How to help your high school junior with college applications

September 7, 2022

As a parent, there are days when you wonder if college applications are more stressful for your high school junior or for you. Other than college itself, the junior year might be the most intense for you and your student. There’s a lot to be done, but it’s manageable! 

Here are some time-tested ways parents and guidance counselors can help juniors through the college application process.

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Make sure the course schedule demonstrates a good work ethic.

Grades aren’t the most important measure of a person, but they still carry a great deal of weight in the college application process. Junior year is the last chance to make good marks in challenging classes. This matters a lot to college admissions officers.

Focus on potential career paths.

A common mistake by parents and advisors is to push students to apply to popular or name brand colleges without thinking through the outcome. Your student needs to find the right fit, and that doesn’t have to be a program everyone’s heard of. What type of work is your junior exploring? Let that narrow the field of contenders. 

Earn college credit during high school.

Dual enrollment is an excellent opportunity to get a jump start on college and save a ton of money. For example, take a look at this program by The King’s College, which gives high schoolers online education options for college coursework. 

Allow for (and expect!) change.

There’s no way a 16-year old can map out their entire life, so there’s no sense in setting the expectations unreasonably high. Starting at a community college is a great way to get a feel for a certain major before the major expenses of a standard university program. Remember, most students change their minds about majors while they’re in school.

Tips directly from a recent high school grad.

Life skills, extracurriculars, SAT/ACT, studening, and more. The video below is packed!