What to do this year
Focus on your classes.
Consider taking additional classes in specific subject areas if you have a career goal in mind.
- Sign up for classes that stretch your mind and can earn you college credit, such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Concurrent Enrollment (CE). Talk to your school counselor for more information.
- Verify with your counselor that you are taking classes that will help you succeed in college.
Think about what math class you’ll take your senior year
It’s important to take a 4th year of math in high school so that math doesn’t become a stumbling block when you enter college.
Take the ACT.
In Utah, all students can take the ACT for free during their junior year.
- Take the ACT in the spring. If you don’t like your score, plan to take it again. Get free ACT test preparation materials at UtahFutures.org, or download the free ACT App to get daily ACT test prep questions.
- Use the Utah College Directory to check the admissions pages of Utah colleges you hope to attend to see if there is a specific ACT score you should be aiming for. Some scholarships also require a certain minimum ACT score, so check the requirements for the scholarships you hope to earn.
Consider your college options.
Think about what colleges you want to attend, and learn about their application process.
- Make a list of your top college choices and get ready to apply during your senior year. Research each college’s admissions process. If you’re thinking about going to a school in Utah, visit the Utah College Directory to learn more.
Visit college campuses.
There’s nothing like being on campus to get a feel for what attending college will be like. Be sure to talk to friends, family, neighbors, and teachers about their college experiences as well.
- Go on a campus tour. Schedule one by visiting the college’s website or calling. Find more info at the Utah College Directory. Ask your campus tour guide these questions.
- Attend a summer camp offered by a college near you.
- Attend a college fair to explore different colleges and universities. These are sometimes held at a high school. Ask your school counselor for information or search online.
Get organized for your final year.
Take stock of your accomplishments, and get prepared for your senior year.
- Some colleges (and scholarships) require one or more letters of recommendation. Decide which teachers might be willing to write letters of recommendation next year, and ask them. Some teachers like to write these letters over the summer, so it’s important to let them know what you’re expecting from them.
- Get a job over the summer to set aside money for college and gain valuable experience you can add to your resume.
Research possible careers.
Use this year to think more about what career you are interested in. There’s nothing like job shadowing and internships to get real hands-on experience.
- Job shadow at a business/organization you’re interested in. Check to see if you could do an internship, which provides you with great experience.
- Talk to professionals in the area of study you’re interested in. Ask your school counselor or parents/guardians to help you find them.
Learn about the many ways to pay for college.
Scholarships, grants, work-study, and student loans are all types of financial aid that you could qualify for.
Keep applying for scholarships.
Try to apply to at least three this year.
- Contact a Regents’ scholarship representative to make sure you’re on track for the Regent’s Scholarship. If possible, schedule a meeting to go over your classes for the next school year.
- Look for scholarships and apply to at least three during your junior year.
- See if your high school has a scholarship coordinator to help you find scholarships to apply for, but don’t forget to also look in your community and search online.
- Remember, scholarships open every year, so save your essays. That way you don’t have to start from scratch every year. The StepUp scholarship toolkit will help you figure out how to start looking and applying for scholarships.
- Keep your scholarship resume updated. Use this template to help get you started.