- Earn excellent grades this year. Junior year grades are the most important grades for getting into college. Junior year grades show college admission officers how well you do in advanced, upper-level courses and indicate if you are capable of handling college-level coursework.
- Make sure your fall and spring course curriculum
is rigorous. Take Advance Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and/or Honors classes. The level of difficulty of student coursework is one of the most important factors college admissions officers analyze when deciding on accepting applicants for admission.
- Join school clubs and organizations that interest you. College admission officers prefer students who demonstrate long-term commitment to their extracurricular activities.
- Join academic programs that recognize high-achieving students. Belonging to organizations that require student members to earn excellent grades will look good on your college applications.
- Prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT® given in October.
- Plan to meet with your high school/college-career counselor at least every six months to ensure you are on target for graduating high school and fulfilling college admission requirements.
- Plan to compete in contests, matches, and challenges. Earn honors and awards to build your student résumé.
- Be a leader in a few extracurricular activities this school year; be an officer in a club, serve on student council, start your own organization, etc. Leadership is one of the most valuable student qualifications sought by college admission officers.