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Students often miss competitive summer opportunities because deadlines are in the fall. The summer after junior year is a great time to step up and out because, with two months free, you can get a job, volunteer, work as an intern, study abroad, take a pre-college course on campus, volunteer, or design your own independent study. A productive summer means that you can pursue your interests at a deeper level, learn something new, explore a career, or just get better at an activity that you really love.

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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.