The holidays bring a break from school that provides a good time for high school students to make progress in their college searches. The Meredith College Office of Admissions offers the following tips for high school juniors on making the most of this opportunity:
1. Make an appointment with your college counselor to build a list of colleges you should consider. Already have a list? Sit down with your counselor to narrow that list so you can plan visits over the spring term or summer break.
2. Research the colleges you will visit. Many schools require advance notice and scheduling an appointment to take a tour and attend an information session. Do they have any upcoming open house dates? Meredith offers two open houses for juniors in the spring – now is a great time to sign up.
3. Find the right fit for you! Take a college selection assessment at cfnc.org or collegeboard.org. Also, make plans to attend a college fair near you in the spring. Check out nacacnet.org to see if a national college fair will be held in your area.
4. It’s not too early to start your scholarship search! Check out fastweb.com, scholarsnapp.org, and cfnc.org to learn about the variety of scholarships available and to apply. Scholarship search engines may require you to create a profile. Creating a profile is worth the time!
5. Have you signed up for the SAT or ACT? Do so at sat.collegeboard.org or actstudent.org. Plan to take the SAT or ACT up to three times – spring and/or summer of your junior year and early fall of your senior year. And remember, we’re test-optional.
6. Think about classes you’ll take in your senior year. For many colleges, the most important aspect of your application will be the rigor of your curriculum and the grades you have earned in those courses. Be careful not to overreach or underestimate your abilities. Your coursework AND your grades are important.
7. Plan your summer. Look for summer programs that match your interests – a summer academic camp, a community camp, or volunteer experiences in the community. Meaningful experiences like these are a great addition to any college application.
Take just a little time out from holiday fun to make some progress toward finding your best college fit – you’ll enjoy your break more knowing you’ve taken charge of your college search!