Junior Year

Now is the time to begin thinking more seriously about college. Build a college list, devise a testing plan, visit colleges, and think about what teachers you want to write your recommendation letters. However, do not lose sight of the most important thing: maintaining strong grades!

August

  • Attend the College Info session for juniors at the opening of school.

September

  • Counselor assignment. Although you won’t begin to meet with your college counselor on a cycle basis until January of your junior year, you will be assigned your college counselor at the end of September.
  • LFA College Fair. Attend LFA’s College Night fair where 130 different colleges and universities will be on campus for an hour and 45 minutes (mandatory for juniors and seniors to attend).
  • Colleges visit LFA. Over 215 colleges and universities visit LFA each fall. Juniors can’t miss class, but if you have a free period, drop by the CC office to meet with college admission officers. See who’s visiting LFA this fall by going to the College Visit Calendar.

October – December

  • Visit colleges. If you haven’t already begun to visit college campuses, fall break is as good a time as any to begin. Need a starting point? Check out our Matriculation Map to see where recent LFA graduates have attended. *Please note juniors cannot miss school days to visit colleges.
  • Take the PSAT. The PSAT is the National Merit and National Achievement Scholarship Qualifying test. It’s a test to see how you’re going to test later on the SAT, and colleges will not see your results so don't panic if you score poorly. However, students who perform well are eligible to receive National Merit scholarships.
  • Register for the ACT/SAT. LFA is a test site, however registration is on a first come, first serve basis. You are not guaranteed a seat here, so register early! Click here for test dates.
  • ACT/SAT prep classes. Consider signing up for ACT/SAT prep classes. Families can register for classes through One-To-One tutoring services, and classes are held on LFA’s campus beginning second semester junior year. On the fence about registering? Check out what the CC office has to say about test prep classes by going to Standardized Testing.
  • Colleges visit LFA. Over 215 colleges and universities visit LFA each fall. Juniors can’t miss class, but if you have a free period, drop by the CC office to meet with college admission officers. See who’s visiting LFA by going to the College Visit Calendar.
  • Complete the Student Questionnaire over Winter Break.
  • Have parents complete the Parent Questionnaire.

January

  • Schedule a cycle meeting with your assigned college counselor. We’ll be your greatest advocate and ally in this process.
  • Set up a Naviance account.
  • Register for the ACT/SAT. LFA is a test site, however registration is on a first come, first serve basis. You are not guaranteed a seat here, so register early! Click here for test dates.
  • LFA College Workshop. We invite fifteen admission directors from a wide range of colleges to lead families through a mock admissions committee workshop (mandatory for juniors; parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to attend).
  • Talk cost. Start talking to your parents about college costs and whether or not merit-based or need-based aid will be a part of your process. Fill out the FAFSA4caster to get a ballpark estimate of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and use colleges’ Net Price Calculators to gain more clarity about what you can expect to pay at that college.

February – March

  • Summer plans. Find opportunities that complement your academic/extracurricular interests. Take some advice from the Dean of Admission at Harvard—colleges want interesting students, so be interesting! For a list of summer programs LFA students have attended in the past go to Outside Opportunities.
  • Register for the ACT/SAT. LFA is a test site, however registration is on a first come, first serve basis. You are not guaranteed a seat here, so register early! Click here for test dates.
  • Build a college list. Begin building a college list comprised of safety, fit, and reach schools.
  • Build a college visit list. Make spring and summer college visit plans.
  • Visit colleges. Use Winter Weekend for college visits. But don’t be a passive campus visitor, go to lunch with current students, take a tour, attend an information session, and make it official by scheduling it through their admission office. Demonstrated interest can be important at some colleges and universities, so make sure they know you’re there. *Please note juniors cannot miss school days to visit colleges.

March – April

  • Register for the ACT/SAT. LFA is a test site, however registration is on a first come, first serve basis. You are not guaranteed a seat here, so register early! Click here for test dates.
  • SAT Subject tests. If you’re in an honors level course, consider taking an SAT Subject Test. If you’re in an AP class, take the AP Exam. Many schools require these exams in their admission processes and exams occur in May/June.
  • Visit Colleges. Use Spring Break to visit colleges. But don’t be a passive visitor, go to lunch with current students, take a tour, attend an information session, and make it official by scheduling it through their admission office. Please note juniors cannot miss school days to visit colleges. Demonstrated interest can be important at some colleges and universities, so make sure they know you’re there. *Please note juniors cannot miss school days to visit colleges.
  • Schedule classes for next year. Take challenging classes that are of appropriate rigor, particularly in your areas of greatest interest. Don't forget to consider any remaining graduation requirements.
  • Attend Networking Night. An opportunity for current students to interact with young LFA alumni and learn about careers in a variety of industries, as well as ask questions about college majors, internships, and the typical day-in-the-life of young professionals.
  • May
  • Recommendation Letters. Ask (in person) two teachers if they’re willing to write recommendation letters for you, and input their names in Naviance.
  • Take AP, SAT Subject Tests. Scores can be counted for credit at some colleges and universities, and some colleges require these exams in their application.
  • Refine your list. What have you liked, or disliked about your visits so far? Focus on more schools that fit your preferences.

June, July and August

  • Summer plans. Find opportunities that complement your academic/extracurricular interests. Take some advice from the Dean of Admission at Harvard—colleges want interesting students, so be interesting! For a list of summer programs LFA students have attended in the past go to Outside Opportunities.
  • Visit colleges! But don’t be a passive visitor, go to lunch with current students, take a tour, attend an information session, and make it official by scheduling it through their admission office. Demonstrated interest can be important at some colleges and universities, so make sure they know you’re there.
  • Create a Common Application Account. Begin filling out your activities section, and profile. Feel free to check out college's supplement essays but don't write responses in this section until after August 1st when the Common Application transitions to the next admission cycle.
  • Write an essay. Procrastination doesn't make for a good college essay. Aim to have your first Common Application essay draft complete by the time you start back at school. Share it with an English teacher and your college counselor.
  • Are you an athlete? If you plan on playing Division 1 or 2 athletics in college, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse and notify your college counselor.
  • Maybe you have another talent? If you have a talent in music, theatre, dance or art, start working on audition pieces or portfolios you’ll be submitting this fall.
  • Applying Early Decision? Now that you’ve visited some schools, is there one that rises to the top? Start thinking about whether you want to apply Early Decision somewhere.
  • Check requirements. Become familiar with the application requirements of your colleges. Do they require the SAT/ACT? Do they require SAT Subject tests? How many additional essays will you have to write? If you’re an international student and English is not your first language, do your colleges require the TOEFL? When are your school’s application deadlines?

Contact Us

1500 West Kennedy Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 615-3210

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