Attention all high school juniors! Spring has arrived, and before you know it, so will your senior year! It may seem far away, but now is the time to buckle down and take steps to ensure your success down the road. Below are some tips we’ve compiled for you to help you prepare.
(Re)take the ACT/SAT
Most students take the ACT, SAT or both during their junior year. Don’t be afraid to register early! Free resources are provided by both the SAT and ACT to help you study and prepare to perform your best when it comes to test day. If you’ve already taken one of these exams, review your score report to see what areas may need improvement. If you don’t reach your goal the first time, that’s completely normal! You can retake the exams multiple times.
Plan your senior year schedule
Work with your high school counselor or adviser to create a senior schedule that works for you. It may be tempting to take it easy your senior year, but continue to take courses that interest and challenge you. You never know where your interests may lead you!
Start exploring options for after high school
There are infinite paths for you to pursue after high school graduation – don’t wait until your senior year to consider these options! Many students pursue higher education by attending a 4-year institution after high school, but this isn’t the only path. Community college, technical school, apprenticeships, military and gap years are other viable options. Some students also consider entering the workforce right away. This isn’t an easy decision to make and it’s important to talk to your support system of guardians, advisers, coaches, mentors, and other trusted individuals to help make the decision that’s right for you.
Tour college and university campuses
If you plan on attending a college or university after graduation, now is the perfect time to start exploring campuses. If you can’t tour in-person, many institutions also offer virtual open houses, tours, and Q+A panels to help you learn more about their programs. Take advantage of these opportunities and don’t limit yourself; you can achieve whatever you put your mind to!
Register for AP® exams in early fall
If you’re planning on taking AP® exams in the spring, you’ll need to register in the fall. Deadlines vary by school, so make sure to contact AP® Services for a list of local AP® coordinators and approved test sites. For information on how to register for AP® exams, visit the College Board.
Start your scholarship search
Higher education is an investment, and it’s important to recognize that paying for it can be challenging. Make it easier for yourself by applying for as many scholarships as possible. Reach out to the financial aid office at your college of choice to inquire about scholarships. The U.S. Department of Education has also compiled scholarship resources for you to explore as you start your scholarship search. While it can seem daunting, the hard work often pays off!
Continue to get involved in extracurricular activities
Finally, it’s important to stay involved in extracurricular activities. These can vary from participating in sports, music, theatre, and clubs, to volunteering in your community or working at a part-time job. Higher education institutions love to see students exploring their passions outside of academics. Beyond this, building these relationships and experiences is vital to learning who you are and what you enjoy in life. Don’t miss this opportunity while you have it!