November 29, 2022

Why Juniors Need to Start Getting Ready for College Now

It’s hard to believe, but the first part of the academic year is already over. For students in their junior year, that means there are only nine months left before they enter senior year. It also means only nine months before they can start applying to college.

That date can seem far off but, between holidays and the summer break, it can creep up on families. Juniors need to start planning now so that they can be ready when deadlines arrive, which is why Class 101’s Super Junior program is so important.

The Super Junior program is a Class 101 initiative to give students in their junior year the extra support they need to get ahead before they need to apply to college. All Super Juniors complete a special checklist specifically designed to help them, in the course of 90 days, put their best foot forward.  

Here’s a look at the seven parts of the program that students can expect to focus on. While you can try to follow this guide on your own, only with the Class 101 Super Junior program do you have someone to do it with you every step of the way.

1. Make a College List

The first step in getting ready to apply to college is to think about where you want to go. Do you want to go to school in your home state or across the country? Do you want a student body that has more than 15,000 students or one with less than 3,000? Do you want the campus to be urban, suburban, or rural?

Thinking about these questions can help you narrow down the kinds of schools that you might be interested in learning more about. It can help ensure that you focus on schools that will be the right fit for you and your interests. 

Through the Super Junior program or normal advising, a Class 101 advisor can guide you toward colleges that might be particularly well-suited for you

2. College Visits

Once you’ve figured out a few colleges that interest you, the next step is to find time to visit them. The Super Junior program can help students contact admissions departments and see if they can schedule a tour and, if possible, a meeting with a faculty member who can talk about a major you might be interested in. While you’re there, make sure to pay close attention to the residence halls, academic facilities, and student life to see if the school seems like a good fit. 

The number of schools you visit can vary from person to person. Some students visit only three or four campuses that they are interested in. Other students, who begin looking early in their junior year, might visit a dozen campuses. We recommend visiting at least 10 campuses, before the start of your senior year.

3. Get Your DISC Profile

It may be shocking, but 70% of employees dislike their jobs. They find themselves in careers they don’t like after going through college programs they had little interest in. In this way, having a clear sense of what you want to do early on can be vital to later happiness and success. Students need to assess their goals.

At Class 101, we utilize a personality assessment tool called the DISC assessment that measures four behaviors: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. The DISC is useful in helping our students understand which types of majors best suit them for their soon to be careers. Participants in the Super Junior program will have the chance to receive the DISC assessment.

4. Get an ACT/SAT Baseline

Next, it’s important for students to start taking the ACT and SAT to determine their baseline score. These standardized tests form the basis for most college admissions in the United States and strong scores can be critical when applying to selective, academically rigorous schools. Tests are proctored throughout the year in various locations and students can sign up through each test’s website.

By taking the test early, students give themselves plenty of time to understand the test and what it requires. If a student encounters any difficulties while taking the test for the first time, they can work to address those issues when taking the test again.

5. Figure Out ACT/SAT Trends

The most important reason for taking the ACT and SAT early is to figure out what you do and do not need to improve on. A student who scores high in English but low in Math can use the time between tests to study and seek tutoring in mathematics. They can work with a Class 101 Advisor to assess which particular kinds of topics—such as algebra, geometry, or trigonometry—they need the most help with.

In short, by taking the test early, students give themselves time to improve. They can take the test again and again until they’ve reached the highest score they can for each subject. These scores can make sure you present the best version of yourself possible to a college admissions board.

6. Draft Your Resume

In today’s admissions process, colleges look for more than just good grades and test scores when reviewing applications. They want evidence of extracurriculars. They want evidence that a student is involved in their community. They want to know how students have worked and what they care about.

By assembling a resume through the Super Junior program, students can identify what it is they’ve done that a college might be interested in. A resume can also be useful in identifying gaps that they might want to fill with internships, leadership programs, and other activities. It can even be useful when writing a college admissions essay to remind you what you’ve done and how you are distinct from other students!

7. Have a Meeting to Regroup

After the college visits have been scheduled, after taking the ACT and SAT, and after drafting your resume, it can be useful to take a step back and review what you’ve done thus far. 

Together with parents and a Class 101 advisor, we’ll go through the previous few steps to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Ask yourself what it is that you still need to do to have a strong college application and how you can achieve that. A Class 101 advisor might have advice, based on their experience helping other students, to help you.

***

The journey to college is a long one but it can pass by quickly. By using the Super Junior program to take the first steps now, juniors can save themselves a lot of headache and hassle later on. They can make sure they aren’t rushing around right before the deadline but instead have everything they need to succeed

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Start planning for college today!