The following is a list of some activities that juniors in high school can consider to prepare for applying to college. These can help to reduce some of the stress of the college application process as well as help to improve one’s high school profile in order to be a competitive college applicant, including for Ivy League and other top-tier colleges and universities.
These can all be accomplished during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Take community college classes, during the school year and/or in the summer. This will provide you with college credit, and demonstrates your intellectual ability and motivation. Assuming that you do well in community college coursework, it will also help to boost your GPA.
- Create a document and continue to update it with all your extracurricular activities, summer activities, part-time jobs, volunteer experiences, academic honors and awards, and other successes. This will prove beneficial when creating your resume and completing an activities list on your applications.
- By junior year, it’s beneficial to be active in one or more clubs that are consistent with your area of interest. If you do not already hold a leadership position in a club, try to land such a role in your senior year. During the pandemic, clubs can be meeting virtually.
- Create a blog, or website, get involved in a volunteer effort to help the community, or even create your own business. All of this involves planning and considerable time, but if you can earn an award, show positive results, or a strong following, it may help you to stand out from other college applicants.
- Meet with your school counselor a few times during the year. Talk about the colleges you are considering applying to. Get advice on local scholarships that you can apply for. Make sure to get any assistance you need in planning your senior year coursework. Also, talk about some of the activities you are involved in. The goal is to help your counselor get to know you so that when they write a letter of recommendation for your college applications, they will be able to communicate who you are to admissions reps.
- Sign up for, and attend, college virtual information sessions and virtual college fairs. Follow the colleges you are interested in on social media. Some colleges will take into account your level of interest in their school. Attending info sessions and liking or following them on social media shows that you are interested in their school.
- Whether you take summer classes at community college, work a part-time job, have an internship, volunteer, do research, or grow a business you’ve developed, make sure you begin early to plan for what you will do the summer before senior year.
- Continue to get good grades and take the most challenging classes that you can handle, such as AP and honors classes. Junior year grades are very important and the final ones that most schools will see when reviewing your application.
Overwhelmed or not sure how to prioritize moving forward with the college application process? Our expert counselors will help you stay focused, and create a plan that will help you to choose schools to apply to that are a good fit for you, and will work with you to create a strong application. Contact us to get started.