March To-Do List for Juniors Working to Get Into Their Dream College
Yay! Spring is coming, bringing you a break from school and a little time to catch up if you’ve had a tough time staying on track in January and February. Seize this opportunity to build momentum by getting these things done in March...
1. Keep your eye on the prize when it comes to your grades. Do what you need to do to put yourself on track for the end-of-year grades you want. Analyze your performance thus far and see what you need to improve. More timely submission of homework? Better performance on in-class quizzes or tests? A little extra-credit work you could do over the break? Whatever it is, now is the time.
2. Work your plan for standardized tests. If you are operating on the schedule we suggested, you’ll either be taking no tests at all because of Covid, or taking the SAT in the middle of the month, or doing final prep for the ACT at the beginning of April. Keep working your plan and look for our post coming soon that has tips for how to find your test-day mojo.
3. Review your activities and see if there is an opportunity to do something by year-end that would add to your “impact.” When it comes to activities, admissions officers are on the lookout for impact. In admissions speak, you’ve had an impact when you’ve done something that has contributed something positive to your community – whether that be your family, your school, or your town. Where do you have an opportunity to contribute something positive before year-end? Focus your energy there.
4. Make your college visits – in person or virtually. For those of you who are lucky enough to be making in person college visits while on break (Covid permitting), be sure you make the most of them. For those of you who can’t swing in-person visits, you can use the time to go on virtual visits by digging into some online research. Look for our upcoming post on how to take yourself on a virtual tour of a college.
5. Familiarize yourself with the college admissions resources offered by your school and, if possible, make an appointment to meet with your school-based counselor in the next month or so (either before or after break). Your high school has resources to support you through the college admissions process, and you owe it to yourself to find out everything you can about what those resources are. Educate yourself by poking around on your school’s website, visiting the counseling offices, and attending college planning events offered by your school. Find out if your school-based counselor schedules one-on-one appointments with juniors. If they do, sign up for one — this is an important first step for establishing a positive and productive relationship. Read our post coming soon with more tips about working well with your school-based counselor.
6. Work on locking in your plans for summer. What you do this summer is important. Check out our previous post on how to make the most of it.
Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the college admissions bible How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.