The second semester of junior year is the time
that most students begin to focus on post high school planning. Here are some
of the activities that should be on your parental ”radar” as you head into the
winter months and kick off the college search process:
- Score reports for Juniors who took the PSAT in the Fall will have been sent to their guidance counselors just before the break. Juniors should now be setting up appointments to discuss the results with their counselors if they have not done so already.
- Reflecting on the attributes that are most important to them, students should begin creating and building their college list, striving for balance of academic, extracurricular and social perspectives. Their counselors will help in this process.
- Start reviewing college web sites and visiting any local colleges, even if they aren’t necessarily on your student’s wish list. Attend college fairs and encourage your student to meet with admissions representatives that are coming to their school. All of these experiences will help you and your student start to identify what makes a “good fit.”
- School vacation (think February!) is a popular window of time for college visitation programs. If possible, try to use this time to visit colleges that may require travel. Remember that this will be a popular time for lots of other families too, so make your plans early to ensure you are not left out!
- Plan to attend “Junior Parent Night” (or whatever it may be called) offered at your student’s high school. These events can help educate and reinforce the key activities and next steps for your student and family.
Communication is a key in the college search process and parents and students need to work together and with their school counselor to develop realistic goals. The student is the driver of the process and parents should be available to help navigate through the process.