The junior year is often referred to as the most important year of high school. While colleges evaluate applicants based upon the entire high school transcript, which includes freshman and sophomore year grades, there is no doubt that the junior year is indeed a critical one. For many students this marks the beginning of their college search process. The academic demands of the junior year are often more intense than those of the ninth and tenth grades, and students typically take their SAT and ACT exams for the first time in the eleventh grade.
WHAT HAPPENS JUNIOR YEAR?
Many juniors struggle to maintain their grades while balancing their extracurricular commitments; this isn't always easy to do. It is important to remember that, when push comes to shove, grades come first. Students may need to cut back on some of their activities if their grades begin to suffer. It is also vital that students allow themselves some time to rest. Getting involved in extracurricular activities that you enjoy is great as long as you respect your limits and stay focused on your larger goals.
HOW DO I FOCUS MYSELF?
We recommend that juniors find time each week to begin to research colleges and think about what kind of college or university may suit them best. Students should treat their search process almost as if they were taking another class; a class that requires some weekly reading, discussion, homework, and field trips. Mr. Rigney conducts several class presentations and an evening workshop in the junior year to introduce students and parents to important college admissions concepts. Students should make sure to meet with Mr. Rigney in the second semester to discuss possible college options, and to use the various College Office resources and the tools available within each student's Naviance Family Connection account throughout the year.
HOW DO I BEST USE MY TIME IN THE SUMMER?
The summer after junior year is a great time to really dive into your college research, to visit college campuses, and to get started on your college essay. It is also a great time to start the financial aid application process by completing the fafsa4caster . Good preparation in the junior year and the following summer will make the senior year college search and application process much more productive.