From the Junior Counselor
This is such an important year in your high school career because it is the time to get your affairs in order, so that you can give yourself the most seamless transition into the senior year, and from there, to your post-secondary aspirations.
Most colleges and universities have an application and/or scholarship deadline that are in early to mid December of a high school student’s senior year. This means that the GPA calculated for you in grades 9-11 is the determining factor for one of the most important numbers for college admission. It also means that the junior year is the last opportunity for change before this deadline. With that being said, you need to understand how GPA is calculated:
Standard GPA Calculation (used for Standard and Advanced Coursework):
90-100 (A) = 4 points, 80-89 (B) = 3 points, 70-79 (C) = 2 points, 60-69 (D) = 1 point, and 59 and Below (F) = 0 points.
Pre-AP GPA Calculation (used for Pre-AP Coursework):
90-100 (A) = 4.5 points, 80-89 (B) = 3.5 points, 70-79 (C) = 2.5 points, 60-69 (D) = 1.5 points, and 59 and Below (F) = 0 points.
AP GPA Calculation (used for AP Coursework):
90-100 (A) = 5 points, 80-89 (B) = 4 points, 70-79 (C) = 3 points, 60-69 (D) = 2 points, and 59 and Below (F) = 0 points.
To calculate your GPA for the coursework that you have taken, assign the point value to the letter grade; add the points together; then, divide by the number of courses taken.
Because the GPA is an average, keep in mind that it is harder to raise an average than it is to lower one, and that similar numbers yield similar results. With this understanding, know that the only way to raise your GPA is to make better grades than you have in the past.
The ACT, a standardized college entrance exam, is the second of those important numbers for college admission. Colleges and universities have ACT requirements that are specific to their individual schools for entrance and scholarship eligibility. If you are not satisfied with your score, you may continue testing in an effort to improve your score.
The ACT will be given to all Juniors at Hillcrest High School in April at no cost to the student. You will automatically be registered, so there is no need to sign up.
What do you want to be when you grow up? This is the million dollar question. It will be the driving force behind how you spend a great deal of your life. Therefore, serious consideration should be given to this answer, and now is the time. First, decide on a major. Conduct research on this decision to determine if this is really what you want to do. This is not an exhaustive list; however, to help you get started, answer the questions below regarding your career choice:
What is the pay?
What are the requirements for work?
What is a typical day in this field like?
Is there growth in the field?
What is the setting and pace of the work?
How many years must I attend school?
What kind of hours will I work? Will those hours be on weekends and/or holidays?
After you have decided on a career, the next step is to decide on a college or university to attend. The steps are listed in this order because you want to make sure that the college or university that you have your heart set on offers the field of study for the career that you want to pursue. Several colleges and universities may have the curriculum to support your choice. If that is the case, here are a few questions to consider when narrowing your choices for schools to attend:
What is the location of the school?
What is the tuition (in state vs. out of state)?
What is the class size (teacher-student ratio)?
What other fees are associated with attending this school (parking, insurance, meal plans, residence, etc.)?
What extracurricular activities are offered?
After considering these questions and others that you may have, it is important that you visit with the remaining schools on your list to help you make the final decisions. Most colleges and universities have a staff devoted to managing college visits for high school students that can answer the questions listed above, as well as any others that you may have. A physical visit to the school also lets get a feel for the place and lets you know if you can make it your home.
When should I apply for scholarships?
Scholarship consideration is only given to students in their senior year of high school, unless otherwise specified.
What can I do as a junior to prepare for college?
As previously stated, boost your GPA as much as possible; research and select a career choice, as well as a college or university to attend; polish a working resume that highlights your involvement and achievement to date, and visit the Senior webpage to get an accurate idea of the expectations with admission and scholarship applications for next year.