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College might seem far away to your children when they’re about to start their junior year of high school. Many students don’t give college a lot of thought until senior year, which is a huge mistake. The college preparation checklist is long. Thus, the sooner they start, the better. Junior year is the ideal time to get most of the preliminary stuff out of the way and significantly reduce stress during senior year. Planning ahead puts your child at an advantage during the college admissions process. Learn the 10 things your child do to start getting ready for college.
1. Research Possible Majors
If your child hasn’t already decided on a career path, junior year is the peak time to get that figured out. They should consider their interests, as well as school subjects they excel at. The degree program they pursue will have a lasting impact on the rest of their life, so they should choose wisely. It’s for normal your child to feel drawn to multiple fields of study that have no connection to each other. For instance, crime-based T.V shows might inspire them to become a criminal defense lawyer. Yet they may also feel inclined to become a veterinary doctor due to a love of animals. However, they will find your true calling one way or another. A great way to help them make a decision is to have them weigh the pros and cons of different possibilities. Don’t worry if they can’t make up their mind just yet, they have plenty of time to decide.
2. Start Looking at Colleges
When it comes to picking out colleges, priorities differ from person to person. Many students want to get into a college near home, while others may prefer to wind up as far as possible. Your student may fancy a college for its beautiful campus, cultural diversity, or proximity to a glamorous city. There are several things to regard, such as the national/international ranking, practical value of the selected degree program, location, climate, student societies, and etc.
3. Getting Ready for College: Up Meet Up with the Guidance Counselor
High school guidance counselors are an essential part of your child’s journey towards college, so make sure they build a good relationship with them during junior year. Bear in mind that a recommendation letter from them is a vital component of college applications. Proper acquaintance will allow the counselor to address your student’s academic and non-academic attributes in the best way possible. They can also provide valuable advice regarding suitable schools and programs that fit your student’s needs.
4. Boost Your Academic Performance
Your child’s academic performance in junior year shall be closely scrutinized by colleges, especially wherever they apply early. If their grades were not up to standard in the previous year, it is time for your child to step up their game. Ace all your subjects to make a good impression.
5. Prepare for Standardized Testing
Most colleges accept both SAT and ACT, so your child needs to decide which standardized testing is best for them. It is recommended to focus on sailing through one rather than doing both. Your child should take time to prepare and then sit for the test by the mid or end of junior year. This way, if their scores do not turn out great, they still have time to improve upon them.
6. Keep Up with Extracurricular Activities
Achievements in an extracurricular activity like sports can improve your child’s chances of getting into an Ivy League college or earning a scholarship. They should give it their all. Promising potential in extracurricular activities is likely to make up for any academic deficiencies.
7. Look Up Scholarships and Financial Aid
It is never too early to start looking for scholarships or financial aid programs to pay for college. Nothing beats winning a free ride through college and dodging cumbersome student loans. There’s an enormous amount of competition for fully-funded scholarships, so it helps when you and your child act fast.
8. Getting Ready for College: Narrow Down the Options
Your son or daughter may have come across numerous colleges with great potential and explored various degree programs that get them excited, but you’ll have to help them make a choice. It would help if they narrowed down their options to move forward. They should select 2-3 top picks and no more than 5 safety options.
9. Getting Ready for College: Schedule Campus Visits
Check out college websites and forums to learn about scheduled student tours. You should help your child visit their top 5 colleges as it will put everything into perspective. Getting a feel of the campus and observing everything in person will make the final decision easier.
10. Plan a Productive Summer
Your son or daughter shouldn’t waste the summer at the end of their junior year. They need to build a solid resume by getting a summer job or internship. They can also do volunteer work or undertake a personal project that complements the career path they choose to pursue. Getting ready for college means being well-rounded.
John Adams is a lifestyle blogger who concentrates on health, fitness, and self-development. He encourages readers to fight their fears and overcome obstacles holding them back. He believes that every person can improve the quality of his/her life by thinking positively and making better choices. He loves to share his insight on life experiences and contributes on various online platforms in the same niche.