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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Advice for Juniors Beginning the College Search

For the Class of 2022, senior year is right around the corner which means that college application season will start next fall. Here are some suggestions for those beginning the college search process.

College Searching

Beginning the college search, juniors should create a list of potential colleges and post-graduation goals for yourself. By the second semester of junior year, most people will have a good grasp of what their strengths and weaknesses are, having taken the SAT or ACT having an established GPA, and having specialized in interest areas like arts, clubs, and athletics. Most colleges won’t see your entire senior year in regards to scores, so it’s in students’ best interests to really buckle down in terms of grades junior year. These strengths should help to narrow down the college search field as students can see average scores and GPAs of accepted students for most institutions. 

“I would use the CFNC website which is the college foundation of NC, they have tons of resources about college majors and application procedures,” said counselor Megan Hardy.

College Tours

In-state colleges are typically the route most university-bound students take. In order to get a better feel on what it feels like to be on an actual college campus, it’s wise to plan a college tour or attend an event at the schools that pique your interest most. Many high schools have college preparatory classes that allow you to take seasonal trips to actual college campuses, like AVID here at West. From there, students will have a better understanding of what life on that college campus might actually look like. 

“The reason juniors should explore colleges is because you need exposure to get a good grasp,” said teacher Jyll Jacoby-Burns. 

ACT or SAT Prep

In North Carolina, all juniors are supposed to take the ACT and many also elect to take the SAT. Preparing for these standardized tests and getting familiar with both their scoring and formatting before taking them is the best path for success; however, many students decide to retake the test to improve their score in one or more areas. 

“Study, need to start college searching looking at ACT and SAT scores if you need to redo,” said counselor Lakiesha Dennis. 

School Size and Type

When on the search for a future college, it’s important to ask: in what atmosphere will I thrive academically? Am I looking for a “college-town” feel?  Is there a certain part of the state/country/world that could feel like home to you? Some students are looking for more of a lively social atmosphere while they’re working towards a degree. Some enjoy a quiet, reserved school that allows them time to think without interruptions. Some students want something in between: a small, personalized school setting with a ton to do off campus. Some students value tradition and community within the college setting. Whatever you’re looking for, whether a big or small school or public or private, there is an option within reach.

“First of all, it’s very easy to get lost in its vastness, to feel like a little pogie in the ocean,” said AVID teacher Renee Harless. “The only way to get around is to get involved.”

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