It’s a New Year! Now What Do I Do?

Happy New Year! If you are a junior, it’s time to get serious about thinking about college. What should you be doing? Here’s a handy checklist:

✔ Create a list of colleges that are of interest and do your research online. Then plan on visiting some of them. Many high schools are on break around Presidents’ Day in February and in the spring. Both are popular times for visiting. Other high schools break in March, also a good time to schedule a visit. Colleges often break in March as well, so do check the schedule, as not all colleges break at the same time. Some schools ask you to register for the information session and tour; others do not. It’s a good idea to register now before all the spaces are filled.

✔ Read your email. That is how colleges often communicate with you.

✔ Hold onto papers and assignments that are graded and contain teacher comments. If you apply without sending standardized test scores, you may need to submit such a paper or two.

✔ Demonstrate your interest in a college by “registering” online in the admissions section of the college’s website. It’s often identified by an area where you can fill out a form requesting more information. And certainly make sure you always register with the college when you visit by filling out the form that is available in the admissions office. Do so, even if you have visited in the past.

✔ You can also “engage” with colleges and demonstrate your interest by participating in online chats with admissions staff members and students.

✔ Follow colleges on Facebook and Twitter and blogs. These are great ways to learn about the schools and for you to identify yourself as a prospective student.

✔ Keep abreast of news and developments by reading college newspapers.

✔ Study, study, study. The first things that colleges will consider in your application are your grades.

✔ If you have not already done so, start planning to take SAT, SAT subject tests, and ACT tests.