Juniors, you have a lot to juggle this year— classroom demands, athletic recruiting events, community service, standardized testing and college search, just to name a few. With all that you do, it’s so important to keep your eye on your grades. Stay focused on maintaining or if possible, improving your grades because your high school transcript will be one of the most important components of your college application.
Colleges look at your entire high school academic record. So, if you didn’t start out strong, now is your chance to show an upward trend and demonstrate that you can handle challenging coursework. According to the NACAC 2010 Admissions Trend Survey, the factors that admission officers use to evaluate applications have remained largely consistent over the past 16 years. Students’ academic achievements—which include grades and strength of curriculum—make up the most important factors in the admission decision. According to the report, “Nearly 87 percent of all colleges and universities rated grades in college prep courses as ‘considerably important,’ followed by 71 percent for strength of curriculum, 58 percent for admission test scores, and 46 percent for grades in all courses.”
Reach out to your teachers to get help if you need it. Extra help sessions are a good way to answer any questions you may have as well as confirm that you’re on track and current with the material. This is a good opportunity for your teachers to get to know you and your learning style. Also, the better your teachers know you, the more personalized and effective their letters of recommendation will be when the time comes.
Feel positive knowing that your hard work and effort will help you to present your best self on your college applications next year.