Junior year

Junior Year: It’s about to get real!

College-bound students know that junior year of high school is important. It’s the time to build those academic muscles, sharpen up extracurriculars, and stretch out those wings for some independent experiences. During junior year, students often start the “college prep” thinking and tasks to prepare for college application season.

Here’s an important reminder: the college application process is not really that hard. There are just six simple steps. (Bear with us a minute on this!)

  1. Pick some colleges
  2. Apply to the colleges
  3. WAIT (ugh!)
  4. Choose a college from your acceptances
  5. Pay (cha-ching)
  6. And go!

But we understand that even getting to that first step is a challenge, especially when you haven’t done it before. Even if you are experienced, all the recent changes can cause confusion!

Back to junior year of high school…for most families, it’s the first time it all feels very real and very close. In a few short months, your student will apply to colleges.

We want to share with you an important message.

Please don’t wait.

Please don’t wait until the summer before senior year (or worse the fall of senior year!) to make a plan of action. Right now, during your student’s junior year, your family can be tackling tasks in small chunks which will position you for an easier, less stressful process.

For example, you will need a list of colleges. In the fall, you can begin researching colleges. In the spring, you can visit some colleges on that list. And in the summer, you’ll hone that list to those select few to make the final cut.

Reading this and thinking “oh gosh, I am already too late!”? Don’t worry. Wherever you are now is fine. Now that you are aware, you can start to make some plans.

What topics/tasks can you work on now?

  1. ACT and SAT testing
  2. High school coursework
  3. Personal development efforts (We’re looking at you, laundry!)
  4. College research, visits, fairs
  5. Career exploration
  6. Having a part time job, volunteering, extracurriculars, summer activities
  7. College applications and essays
  8. Building relationships with adults (future letter of recommendation writers)
  9. Having the money talk

From the beginning, we said this wasn’t hard, and it’s not. But we will acknowledge that there’s some “heft” to the list. Now – right now – is the time to get started.

You know us…we’d love to help!

You’re going to have questions as you get underway….LOTS of questions. Do you work better with solid answers and a detailed game plan?

We have a series of family events that will give you just what you need. Register for one or several or all of these depending on your comfort level with any topic.

Our recommended series of webinars for junior families (Each program can be found on our Upcoming Webinars page):

Junior Year: What to Do and How to Do It™

    • We’ll take you season by season of the upcoming year with a guide of what to do and when.
    • Great overview and exploration of all 9 topics above.
    • Low-cost family ticket price: $29

ACT/SAT/PSAT: The Ultimate Family Planning Guide™

    • A deep dive into the subject of college entrance testing
    • Topics include: latest news from testing agencies, timelines, testing plan, navigating test-optional, how they are different, which is right for your student, and more.
    • Low-cost family ticket price: $29

College Research: Conducting an Effective Search with Online Tools™

    • The internet is the ideal tool to start a list of colleges and research them to find the best fit for your student.
    • This unique webinar will demonstrate our favorite websites and step you through how to conduct searches.
    • We’ll also look at how to determine the criteria for your search and how to incorporate choice of major and budget into your search.
    • Low-cost family ticket price: $29

Smart Money Moves for the College-Bound™

    • A great overview of what families need to know about paying for college—how it all works, types of financial aid, scholarships, loans, and much more.
    • Free program

Why Go to College? Career/Major Thinking for Teens™

    • Why does anyone go to college? Students tell us it’s to get a better job. However, so many teens embark on the college search process without taking time to consider careers and majors–the two things that should be driving the process.
    • We’ll dig into career and major planning. What do you need to know right now, while your teen is still in high school?
    • Free program

Extracurriculars: Supporting Your Teen’s Growth Outside of School™

    • Time spent doing extracurricular activities can fuel your child’s personal, academic, mental, and social development.
    • We’ll explore: the wide variety of extracurriculars, why students should be involved, why colleges care, finding a good fit, and more.
    • Low-cost family ticket price: $29

College student or college-bound? Know your rights (and wrongs!)™

    • As a student heads off to college, families need to know about their legal rights and responsibilities, how to stay out of trouble, and what to do if something goes wrong.
    • Topics include: academic integrity and misconduct, Code of Conduct violations, criminal records, and sexual misconduct.
    • Free program

Each webinar is 90 minutes long.

You can pick and choose the events where you need support.

Families who choose to get up to speed on their college-planning knowledge will find themselves ahead of the game. You can use your junior year to break tasks up into manageable chunks and avoid a crush going into senior year.

Prefer a more personalized, 1:1 approach to your support? You can read more about our Private Consultations.

One final piece to consider…why are you going to college?

Why does anyone go to college? It costs a lot and guarantees nothing.

Students tell us their primary reason is to get a better job than they could without a college degree. Yet, these same students are painfully uninformed of real-world careers.

Further, students need an understanding of their interests, strengths, skills, values, etc. in order to identify some career paths of interest to them for further exploration.

Some students can assess themselves and use that knowledge to explore careers and majors, but many struggle with this skill. If your student doesn’t have a clear idea of why they are going to college, they may need the 1:1 assistance provided by Guided Self Assessment.

This process is a game changer—giving a student the confidence and clarity to make future decisions about the college they attend, the major they choose, the learning experiences they pursue, and their first career on the horizon. Read more about Guided Self Assessment and book a 30-minute, no obligation meeting to see a report and get all your questions answered.

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