A Parent Plan of Action for High School Juniors

June 13, 2016

The end of sophomore year of high school is one of the most important times in a student’s life, as they start the much anticipated transition into college admissions. And while your child might have the process laid out in front of them with the help of teachers and counselors, it’s not always easy to understand exactly what to do as a parent. Here are a few things to keep in mind as your child enters their junior year of high school:

Summer Exploration: The summer prior to junior year is the perfect time to start digging into arguably the most important part of college admissions: cost. Since there are so many different variables involved in both cost and financial aid, it’s something to try to get a head start on as early as possible. For the vast majority of families, the financials of college will influence where to apply and what school your child ultimately chooses to attend.

The most important terms to dive into are: tuition, room and board, loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. The addition and subtraction of those terms are what you’ll wind up paying, and there are plenty of resources available to help.

Fall Goals: The beginning of the school year will come with new opportunities and will truly be the official start of the college application season. Setting goals for the upcoming year will help both you and your child plan out the start to admissions. Keep on top of classes and exams, prepare for the PSAT, and start to research college requirements for admission. Even though the PSAT is just a practice and assessment, it’s a good way to get a better sense of what college entrance exams entail.

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Winter Preparation: By the end of the calendar year and the beginning of the next, you and your child should start to have a better idea of colleges. Though it’s not necessary to have a final list of schools yet, it’s always good to have a few on the radar. Winter is a good time to start helping your child plan for senior year classes, SAT/ACT test dates, SAT II subject test dates, and AP exam dates. The SAT/ACT test dates start in the early spring, so registering early is a good plan. And while SAT II subject tests and AP exams aren’t until the end of the school year, planning and registering for those ahead of time is always a good way to ensure the details.

Spring Action: The final months of junior year are some of the most important in terms of preparation and action. While you and your child might have a different list of schools to apply to, it’s good to start narrowing down the choices. Visit colleges of interest over breaks or long weekends so you can see them in action - there’s nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of a college campus during classes.

Next Steps: Once the year is over and tests have been taken and scored, don’t forget that there’s plenty ahead. The summer before senior year isn’t a time to ignore, so help your child plan meaningful activities, jobs, or classes to take. Before you know it, your child will be filling out their applications and submitting their final forms to colleges. If you’re looking for more college application help, search our database of successful application files. Chat with a college mentor 1-on-1 for more personalized college application advice

About The Author

Drew Evans
Drew Evans

​Drew is a content and social media guru. When he’s not working, he loves to photograph, play music, play sports, and travel. He is also weirdly obsessed with Thai food, Girl Scout cookies, and learning new languages (even though he’s not fluent in any). For any editorial ideas, contact info@admitsee.com.




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Accepted to Cornell, CMU, Northwestern, JHU, UCSD, UCSB, UC Irvine

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