Written by Rachael Willis
Now is the perfect time for all high school juniors to start preparing for college applications! Although application deadlines are months away, it is never a bad idea to get a head start. Here are some of my recommendations for current juniors who are preparing for senior year!
1. Start working on your Common App
The Common App makes college applications so much easier! You can use it to apply to tons of schools. However, it takes a while to answer all of the questions on the Common App. If you have a free weekend this spring, I’d recommend setting up an account at https://www.commonapp.org/ and starting the application. Trust me; you’ll thank yourself this fall when you don’t have to spend hours in front of your computer the night before the application deadline!
2. Ask your teachers and counselors for letters of recommendation
Most college applications ask for at least one teacher recommendation and one counselor recommendation. Before your junior year ends, send emails to a couple of your favorite teachers and ask them to write you a recommendation. Having these letters in advance will help relieve some of the stress of applying to colleges. Also, your teachers will appreciate having plenty of time to craft the perfect recommendation!
3. Start finalizing your college list
At this point, you don’t need to have a crystal clear idea of where you’ll end up after high school. However, it is important to have a solid list of schools that you are interested in. Dedicate an hour or so each week to college research. Make sure to pay attention to the average GPA of admitted students, standardized testing policies, and course requirements to make sure that you are on track to apply. You can even make a spreadsheet to keep track of all the schools you find!
By following these three tips, you’ll be one step ahead of your classmates this fall. Senior year is exciting, but it can be difficult to manage college applications on top of your coursework. By knocking out some of these tasks now, you’ll relieve yourself of future stress. Believe me when I say that future you will be incredibly grateful!