As a junior in high school, you have a lot to think about – especially when it comes to preparing for college. It’s important to remember that college is not something you can prepare for overnight. It's a process that takes time and a lot of effort if you want to get into your top school and your program of choice. Many high school upperclassmen are unsure where, when, or how to begin when it comes to getting a head start on their college preparation.
We get it, and we're here to help.
Here are five important questions worth asking yourself about college during your junior year of high school:
When should I start applying to college?
This is a commonly asked question among many high schoolers and their parents. The best time to start applying to college is the summer between your junior and senior year. By starting your applications in the summer you will have more time to do research, ask for help, and polish them to make them perfect.
You will also have less stress and fewer distractions. College application deadlines and requirements are different for every university, so be sure to follow the guidelines provided on each individual website to ensure a smooth process.
How can I prepare myself for the college transition?
Making the transition from college to high school is exciting and nerve racking. For some students the thought of being away from their friends and family for the first time is frightening. In order to prepare yourself for this change, it is a good idea to visit campus (maybe even stay overnight) or attend day events/programs held by the university. These types of events allow you to get a true understanding of college life before it becomes a reality.
Note: Marymount University’s Preview Day is a good example of this. This event gives prospective students the opportunity to visit campus, sit in on a class, meet with advisors, and talk with real students.
In order to know if college is the right fit for you, you need to go on a visit and take advantage of the opportunities to experience real college life before becoming a freshman.
What should I do academically in high school to prepare myself for college?
This is a highly important subject when it comes to preparing yourself for college. In order to have the greatest chance to get into the school and program of your choice, you need to speak with your school counselors to make sure you are on the right track with academic courses and GPA.
Many college programs demand high school students to fulfill specific academic requirements in order to be eligible to apply. Some of these requirements may include maintaining a particular GPA, taking specific classes, and receiving certain scores on tests like the ACT and/or SAT. Knowing what program you want to pursue and what you have to do academically to get accepted should be a top priority as you finish out your high school education.
Pro Tip: Check out these seven books to read before you become a college freshman!
How do I start deciding what major I want to pursue?
Deciding on a major is one of the toughest decisions you will make about your college career and your future. This is not a question that your parents, your teachers, or your guidance counselor can give you the answer to. Making this decision requires you to get to know yourself on a much deeper level: What are your likes and dislikes, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are you passionate about, what job would you like to have after college?
One way to test out your potential career choice is to consider job shadowing in your community or doing volunteer work in that specific field. (Also start considering the possibility that you’ll have to work while in college to support yourself.) In order to make the best decision, take your time, do your research, and pursue what you’re passionate about.
What kind of financial aid will I need?
Financing a college education can come with a lot of stress and challenges, but it doesn't have to! Between the FAFSA, scholarships, grants, and other loans, you have so many opportunities for financing your college degree.
Start your research early, and you'll find that you might be eligible for way more financial aid than you originally thought!
At Marymount, you'll learn with purpose.
Marymount’s location – just six miles or a short Metro ride from D.C. – offers a wealth of opportunities for education, entertainment and fun. Marymount students live and learn in one of the world’s most exciting and influential cities and have many opportunities for leadership and service within a diverse and welcoming academic community. Here, each individual’s ideas, talents, and contributions are valued.
We invite you to learn more about the community at Marymount by visiting our digital guide — We Are Marymount.