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Welcome to junior year, the most important year of the high school transcript. This will be the most recent full-year of grades submitted with your application. This is the year that highlights your mastery and expertise.

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It is true that junior year grades are paramount, but colleges do consider senior year transcripts. Work hard and continue...

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As you dial down to the nitty-gritty of your application details, switch your approach to privacy mode

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Junior year is much like having two monitors on your desk. On one screen, you see your current life: AP classes, debate team, culture club president, captain of the swim team. On the other monitor, sitting just next to present reality, sits future plan: college, and each screen is pulling for your attention.

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We’re not saying you should be starting your college search right now! In fact, we’re firm believers that high school should be and is more than just pre-college. But there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when you’ll be really wanting some help from that college counselor – and so will pretty much everyone else in your grade.

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For many, the college application process requires a more expansive application strategy. Many colleges have multiple deadline options, which presents the opportunity to consider the implications of ED, early action (EA), rolling admissions, regular decision, and other deadlines.

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Stuck on where to begin writing your college essays? Take a look at some of our favorite supplemental essay prompts and get those creative juices flowing.

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PrepMatters College Planning | Transitioning from Junior to Senior Year

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A review of essay prompts can be a great way to prepare for the writing process. A creative prompt may just the spark a fresh perspective or a new insight about yourself. And, this new idea could go on to inspire your main essay, after you’re well rested and ready to start writing your college essay.

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Excited about your team winning the national championship? Not so fast, at least not if you're getting ready to apply to that school for college. Ned Johnson and Maureen discuss the impact of March Madness and other unexpected factors on college admissions.