Last week the guidance department hosted it’s annual College Planning Night for Juniors. The purpose of this event is to provide valuable information to Lowell Catholic’s current juniors and their parents about what they should be thinking about now and as they head into summer regarding the college application process.
We understand that applying to college can be an overwhelming experience, or even just thinking about it can be. Our goal is to try and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that can be associated with the college application process. With that being our focus, we use the Junior College Planning night (and the Senior College Planning night in the fall) to break it down and keep the focus on information that is currently useful.
So what should a Lowell Catholic junior be doing right now to prepare for the college application process?
- Decide if you want to take the SAT or ACT (and SAT Subject Tests) and sign up to take one in the spring.
- We recommend taking one of these tests at least twice. Use free practice tests to determine which one you are more comfortable with, or take one of each and take the one you prefer a second time in the fall.
- Begin the college search. Ask yourself these simple questions to help determine what you are looking for in a college:
- Academic program – You want to make sure it has your major or programs you are interested in!
- Location – How far away from home do you want to be? Do you prefer a city?
- Size – How many students? How far are you willing to walk to class?
- Cost – How will you afford it?
- Sports/clubs – How will you be involved and keep busy?
- Support services – Do you want access to free tutoring?
- College visits – This is where you will be spending the next four years. The best way to know if a college is the right fit is to tour the campus!
- Begin to narrow down a list of schools that you are strongly interested in.
- Create a list of target, safety, and reach schools. Have a balance of all 3 types with a list of about 5-7 schools.
- Request letters of recommendation. You should ask two teachers. Try to choose one from junior year. Also, think about the program you want to go into and ask a teacher related to it. For example, if you want engineering, you should have a math or science teacher write a letter. Requesting is a two step process.
- Ask in person
- Submit a request on Naviance.
- Complete your resume on Naviance. This is important for letters of recommendation!
Please be sure to meet with your counselor if you have any questions about the process and what should be done right now! We are here to help you!