Juniors–the time to start is NOW!

When I applied to college a millennium ago, it was impressive that I had 3 schools on my list the summer before senior year, and that I managed a last-minute college tour at William & Mary. I got some advice from teachers and my beloved guidance counselor the following fall so that by the time January arrived, my list had grown to 7 schools.

Far ahead of the game, I labored during the winter break of senior year and typed most of my applications. And, at the very last minute (I really think it was January, but maybe December), I took the SAT subject tests, suggested but not required, at Georgetown.

At the very, very, last-minute, I opted to apply to an 8th school. I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom, late into the night, attempting to muffle the noise of my typewriter, as I hurriedly cobbled together answers to questions that required more forethought than I was giving to them…all in an attempt to meet the next day’s mail-by deadline.

After mailing thick packets of info to colleges (with sealed transcripts from my high school nestled inside), I sat back and waited for mid-April acceptances. That was it, my ‘busy’ application season.

Those of a certain vintage probably remember a similar college application experience. And that’s why IN, The College Planning Experts, makes different plans for juniors each year.

The application season, both its kick off and duration, are SO different from what you experienced as a high schooler. There is SO much more to do. Aside from the considerable research needed to select a career path, by junior year, it’s go time!

IN wants each member of the family to be ready for the rigor of the application process. From understanding what’s required, to being clear about an idealized timeline, our clients begin work during junior year so that they have everything accomplished in time for the early action deadlines in October/November of senior year.

Students who begin working with IN during the junior year have plenty of time to explore the crucial career planning we do. By the time we’re ready to host Junior Night in late winter, our juniors are sitting pretty; they’ve done so much work, they’re typically ahead of the game. As we cover the 5 components of the application, and discuss a plan for optimizing each, our juniors are in the know. From attending essay camp in spring or summer, to preparing a common application-worthy resume, to employing our process for securing highly personalized letters of recommendation, we share the hows/whens/whys to take the guesswork and mystery out of the process.

While the Class of ‘23 won’t be home free at the start of senior year, most of the hard work will be done. The time between the start of school and mid-October can be spent on supplemental essays, and…senior year! There’s a lot to do in that final fall semester, both academic and extracurricular. Doing the heavy lifting months before allows time to accomplish both!

If you think your teen could benefit from this support, get in touch.

When I arrived at my residence hall to start my freshman year of college, we were given a list of dorm rules from the year we were born. All of the normal rules about courtesy were there, and my dorm, (women-only the year I was born), offered a maddening number of rules related to gentleman callers, but the rules I remember most were the ones that seemed most archaic.

“No ukulele playing after 10pm.”
“Only one hotpot per room.”
“Fudge-making must be conducted in the hall kitchens, only.”

We laughed at the ridiculousness of all of this…secure in the knowledge that we were laden with microwaves, but not so many ukuleles.

If your teen saw the rules for your residence hall, would they be similarly amused? Times have changed. The application process, just like residence hall life, has changed as well. If your most recent college experience happened in the 20th century, you could probably use a refresher. Let IN take the guesswork out of applying to college...we’re happy to help.


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