College Planning Checklist (February)

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Stay on Track for a Successful Spring with These Tips

It’s February and time to kick off the spring test-prep bonanza for juniors looking to take their first or second go at the ACT or SAT. While much of the focus this time of year is on standardized test preparation, there’s a lot more that students can be doing in February to prepare for the college admissions process and a successful spring semester.

Here’s what high school students need to be doing in February to get on track and stay ahead:

Freshmen

  • If you haven’t yet, set up a time to meet with your college counselor to discuss your summer plans. If you plan to apply to a program, now is the time to start!
  • Keep your grades up! Just because it’s still early in the semester, don’t think you can slack and make up for it later.
  • Start planning your course schedule for next year. Remember to take a challenging, yet appropriate course load.

Sophomores

  • Have an older sibling that’s going on college visits this spring? Plan to tag along! This is a great way to become familiar with institutions and learn what to expect on college tours and information sessions.
  • Find opportunities to deepen your extracurricular involvement. Now that you’re settled into the new semester and have a better idea of the time you can dedicate to expanding your extracurricular involvement, dive in! Brainstorm fundraising campaigns or fun events that can be held with other clubs. Make an impact.
  • Start thinking more seriously about the ACT and SAT. Try to take at least one practice test this month to see how you do and what you need to improve.

Juniors

  • If you haven’t already, start planning some college visits during your spring breaks. Try to visit as many of your top-choice schools as possible. Not only does it demonstrate your interest, it can also help you decide whether or not the school is a good fit for you.
  • There are only a few testing dates for the ACT and SAT left this school year. If you’ve been prepping for standardized tests, be sure to register by the deadlines. The registration deadline for the March SAT is this Friday, Feb. 7.
  • Do you know what you’re doing yet this summer? Now is the time to start planning a productive summer. Program and internship deadlines are around the corner so start planning now and meet with your college counselor to discuss your options.

Seniors

  • Applying for financial aid? If you haven’t already, get started on your FAFSA! Many schools have mid-February deadlines in order to be considered for scholarships, so get it completed soon.
  • Keep your grades up! You may see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you don’t want poor last semester grades to result in a rescinded acceptance.
  • You probably already have a few admissions decisions in hand, so start weighing your options. If your feelings have changed about a certain school, that’s ok! Sit down with your family and discuss a plan of action for decision day.
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