Setting Your High School Goals
Junior Year

  • Register for the PSAT and the Ventures Scholars Program. Complete return application card to become a Ventures Scholar.

  • Take the SAT (or equivalent) and the SAT II: Subject Area Tests.

  • Continue to:

    • Meet with your guidance counselor to review plans for the junior year.
    • Develop academic and co-curricular record, study skills and make sure you are taking rigorous courses.
    • Research scholarship opportunities at Ventures Scholars Program member institutions.
    • Develop summer experiences through reading, courses, job opportunities, internship experiences, and pre-college summer enrichment programs. View the Ventures Scholars Program website for information about pre-college enrichment programs at Ventures Scholars Program member institutions.
    • Begin preparing college applications and financial aid options.
    • Develop a preliminary list of possible Ventures Scholars Program colleges/universities that you would like to attend and begin to visit them.
    • Develop a plan to pay for the costs associated with post-secondary education.
    • Communicate with parents/guardians when making decisions about coursework, extra-curricular activities, and the college/university exploration process.

  • Visit Ventures Scholars Program member institutions. View the Open House link to find out when member institutions are inviting prospective students to the campus.

  • Review goals for the senior year.

  • Register for the October PSAT.

  • Grades are very important. Make sure you are taking upper level courses, including AP courses. Rigorous courses and good grades will determine if you receive merit-based scholarships. Meet with guidance counselor to make sure that you are taking the appropriate courses.

  • Find out about college fairs offered at your school or in the area.

  • Sit down with your parents/guardians to review monthly goals.

  • View the open house link to find out when member institutions are inviting prospective students to the campus.

  • Write the names of your courses on the academic and co-curricular record and extra-curricular activities.

  • Take the PSAT. Your scores will determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Competition, the National Hispanic Scholars Program, and the Ventures Scholars Program. If you are interested in applying to the Ventures Scholars Program, you will need to meet the following criteria:

    • Sophomores need to score a minimum 47 verbal and 47 math of the PSAT examination or score a minimum 16 on each section of the PLAN examination.
    • Juniors need to score a minimum of 50 on the verbal and math sections of the PSAT examination.
    • Students need to maintain a 3.0 grade point average or better.
    • Students need to identify themselves as members of an underrepresented minority group (African American/Black, American Indian/Native American, and Hispanic/Latino/a or identify themselves as first generation, college-going students.
    • Students need to express an interest in a math- or science-based career.

  • Continue to concentrate on your grades and continually work on improving study skills.

  • Explore Ventures Scholars Program member institution pre-college summer enrichment program opportunities on the Ventures Scholars Program Web site. Make sure you contact the colleges/universities as soon as possible because many of them have deadlines for applications and scholarship opportunities.

  • Receive results of the PSAT. Read materials sent with the score report. If there are certain types of questions that you are continually getting wrong, look at the reasoning behind why you keep getting that answer. Only knowing the right answer will not help you get it right the second time around. Consult with your guidance counselor about ways to improve your score on future standardized tests and courses.

  • Create a list of the Ventures Scholars Program member colleges/universities you are interested in. Assess your needs and interests against what the college/university offers (size, location, types of programs, cost, entrance requirements, etc.). Remember to diversify the types of colleges/universities on your list. Meet with your guidance counselor to review your academic record and to recommend possible colleges/universities.

  • If you are struggling with a course, get a tutor. Many schools have tutoring programs where juniors and seniors can help you for free. Speak with counselors or teachers for assistance.

  • Find out about college fairs offered at your school or in the area.

  • Sit down with your parents/guardians to review monthly goals.

  • Register for the SAT I and begin studying for the examination.

  • Make an appointment with your guidance counselor to discuss college/university plans and career goals. Plan to include your parents/guardians.

  • Continue the Ventures Scholars Program college/university search. When you contact member colleges/universities, make sure you ask them about academic requirements and standardized test requirements. Every member college/university has its own acceptance criteria.

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to determine the courses you will take during the senior year.

  • Register for SAT I or SAT II: Subject Tests. Check calendar for exact dates they are being offered.

  • Begin eliminating Ventures Scholars Program member colleges/universities you are not interested in attending.

  • Begin searching for a summer job or an internship.

  • Consider taking a summer course. You can take a course to help you improve in a specific subject area or you can take more advanced course in an area that interests you. Research the community college or four-year college that offer these courses. If you take a college-level course, you will begin to understand college expectations and might even earn college credit!

  • If you are eligible, take Advanced Placement examinations.

  • If you are not participating in a summer pre-college enrichment program, consider taking a summer course at a local college or university.

  • Continue summer job or internship search.

  • Review academic and co-curricular record and, when you have the final grades, complete the form.

  • Prepare to visit some of the Ventures Scholars Program member colleges/universities over the summer. During the summer, admissions personnel have more time to answer questions with prospective students and parents/guardians. Ask for a tour of the campus.

  • Ask admissions personnel about financial scholarships. Financial scholarships are based on merit and/or financial need. High academic achievers stand a better chance of getting merit-based scholarships. Need-based scholarships are determined from the family's socio-economic status.

  • If you are considering a loan, remember that loans need to be paid back. Remember, to ask about the responsibilities the paying back a loan.

  • Continue visits to Ventures Scholars Program member colleges/universities.

  • Continue Ventures Scholars Program member college/university visits. Look into fall overnight and weekend college visitation programs.

  • Request admission and scholarship applications and information from Ventures Scholars Program member colleges/universities.

  • Begin thinking about the actual application process. When completing the application, you will need to gather the following information: personal information (i.e. social security number), family information (parents' names, addresses, social security numbers), educational background (where you went to high school), test scores (i.e. SAT), academic experience (specific courses you have taken), awards and honors, extracurricular activities (including school, religious, civic, work, and volunteer), written essay, recommendations from teachers and counselors, and an official high school transcript.

  • When you are writing the college essay make sure you write about your interests rather than writing about what you think the admissions staff want you to write about. You will have to write more than one draft and "weed" out excessive words and/or add additional details, if needed. When you are finished with the final draft, make sure you get a second opinion from someone who knows something about writing. Ask them to also proofread for errors.

  • Set up a college/university file for each college/university you are applying to so that you can keep records on the information you receive from the colleges/universities as well as the information you have sent to them.

  • Create a schedule of admissions and scholarship deadlines.

  • Prepare for the senior year. With your parents/guardians, read over the list of goals to accomplish during your senior year. Goals include academics, career exploration, college/university exploration, standardized test preparation, study skills, extracurricular activities.


© 2006 Ventures In Education, Inc.