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Key Accomplishments as a High School Junior

brass keys in a big pile


If you'll be a junior or haven’t yet finished your junior year, follow our advice for using this time to impress colleges and universities.

Challenge Yourself

Although ninth and tenth grade transcripts will be included on your applications, schools want to see that you kicked it up a notch junior year and began taking academics more seriously, regardless of how well you did in your first two years of high school.

Take the hardest course load possible while maintaining the best grades you can to demonstrate that you’re willing to work hard. Your performance will be interpreted as an indication of how you'll fare at the college level. Advanced placement (AP) and honors classes are highly encouraged.

Know Teachers and Counselors

Your teachers are an integral part of your success, so take the time to get to know them individually if you're enjoying their class or considering pursuing their subject for your collegiate major. Ask for their advice and ask about their experience. When it's time to apply, ask them for a letter of recommendation.

Your college counselors also will be able to advise you better if they know you personally, so reach out well in advance of your senior year. After all, it's their job to match individuals with colleges, so a deeper knowledge of your interests and abilities will only help them help you.

Go to College Fairs

Start researching different colleges, scholarships, financial aid packages and academic programs early. You don’t have to finalize any lists before junior year is over, but having an idea of the kinds of schools that interest you will make your application process even easier. Subscribe to school mailing lists or follow their social media. 

Use Your Summer

Plan for the summer between junior and senior year. Consider applying for internships or study abroad programs, as long as they're relevant to your interests. Start studying SAT vocabulary or preparing for subject tests. Taking these steps will enhance your scores and resume for when it really matters.

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