If you have a high school junior, listen up! College admission success often boils down to what you accomplish during junior year. It seems so early to begin thinking about college when your child is in 10th grade, but it’s the key to getting great scholarships. If you have a junior, college application time is fast approaching! There are three simple steps you can take to plan ahead in your homeschool for college applications.


Step 1: Visit Colleges

One of the steps you can take when your child is a junior in high school is to attend college fairs. At each fair, ask colleges what they would like to see included in an application package, particularly from homeschoolers. Spend a week or more and visit the colleges you and your child are most interested in. Call ahead for a formal college visit, and take a tour at each college where your child might apply. Speak to the college admission department to find out their requirements and discuss your concerns. Have your child meet professors and sit in on classes. Carefully record information you collect and keep it all organized either on paper or in a computer file.


Step 2: Check Requirements

Check the requirements for college admission carefully. There’s not only the transcript to submit, but sometimes such things as samples of work from certain classes, an activity list, or volunteer hours are demanded. Each college is unique, so the best way to be prepared is to make sure you have documented all the requirements for each college in advance. You have almost a year to pull together whatever you need – the rest of junior year, the whole summer, and the beginning of senior year. Don’t panic – just make a special note of any gaps, such as classes you haven’t covered in your homeschool yet, and get started.


Step 3: Practice Filling out Applications

Practice applying for college with your junior right now. Decide on your favorite four colleges and pretend to apply. Having your child fill out applications is good practice, not only for college applications, but also for job applications. Practice writing the required essays, and completing all the required forms. In the process of filling out applications just for fun, you may come across some requirements that you hadn’t noticed before, and there will still be plenty of time to work on these unexpected requirements with your child. It’s best to discover the unexpected during junior year, when you still have options, because some colleges will want to see SAT Subject Tests or AP Exams, which aren’t things you can produce on the spur of the moment. Advance planning is required and by finding out during junior year, you’ll have the rest of junior year and senior year to get all your ducks in a row.

Plan ahead for college applications in junior year and you will experience less stress in your homeschool during senior year! If you feel you need a bit more help with college applications, check out my Real Fast College Applications (Online Training) course! Applying for college doesn’t have to be overwhelming; you and your child can get it done, and be successful at earning college admission!