Junior Tutorial

When and What to do

June-September

Try to narrow your college choices to five to seven, ten at the most.  You want to make sure you do not have any additional or unknown requirements that are needed for your specific field of study.  For example,  AP Calculus may be a prerequisite for the field of study you are choosing.  You need to know the course requirements for the college you choose.  Most of the time, this is not an issue because you are aretaking a college core track in high school, but you need to be responsible and know this for yourself.  Don’t assume that your counselor automatically knows what college you want to attend or the additional requirements that school may require for unconditional admission.  Search the databases on the college page by putting in information or criteria you desire from a college.  This will help you find colleges that have majors, activities, and courses you want.
If you did not meet with your counselor in the spring to do a graduation/requirements check, make an appointment now.  You have to make sure you are getting all the courses you need!!  This needs to be your responsibility to make sure you and your counselor have discussed this.
Make sure you have registered for the ACT/SAT.  Check the regular and late deadlines. ***Reminder if you have already taken the ACT you can now reregister online.  Pick up a packet from your high school counselor of visit the ACT/SAT pages in Tasseltime to get dates and registration information.  Be sure you are having your test scores sent to the appropriate school. Register for the October PSAT.  Scoring well on the PSAT can give you a great start to scholarship opportunities.  Your PSAT score can qualify your for the National Merit scholarship competition.  Some schools offer scholarships if you qualify as a National Merit, National Achievement, or National Hispanic Scholar semi-finalist.  MOST schools offer scholarships if you make it to finalist status.
If you have the opportunity to take a ACT/SAT preparation course provided by your school—TAKE IT!!!  If you do not have the opportunity, then get the Free practice test booklets from your counselor.  Go to the ACT/SAT pages in the site and you will find TEST Prep Help.On the SAT page there is a link to the SAT Question of the Day.  Practice for the SAT by answering this question every day.

On the ACT and SAT pages in this site I recommend some test prep videos.  These are more for schools to purchase, but you and several of your friends could go in together to order these.  Each video comes with 10 workbooks. These videos show you how to do the problems in the workbooks, which are directly from previous tests.

Print off a recommendation form from the scholarship page and look at the areas you will need to fill out.  Keep in mind that you need to be detailed when you fill out the form, especially if you are in a large high school.  The way you fill out this form can help “jog” that teachers memory about you and your performance in his/her class.

Keep a running list of your activities, honors, and awards.  

Only give the recommendation form out if you have an upcoming deadline.  You will have 2 strips of reminders at the bottom of the form that you will need to tear off.  Give them your completed form at least 2 weeks before the letter is due.  Give this to the teacher 1 week before the letter is needed and then 2 days before the letter is needed.

You may want to make copies of the form with your information on it before you hand it out to the teacher(s).  This will keep you from having to rewrite all the information each time.  Obviously, you will have different class information but your extracurricular and other information will be the same.  You will only need to obtain recommendation letters if the scholarship you are apply for requires it.  You will specifically use this Recommendation Request for your College Admission as a senior.

You only need to form an Essay Committee if you have a specific scholarship application that requires an essay.  You may not need an Essay Committee until you are a senior.

Organize an essay committee for yourself.  I recommend you ask 3 people to form this committee– this doesn’t mean that these people have to meet together to critique your essay.  You will give each of these people a copy of your essay so they can edit/critique your essay BEFORE you send it or attach it to an application (If they prefer give the essay to them on a floppy disk or e-mail it to them so they can edit changes for your– it takes less time if they are computer savvy).

If you need help on how to get started on your essay, go to the essay page in this Website.  There are several helpful links.

Find out when the spring preview days are for the colleges you have chosen and check  your school’s policy on college visits made your junior year. Be prepared to ask questions of the students and the recruiters when you take your visit.

On the college page of this Website there is a PDF on the right hand side of the page under College Master’s Helpful College information  “College Visits”.  Print this off and look over the college visit question that are important to you  and either ask them on your visit or ask them on the College Fair Night .

Select Scholarships from the menu inside Tasseltime.  At the bottom of the scholarship page you will see a link that says Junior Calendar Tutorial and Junior Calendar Tutorial PDF – this is where all of this information I am giving you—step by step– is located– You will also see a link that says : Must Read Scholarship Information  this is a total overview of the whole scholarship process .
On that Tasseltime must read information you are given a list of things that you need to gather BEFORE filling out a database profile or asking for a recommendation letter.  You will also want to gather this information prior to building or creating your resume.

  • List of all your activities/awards since 9th grade
  • List of all your courses/ACT/SAT scores ( should be on your transcript)
  • Any organizations or clubs you are/were in
  • Any significant awards you may have received prior to your  9th grade year i.e. Community Volunteer Citizen
  • Names of your parent’s current employer/organizations they are/were in
  • Information on families past military experience and your ethnicity/minority background and religious affiliation
  • List of all volunteer work done since 9th grade– if you are not volunteering—START  Do something in conjunction with Make-A Difference Day  (PDF form for record of Volunteering) .

If you have already been keeping a portfolio of work as well as a listing of your activities, awards, and honors, as recommended, then you are in good shape.  Don’t wait until your senior year to try to think back to your 9th grade year to find out all of this information

If you have not kept a formal record of volunteering you have done, then select the volunteer pdf form available on the scholarship page .You need to be volunteering or become a member to an organization or club that requires volunteering as a membership–such as National Honor Society. Volunteering is very important as you begin to apply for national scholarship opportunities.

