Juniors—Complete This College Admissions Checklist This Semester

gray clock icon
3 min read

From taking the ACT or SAT, to applying for financial aid, there’s a lot to do during your third year of high school. Junior year often involves more college prep tasks than any other year. Putting in a little extra effort to keep yourself organized can go a long way in helping you stay on top of all your tasks during this stressful time. There are many things juniors can do to tackle college admissions, such as narrowing down college choices, researching how to earn college credit in advance, and seeking letters of recommendation.   

Hoping to stay on top of all the college admissions tasks coming your way this semester? Below, you’ll find a college admissions checklist for juniors.

College admissions tasks to complete after winter break of junior year

Now that winter break is over and classes are back in session, there are several things you can do to help make the college admissions process go more smoothly this semester. For example:

  • Narrow down your college shortlist, and arrange several campus visits for the spring and summer.
  • Understand the application requirements of the colleges you’re applying to. This process may involve looking at each college’s website and making a list of requirements. Consider how many requirements you have already fulfilled, and which you still need to complete moving forward.
  • Register for any standardized tests—such as the ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests—that you need to take. Sketch out a study plan and get started.
  • Learn what financial aid is available to you in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships.

College admissions tasks to complete after spring break of junior year

Spring break is another opportunity for you to both relax and complete college admissions tasks. Following spring break of your junior year, the next steps to complete in your college admissions process include:

  • Think about how you might be able to earn college credit before enrolling in college, if you haven’t done so already. Some options include taking AP, IB, or dual-enrollment courses. Earning college credit before college begins is a great way to reduce tuition costs and can also save you the hassle of taking introductory courses, such as those in math and English.
  • Continue to narrow down your college selections. By now, you should have a list of five to 10 colleges to which you will apply.
  • Apply for any summer internships or jobs. These look good on college applications!

[RELATED: The Pros and Cons of Dual Credit Courses]

College admissions tasks to complete by the last day of junior year

The end of junior year marks another exciting milestone in your high school journey. Here’s what to have done by the last day of school:

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to set up your senior year schedule. Choose a mix of classes that best demonstrate to prospective colleges who you are and what you’re interested in studying.
  • Reach out to a select group of teachers, coaches, group supervisors, and any other adults at your school to ask if they’re willing to provide you with letters of recommendation to include in your college applications. Plan to get at least three adults to commit to writing you letters before junior year comes to a close.
  • Get organized for the next steps of the college application process. This involves writing down all deadlines for sending in applications, registering for financial aid, and taking standardized tests.

[RELATED: 3 Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor About College]  

Junior year can be stressful with its heavy focus on college planning, applications, tests, and deadlines. Remember, it’s important to take time out of your busy academic schedule to have fun with your hobbies, friends, family, and extracurricular activities. Plan out your personal college admissions checklist and you’ll be on the right track to success.


Any topics you want to know more about? Let us know! The Varsity Tutors Blog editors love hearing your feedback and opinions. Feel free to email us at blog@varsitytutors.com.