For Juniors Only...!

posted Oct 21, 2011, 7:52 AM by Unknown user
Hello, Juniors and Parents of Juniors.  As the school year gathers speed, I would like to remind you of a couple of things that should be on your mind this year:  your search for that perfect university, and the SAT and/or ACT admissions tests. 
Finding the schools to which you will eventually apply is not a simple task.  There are many things to consider: 
  • finding schools that offer the Major/Course of study you will pursue
  • the country in which you hope to attend university
  • the overall size of the school you prefer (50,000 students or 2000?)
  • private or public universities?
  • will your overall grades and test scores make you competitive for that school?
  • the cost of tuition plus room & board
  • is financial aid available for international students?
Juniors should finish this school year with a completed "short list" of maybe six to ten colleges/universities in which they are most interested.  As the Seniors will tell you, there is not enough time in the day during Senior year to maintain your studies AND research colleges and universities AND write the essays required on university applications AND complete the applications for up to six, eight, or even ten universities.  Add to the equation that many U.S. universities will want your application before December and it all adds up to a very, very busy fall during Senior year.  And remember that we haven't even mentioned all the community service hours that many Juniors will have to do next year as well, OR scholarship applications with essays, OR ...  well, you get the idea. 

So the simple solution is to make time this year to research colleges and universities and complete your "short list" before June.  Spend the coming summer visiting any of those schools that you can, and be ready in September to get started on the applications.  I will be helping you learn how to find and compare schools that fit your personal needs and preferences.  In the meantime, please visit me in the Counselor's Office to get started on your search. 

The decision on whether to take the SAT and/or ACT, and when, is another important decision for this year.  These tests are required by most U.S. colleges/universities and many in Canada.  They can be very important in the UK as well for students with an American curriculum diploma such as ISD's.  Many European, Asian, and and other universities do not require either of these tests; the only way to know is to check the requirements on the website of individual schools.  Once you decide to take these tests, the question becomes which one to take and when.  Most schools view the SAT and ACT equally and have no preference.  The tests are intended for the latter half of your Junior year.  January is a good time for your first attempt, but the decision is yours.  December is OK, but I would recommend not waiting until May or June.  December and January scores will be available to you in time to retest in May or June if necessary.  Many students will also take SAT Subject tests in May or June.  I will be speaking more with all the Juniors during school about these tests and your college search.  Please feel free to come by my office to discuss this!