By Aranza Carrillo and Emely Martinez

Junior year is a great time to start thinking about college admissions. Instead of stressing about the process during the fall of your senior year, get ahead of the game and start planning now. Here are a couple of things you can do now as a junior in high school that can help your case as a college applicant next year.

Finish Strong: Many counselors will argue junior year grades are the most important in college admissions. When you are applying to colleges in the fall, the second semester of junior year will be the final grades you will report at the time of the application submission. Therefore, it is very important to finish the year strong.

Connect with teachers: Get to know your teachers and let them get to know you on a personal level. Colleges will need recomendation letters and it’s always best to have a letter that can speak highly about a student. 

Continue preparing for the SAT and ACT: Some colleges require the SAT or ACT; those test scores will play a role in the college admissions decisions. In adittion, many colleges use your test scores to determine financial aid. 

So, not only does a better score give you a boost in admissions, but it can pay off big time in the form of financial aid. 

Stay Involved: Get out of your shell and join as many clubs as possible. The more you are involved, whether through clubs, sports or community service, the more competitive you will look on your college application.

Avoid time consuming distractions: It is very easy to lose track of time, therefore it is very important to avoid distractions. Get used to this habit and you will be able to reduce the chance of getting “senioritis” next year.Start planning your summer activities: After all the hard work you’ve achieved this school year, make fun plans with friends or family this summer.  Relax and enjoy your break, you deserve it. It’s important to prepare for senior year.

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