It's almost the New Year -- and what a big year it'll be for you!!
The junior and senior years of high school take a lot out of you. Hopefully your holiday festivities gave you a much-needed chance to recharge and refocus. With January 1 right around the corner, it's time to set yourself up for success as the college search and application process picks up speed.
Checklists help us stay on track when juggling a lot of details, so we made this one to help you start the year right.
For High School Juniors
- Keep doing your best in your classes. Yes, we sort-of sound like your parents in this, but it's really that important. This is your last big chance to nudge your GPA higher — and the higher your GPA, the better your application will look for colleges and scholarships.
- Look for leadership opportunities in clubs, sports, and organizations at your high school or in your community. By jumping in and making good things happen, you build relationships with teachers, staff members, and community leaders who might provide amazing letters of recommendation in the future -- plus your leadership experience looks great on your college application!
- Continue researching schools
- Talk to your guidance counselor
- Attend all the college fairs you can – call the Admissions offices of your local colleges to see which ones they plan to attend
- Follow universities on social media to learn what's happening on campus (you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook)
- Refine your list at least once this month to help you focus on your goal schools
- Look at majors that capture your interest
For High School Seniors
- Triple check the deadlines for every school on your list:
- Submitted your application?
- Sent your official transcripts?
- Sent your letters of recommendation, if necessary?
- Completed all the financial aid paperwork?
- Research and apply for at least two scholarships
- Try to schedule at least two campus visits this month (assuming the weather doesn't drive you back indoors)
Check back through the list all month. Try to mark off one or two items every single week. If you find yourself with a lot of spare time, double up — look for more scholarships or explore volunteer opportunities to help make your application stand out.
Want to know what’s coming up in the rest of the year? Be sure to download our Ultimate College Decision Timeline.