Put Your College Plan Into Action With These Tips for Juniors

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Planning can make all the difference between calm and panic. That certainly holds true for putting together a plan for getting to college. We’ve already discussed the easy ways that freshmen and sophomores can be set on the path for college.

Come junior year, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. With only two years before high school graduation, students and families can put their college plan into action early enough to not find themselves scrambling come senior year. Iowa College Aid’s “Your Course to College” offers tips that will help families in their junior and senior years of high school execute their college plans to perfection.

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Here are a few things to get on the calendar for junior year to help with college planning:

  • Now is the time to really focus on your career and college research. Determine which colleges offer programs that interest you.
  • Take the PSAT in the fall of your junior year to be considered for a National Merit Scholarship. Plus, it’s good practice for the SAT!
  • Attend college fairs and go on college visits. Call ahead to schedule appointments with financial aid and admissions offices.
  • Take the SAT or ACT in the spring and have the official scores sent to the schools that interest you. Download a free ACT preparation booklet from www.act.org. Find free official test prep for the SAT through the College Board and Khan Academy at www.khanacademy.org/sat.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation. Identify teachers, counselors, employers or other adults who can attest to your academic achievement and abilities and ask that they write letters of recommendation for scholarship applications or admissions applications, if needed.

For more tips and advice on planning for, applying to and succeeding in your education after high school, check out “Your Course to College.” Iowa College Aid also publishes a guide for families looking for more information on financially planning for their student’s education. “Planning for Our Futures” is produced in conjunction with Iowa Insurance Division, Treasurer of State and the Iowa Department of Education. Both publications are free to families.

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