“The junior year is the true measure of a St. Christopher’s student, in that it is both the most challenging year academically and also the point at which most boys mature and take their education seriously.” That sentence is found in many college recommendation letters for seniors. 90% of St. Christopher’s students do their best work as juniors despite the fact that the workload is more intense and demanding.
- Do you best work in the most challenging schedule you can handle. The final 30% of high school is the most important, and an opportunity for you to make a statement about the kind of student you will be in college.
- Take the PSAT in October. The junior-year PSAT serves as both a practice for the SAT and also the qualifying test for the National Merit, National Achievement, and National Hispanic scholarship programs.
- Look for opportunities to lead and serve in extracurricular commitments that you find meaningful and fulfilling.
- Sit in on a couple of meetings with visiting college admissions representatives when they visit St. Christopher’s during the fall, particularly those it may not be easy to visit.
- Attend and participate in college meeting for juniors and parents in January and the X-blocks devoted to college admissions in January and February.
- Juniors should schedule a meeting with a member of the College Counseling staff during the spring, and meet as often as necessary following the initial meeting. Parents are welcome, but not required, to make an appointment once the student has had his initial meeting.
- Work with the College Counseling staff to develop a preliminary list of 15-25 colleges worth investigating further based on the student’s interests and credentials.
- Engage in serious self-evaluation, answering questions such as: Why are you going to college? What things are important to you in choosing a college? What are your strengths, both academic and non-academic? What do you care about? How does college fit in to your plan for your life? What’s your strategy for getting in?
- Research colleges, including reading guidebooks, visiting websites, and doing campus visits. Try to visit a minimum of 3-5 colleges by the end of the summer. Consider participating in the Junior Internship Program the summer following junior year. Plan to take the SAT and/or ACT at least once no earlier than January. Talk to the College Counselors to develop a plan.
- Attend the Richmond Independent Schools College Fair in April and talk to admissions officers from schools in which you are interested.