Beginning the Post-Secondary Planning Process
We know that junior year is a critical time for students and that most will begin thinking about their post-secondary plans during this year. Our formal programming will begin for students at the beginning of the second semester.
However, there are a few things to think about and engage in prior to our formal programming. Students will choose their classes for their junior year in the spring of their sophomore year. We recommend that students strive for a balance between academic challenges and extra curricular pursuits. All juniors will complete the PSAT in October of their senior year. Scores are released through the College Board website. Students should create a College Board account to view their scores and set up an account. Parents can begin to review information about financial aid on the MEFA website.
At the beginning of semester 2, counselors will visit junior classes to present the Post-Secondary Planning program. In the first presentation, the focus will be on ‘Finding the Right Fit’. In the second presentation, we will focus in on the college search process In February of junior year, the junior class will have two group meetings with the guidance counselors to go over in detail the future planning process, including a “to-do” timeline, use of the Naviance website, registration for the SAT or ACT, local test preparation organizations, Internet resources, campus visits, and for athletes, how to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. During the time period between February and April vacations, each junior should schedule a full-period appointment with their guidance counselor to formulate and discuss plans, review their high school transcript, and get any other questions about the process answered.
Also, in February, parents will be invited to attend the Junior Parents’ Night, which will include a presentation by a panel of college admissions officers. An additional smaller group question-and-answer session with their child’s guidance counselor will be held at a later date.
Juniors should look ahead in their calendars to see when they can start visiting colleges. Both February and April vacations are good times for high school juniors to visit, as the colleges are in session and students can thus get a sense of the campus culture. To visit a college, simply go to its website, click on the link for undergraduate admissions, then on the link to “visiting campus.” Times and dates will appear; the student schedules whatever is convenient and then arrives at that time and date at the admissions office. These visits are casual, and typically include a campus tour conducted by a student at the school and a group information session with an admissions officer. Another option is to visit the school's website to view a campus tour.