used to determine National Merit Scholars. 
  • Determine which factors are important to you in a college. 
  • Review college and career resources at your high school.


  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT. 
  • Attend a college fair and talk with college representatives to start researching potential colleges. for a link to local college fairs. 
  • Search for colleges at
  • Visit with your school counselor to discuss ways to increase your chances of being admitted to the college of your dreams.


  • Review brochures and catalogs from colleges that interest you. Make a list of 10-15 colleges that fit your requirements. 
  • Download the College Checklist on to keep on track. 
  • Attend a financial aid night at your school (December 1, 2008 @ 6:30 p.m.) to become familiar with the financial aid process and types of assistance available. 
  • Start planning to take the SAT and/or ACT exams, if required. Familiarize yourself with registration deadlines and test dates. Check the entrance requirements of the colleges to see which test you need to take.


  • Research scholarships. Keep an ongoing file of scholarship and financial aid information (such as criteria, amounts, contact persons and deadlines). Avoid scholarship searches that charge fees. 
  • Narrow your college choices to fewer than five schools. 
  • Register now if you're planning to take the January SAT or February ACT. Pick up a study guide at a local bookstore or library.


  • Begin scheduling visits to colleges. 
  • Attend a financial aid night, if you haven't already done so.  
  • Organize scholarship information by deadline. Keep a calendar with application deadlines so you don't miss any. 
  • Keep saving money for college.


  • Research careers at .
  • Become familiar with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Make sure you enroll in senior classes that fulfill the credits you'll need for college.
  • Put together a resume listing your activities, volunteer experiences, academic achievements and employment.
  • Register now for the April ACT exam.


  • Attend college and financial aid fairs and schedule college visits. Go to for a list of spring college fairs. Call ahead to arrange campus tours.
  • During each college visit, meet with the admissions and financial aid offices.
  • Talk to your school counselor about AP courses and CLEP tests. Consider taking honors or college-level classes.


  • If you're currently enrolled in AP courses, consider taking AP exams. 
  • Compare your impressions of each college and rank them according to preference. 
  • Continue to search for scholarships. 
  • Find out about scholarships offerred by your place of worship, civic and business groups in career fields that interest you. 
  • Register now for the June ACT exam.


  • Finalize your college choices and highlight the important features offered at each. 
  • Take AP exams, if applicable. 
  • Consider taking a summer course at a local college. 
  • Obtain a summer job related to your career interest or do community service. 
  • Polish up your resume; if required, assemble writing samples, a portfolio or audition tape.


  • If you haven't visited all the colleges on your list, schedule visits. 
  • Be prepared to obtain private scholarship applications and begin completing them. 
  • Save your summer earnings to pay for college. 
  • Serve your community-grades aren't the only thing colleges evaluate.


  • Obtain and begin to complete college applications. 
  • Prepare for your senior year. 
  • Consider which teachers, employers or other adults you'll ask to write letters of recommendation. 
  • Beware of credit card offers! It's easy to get in over your head. Talk with your parents to consider your options.

These guidelines were taken from a form given out by the Iowa College Access Network. If you would like a hard copy, stop by the guidance counselor's office.