Regardless of the month, during your junior year you should....
  • Plan to take the ACT. Be aware of registration deadlines. Some people prefer to take this test more than once, so plan accordingly.
  • Plan to take the PSAT (if interested, especially those interested in National Merit Scholar) 
  • Keep your grades up. When applying for scholarships and admission to colleges, they look at your cumulative GPA from all 4 years.
  • Make sure your class schedule is meeting all of the requirements for graduation and college admission. Those of you hoping to play sports in college also need to make sure you are meeting all of the requirements determined by the NCAA.
  • Start making decisions. What do you want to do after high school?
  • Start doing research on colleges.
  • Start doing research on careers.
  • Attend a college fair.
  • Attend college planning night at your school from 7:30-8:30 on Thursday, November 20, 2014.

Below is a list of guidelines for you to follow throughout your junior year to help prepare you for the future. Ask your school counselor if you have any questions or concerns.


To Do List


  • Obtain dates and locations of college fairs and "parent nights" in your area. Check out www.ICANsucceed.org for a calendar of events.
  • Keep your grades up. Colleges look at your overall GPA through all four years of high school.
  • Review your college savins plan; start saving money if you haven't already done so
  • Talk to your parents and your school counselor about where you want to go to college.


  • Register for the PSAT/NMSQT, a two-part exam similar to the SAT. Scores are used to determine National Merit Scholars.
  • Determine what factors are important to you in a college. Go to www.ICANsucceed.org for information on choosing a college.
  • Review college and career resources at your high school.
  • Go to the Golden Circle College Fair on September 28, 2013 from 12:30 to 3:00 PM at the Iowa Events Center- Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines, IA.  It's the largest college fair in Iowa-approximately 140 colleges attend.


  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.
  • Attend a college fair and talk with college representatives to start researching potential colleges. Visit www.ICANsucceed.org for a link to local college fairs.
  • Search for colleges at www.ICANsucceed.org.
  • Visit with your school counselor to discuss ways to increase your chances of being admitted to the college of your choice.


  • Review brochures and catalogs from colleges that interest you. Make a list of 10 to 15 colleges that fit your requirements.
  • Download the College Checklist on www.ICANsucceed.org to keep on track.
  • Attend a financial aid night at your school to become familiar with the financial aid process and types of assistance available.
  • Start planning to take the SAT and/or ACT exams, if required. Familiarize yourself with registration deadlines and test dates (These are available in the school counselor's office, on the home page of the school counselor's website, or on www.actstudent.org). Check the entrance requirements of the colleges to see which test(s) you need to take (ACT and/or SAT; writing portion of the ACT, etc.). You can pick up a study guide at a local bookstore or library.
  • Research scholarships. Keep an ongoing file of scholarship and financial aid information (such as criteria, amounts, contact persons, and deadlines). Check out www. ICANsucceed.org for free scholarship searches. Avoid scholarship searches that charge fees.
  • Narrow your college choices to fewer than five schools.
  • Register now if you're planning to take the January SAT. Pick up a study guide at a local bookstore or library.
  • Begin scheduling visits to colleges.
  • Attend a financial aid night, if you haven't already done so.
  • Organize scholarship information by deadline. Keep a calendar with application deadlines so you don't miss any.
  • Register now if you're planning to take the March SAT. Pick up a study guide at a local bookstore or library.
  • Keep saving money for college.
  • Register now if you're planning to take the Feburary ACT. Pick up a study guide at a local bookstore or library.
  • Research careers at www.ICANsucceed.org.
  • Become familiar with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Make sure you enroll in senior classes that fulfill the credits you'll need for college.
  • Put together a resume listing your activities, volunteer experiences, academic achievements, and employment.
  • Attend college and financial aid fairs and schedule college visits. Go to www.ICANsucceed.org for a list of spring college fairs. Call ahead to arrange campus tours.
  • During each college visit, meet with the admissions and financial aid offices.
  • Talk to your school counselor about taking college-level courses.
  • Register now for the April ACT, if applicable.
  • Compare your impressions of each college and rank them according to preference.
  • Continue to search for scholarships.
  • Find out about scholarships offered by your place of worship, civic and business groups in career fields that interest you.
  • Finalize your college choices and highlight the important features offered at each.
  • Consider taking a summer course at a local college.
  • Obtain a summer job related to your career interest or do community service.
  • Polish up your resume; if required, assemble writing samples, a portfolio or audition tape.
  • Register now to the June ACT, if applicable.
  • If you haven't visited all the colleges on your list, schedule visits.
  • Be prepared to obtain private scholarship applications and begin completing them.
  • Save your summer earnings to pay for college.
  • Serve your community-grades aren't the only thing colleges evaluate.
  • Obtain and being to complete college applications.
  • Prepare for your senior year.
  • Consider which teachers, employers, or other adults you'll ask to write letters of recommendation.
  • Beware of credit card offers. It's easy to get in over your head. Talk with your parents to consider your options.