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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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College planning begins during junior year

College applications. Something only seniors have to worry about, right? Not quite.

If that “easy” senior year is what you are looking for, get started your junior year. There is more to applications than the infamous essays.

Easter break of the junior year, for example, is a perfect time for visiting colleges since most are still in session while high schools are out. While there, pick up information, from view books to student published newspapers to fliers about upcoming events.

These visits or reviews will give you all the different aspects of the college or university you are looking at. Keep in mind while planning your visits to look at all different kinds, locations, and sizes of schools. You may find you prefer one kind to another. Also, carry a camera and take pictures since they all start to run together.

Contrary to popular belief, I would suggest taking standardized tests as early as possible. This will let you know if you should look into a review course. Then you can retake the tests and see your improved scores.

I recommend taking both the SAT and ACT since both test your knowledge in different ways. You may find you do poorly on one test but fairly well on the other.

SAT 2s are a requirement for some schools, especially the writing test. After taking a higher-level class, take the corresponding SAT 2 that same year. This way, the subject will still be fresh in your mind.

Finally, as senior year approaches, request applications from your top schools. Many can be found and filled out online. Schools keep old applications posted and essay questions are usually similar through the years so you may be able to get a head start for this year.

Leaving the busy work of filling in the blanks, such as your name and address, to your parents gives you time to concentrate on the required essays.

As soon as the applications are posted online for the current year, do not procrastinate because once school starts, there is precious little time to finish the essays. Most schools allow for applications to be saved once started, allowing you to fill in the required information as time permits.

Thank goodness someone invented a lifesaver called the Common Application, which allows for one application to be filled out and submitted to any school that is a member, including most east coast schools. This timesaving application fills in the essentials only once, leaving only the individual school’s supplement page to be filled out.

By taking these simple things step by step you just might have a smooth senior year.

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