Tell your coach now if you are interested in obtaining an athletic scholarship.  You need to look at clearinghouse information which you can get from your counselor, or obtain the information online for the NCAA Clearinghouse; the links are provided on the athletic page to help.  It is very important that you make sure you are in compliance with the NCAA in your total assessment scores (ACT or SAT) and in course work. Talk with your coach and counselor today.  Read the suggestions on the Athletic Page; they are at the top of the page under the heading: “If you want to participate in collegiate athletics you need to :”

You can not actually have the Clearinghouse form mailed to you until you complete 6 semesters.

If you are not sure what you want to do, complete several  online inventories provided on the Career page.  Really spend some time searching through the different occupations available. Find out the college courses required for that degree or the technical courses required .  Also look at the demand for the position and the salary range. Many of the interest inventory links are free.
Military information and Scholarship links are all provided so that you can find out any necessary information.  You need to speak with your recruiter to get started if the military path is your plan. There are many wonderful military options.
If you prefer to look at the scholarships individually rather than filling out the profile, then go to the Scholarship Page inside Tasseltime and in the upper right hand corner click on “Individual Scholarships” or “Minority Scholarships.”  The only drawback is that you will have to look at every single one of them to make see if you meet the requirements.
Select the Scholarship page from the tool bar inside the Tasseltime Website then select Scholarship Database At the top right corner of the page.  The databases on this page have been researched to provide the best information without taking students to some inappropriate sites.
Select 3-5 databases on this page to enter your information.  Some of these will e-mail you the scholarships you qualify for and some will just list them for you to select through while you are on the internet.  I suggest you set up an alternate e-mail address other than the one you regularly use.  Most Internet Service Providers offer 5-7 e-mail accounts with their service.  The reason you do this is because You Will Get CD Offers– this keeps your regular account free of that and allows you to use this separate account for ALL of your college correspondence (if you are going to use this e-mail address as a contact for your resume and or/ admissions information—select wisely  {don’t use “lazygirl” or “partyanimal” or “girlmagnet”}—select something somewhat professional)  Most of these databases will notify you of an added scholarship to your profile or will just e-mail you the link to that scholarship.  IT IS UP TO YOU TO DETERMINE IF THAT SCHOLARSHIP IS WORTH APPLYING!

Make a folder on your favorites menu that says Scholarships and begin to mark or save the scholarship in which you want to apply.  BE SURE YOU LOOK AT THE DEADLINES AND MAKE A CHART( PAPER/OR COMPUTER) THAT LISTS APPLICATION DEADLINES.

What is the difference between a Key Word Search and a profile?

A key word search is for specific topics or majors to search by.

If you already started this process as a freshman or sophomore, as recommended, then you only need to update your information in the databases.

Example Profile:  From the Scholarship Page select State Scholarships in the top right hand corner.  The first link on this page is the Arkansas Scholarship Connection.  Try out the profile to gain Arkansas specific information.  Again IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO RESEARCH THESE SCHOLARSHIPS AND APPLY BY THE APPROPRIATE DEADLINE

 

End of June-September

OCTOBER-DECEMBER

If your school allows juniors to attend a College Fair in your area, be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. Take the admissions questions we discussed earlier and ASK THE RECRUITER.

You only need to complete this if you are applying for a scholarship that requires an essay.Complete your essay for scholarship application—if required– and ask for recommendation letters by using the form provided in the site.   Most of the time, the recommendation letter or letter of reference has to be mailed directly to the college, so it is very courteous of you to provide the person writing the recommendation letter with a stamped envelope addressed to the appropriate place.

Choose wisely on the people you request to write a letter.

Be sure you are checking with your counselor concerning scholarships.  Check the weekly announcements, announcements on the Web and bulletin board.  There will be some scholarships that say “See your counselor for application.”  Check the senior scholarship information and start making a note of the scholarships you think you will want to apply for as a senior.

Make sure you are meeting the deadlines.  There are no “Do-Overs” for deadlines.

If you want to search for scholarships without submitting a profile in a database then look at the individual scholarship page and the minority scholarship page.

Junior grades ARE VERY IMPORTANT to your admissions process as a senior.  Make sure you are using your time wisely and concentrating on your grades.

TAKE THE ACT/SAT

Register for the December tests if needed. Take the PSAT in OCTOBER.  Be sure you indicate on your PSAT form that you want to participate in the Student Search program provided through PSAT.

Once you receive your PSAT scores, you can compare them to the ACT or PLAN scores to help determine if you want to take an SAT or ACT in future testing opportunities.

If you have already taken the ACT you can register online.  It’s faster.

End of October-December

JANUARY-MARCH

Continue to conduct online research concerning your prospective college choices.  Now would be a good time to complete an online request to obtain information from these colleges.

If you have not registered for the ACT previously, then you need to visit your counselor and obtain an ACT packet.  If this is your first time to register you have to fill out the paper version and mail it, but the next time you register you can complete this online.  Your counselor has free practice books or tests–get one and actually take the practice test.  Also go to the ACT page in Tasseltime to obtain access to other free practice tests and helpful test-prep material.

Follow the same steps for the SAT also. 

End of January-March

APRIL-JULY

If you have the opportunity to attend a spring College Fair, take it.  This will give you a good opportunity to really narrow your search going into your senior year.  Don’t just attend to get out of class!  Take this seriously, and ask some good questions (look at the handout on the College page “Campus Visits”).

If you are allowed to take a spring college visit, take this opportunity.  You may have a conflict in the fall with the college’s preview visit days and your senior activities– so take advantage of an opportunity to visit as a junior.

Continue looking at scholarship opportunities for your senior year.  I suggest you make a folder in your favorites called scholarships and start marking them in this folder; put a deadline date along with the scholarship name.

If you have the opportunity to take an ACT/SAT prep course, take it.   Research says that you have a good chance of increasing your test scores, if you complete a test prep course or computer software prep course.