Congratulations—you just finished your junior year! After what is arguably the most important year of high school, filled with preparing for and taking standardized tests, harder exams in your classes, and new-found leadership roles, your college search can really begin. You worked hard this year, and it’s time for summer break—but not before one final meeting with your guidance counselor. Applying to college is a detailed process, and this meeting will help you get everything set up before you part ways for the summer.
Get Help Picking Schools
Once your junior year is complete and you have your grades and SAT/ACT scores, it’s time to start applying to college. Meeting with your guidance counselor will give you a chance to discuss which schools you have a good chance of getting accepted into (“strong schools”), which schools may be a reach (“reach schools”), and which schools you should apply to as a back-up where you will definitely be accepted (“safety schools”). Together, you can compile a list of schools that may be right for you; your counselor may even be able to suggest schools that meet your criteria that you didn’t know about or hadn’t been considering.
Make A Timeline
Summer break is a great time to get ahead on your college applications. Some schools begin accepting applications as early as July, leaving you lots of time to get them started before your senior year starts in the fall. When you meet with your guidance counselor and figure out which schools are right for you, look on their websites and find out when the essay topics are released, when the applications open, and the time windows of when applications will be accepted. Creating a timeline of all these dates will help you stay organized and on top of your game.
If you are looking for scholarships to help pay for school, this is also a great time to discuss different options about where to find scholarships and how to apply for them. Your guidance counselor will have information on the different merit-based, need-based, and athletic scholarships that you may qualify for, and can be a great resource in helping you get the financial aid that you need. Cappex is also a great tool to help you apply for scholarships.
Letter of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation can be a great addition to your college application. They are required by some schools and not by others, but they can help you stand out in the applicant pool and make you seem more personable to the Admissions Office. You may want to ask your guidance counselor to write one of these letters for you, as they have been helping you throughout your high school years and they know you both personally and academically.
Need help finding your perfect college match? Cappex can help!