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College Planning Checklist - Junior Year
Summary: Checklist for Junior Year

All Year
* Junior grades are critical; they show you can handle advanced coursework and are used to determine your eligibility for scholarships and grants.  This year may be your toughest academically, but stay focused on the reward, a college education!

* Keep your Academic Resume up to date.

* Check out websites like, or all free scholarship clearinghouses, to research and apply for merit and need-based support.  More resources are in the Financial Aid section.

* Register for California Scholarship Federation (CSF) membership every semester you qualify and keep up the great work!

Fall Semester

* Meet with your counselor to review your courses for this year and plan your schedule for your senior year.   

* Attend at least a couple of college admissions presentations at SVHS.  These presentations will help you to identify the type of college that interests you and to learn how to gather information and be better prepared to ask questions about colleges.

* Register for and take the October PSAT.  Registration occurs in September at the Student Activities window.  

* Use your PSAT results to develop a testing plan including which tests you should take, when you should take them and how you can best prepare. Consider taking a test preparation course or committing to extra practice on your own.  A resource list, including, is in the College & Career Center or on the SVHS website.

* Visit college campuses over the holidays.

Spring Semester

* Visit, to start a list of schools you want to explore. Have several in mind, including "safety" and "reach" schools.  Request admission and financial aid information from the colleges on your list and ask to be placed on their mailing lists.  Private school admissions representatives like to know you are interested.  

* Take a practice SAT or ACT.  A practice SAT will be offered at SVHS in January.  

* Consider registering for the March SAT if you have already taken Geometry and Algebra II.  If not, register to take the SAT and/or Subject Tests in May or June.  You should also consider taking the ACT.  Some students do much better on one test or the other.  Plan your schedule accordingly.  Ask for financial assistance if needed.   

* If taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses, sign up to take the May AP tests.

* Choose courses for your senior year that will challenge you; colleges want to see commitment, even in senior year.

* Attend College Night for Juniors and the College Planning Workshops for Juniors.

* SAT II or Subject Tests are not offered on every SAT test date.  Choose the test(s) for subjects you are currently taking so the information is fresh. Register for up to three tests on a date that will not conflict with your regular SAT testing.  For the Class of 2012, the UCs will no longer require the subject tests, but some UCs and private schools may recommend the test depending on the major of choice.  

* Attend the North Bay College Fair at Sonoma State in May.  Additional National College Fairs, as well as fairs for students interested in Visual and Performing Arts Schools, can be found at,  or

* Explore summer opportunities, either building on your previous activities or trying something entirely new such as an enrichment course, internship or foreign exchange.
* Request a copy of your transcript with your junior grades from the Registrar in the Counseling Office so you have it for reference and can begin to complete college applications over the summer.

Summer Break
* Update your Academic Resume.  This will help you organize your information for college applications.  An Academic Resume is also needed to request counselor and teacher letters of recommendations for college applications and scholarships.

* If possible, hit the road to visit schools. You can sign up for most college tours online.  If schools offer interviews, schedule them.  Practice interviewing with adults and remember to dress appropriately.  If you are unable to visit schools that are far from home, check out their websites.  These schools often have information sessions and interviewing opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Private schools appreciate your interest so make an effort to attend information sessions if they are within a few hours drive.  Continue to refine your college list. 

* Begin drafting your personal essays, referring to your journals and other writing assignments.  Use previous year's UC prompts as a guideline; they often do not change significantly.

* The Common Application is available July 1.  The Common Application is a clearinghouse application for nearly 400 member colleges nationwide.

* Keep up with your honors and AP summer assignments. Consider topics for your Senior Project to demonstrate your ongoing commitment to something that interests you.


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