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College Checklist: What to Accomplish In Your Junior Year


To narrow down the year-long checklist of things to do in Junior Year, here's an idea of what to get done in 3-month categories.

🍁 Junior Year: Fall

Here's your to-do list for September to November.

  • Scholarship Opportunities: Most are not due until senior year, some have deadlines during junior year. Go to the Financial Aid page on the Fiveable website to find resources on scholarships and grants, FAFSA Ⓡ, and other tips about how to pay for college.
  • PSAT: Confirm PSAT registration. If none is offered at your school, contact other area schools to arrange a test date.
  • ACT: Registration deadline for October ACT
  • College List: Make your college list, revise it throughout the year as needed. Niche is a helpful site for building this list!
  • October PSAT: Take the PSAT. Three dates are typically available, but the test will only be offered at your school once.
  • SAT/ACT: SAT and ACT administrations (October through early December)
  • Community Service: Make sure you check your graduation/college application requirements. Don't save your volunteering hours for the last minute! Start early.
  • Awards: Think about what your strengths are and consider applying for recognitions!

❄️ Junior Year: Winter

Here's your to-do list for December to February.

  • Common App Essay: Between January and February, Common App essay topics are released for the upcoming year.

📖Read: How to Write a College Essay and Should I use the Common App or the Coalition App?

  • Summer Programs: Deadlines for many summer programs are between mid-November and March. Start planning now!
  • Internship Applications: Think about whether these are something you want to spend your summer on! Many applications are due early, so start working on resumes and recommendation letters.

📖Read: Are High School Internships Worth It?

  • Extracurricular Activities: Taking on leadership roles and making a commitment to the same groups are important to show college's consistency.
  • ACT Registration: January is the deadline for the February ACT. Take your first ACT now if you plan on taking it but haven't already.
  • Narrow Your College List: Make sure you have all the information you need about colleges that you're interested in (entrance requirement, tuition, courses, financial aid, etc.)
  • Financial Aid: Examine your family's financial resources and gather information about financial aid from the schools you're interested in.
  • College Fairs: Visit colleges if your schedule allows.

🌸 Junior Year: Spring

Here's your to-do list for March to May.

  • AP Registration: Before March 1st, confirm AP registration with AP teachers, or discuss registration with AP coordinators if self-studying. Check the AP calendar for any potential exam conflicts.
  • AP Tests: Prepare to take AP Exams, with Fiveable!
  • Senior Schedule: Meet with your counselor to determine the classes you'll take next year and to make sure you're on track for graduation.
  • College Appointments: Call the admissions office to set up a personal interview, tour, and a meeting with a professor or coach if you're interested.
  • College Visits: Think about scheduling college visits as time allows over the summer.
  • Teacher Recommendations: Request teacher recommendations and start to think about your Common App essay.
  • College Fairs: Visit colleges if your schedule allows.

☀️ The Summer After Junior Year

After junior year, there's a whole lot to do, so Senior Year: Rising Senior Summer has a bunch more info for you.


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