When you apply to a college during the first semester of your senior year, the admissions committee likely will have access only to grades from your freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Every grade you earn in high school is important, but your junior-year grades will be the best indicator of your academic ability at this stage of your academic career.
We have three words for you: economical, progress, and rigor. Those are how you should look at Advanced Placement courses. A lot of colleges will award you transfer credit for AP scores of 3 or higher—not only does that save money on tuition, but it also gives you a head start on your college degree progress. Additionally, given their rigor, AP classes look great on your high school transcript and show that you are able to handle the challenge of introductory college courses.
You should have at least a general idea of what you want to study in college by your junior year, even if it is a broad area instead of a specific major. Make a list of your top five colleges and request information from them. (Don’t forget to request information from IUPUI!) Make plans throughout your junior year to visit these schools, either through a guided campus tour or a formal visit day for juniors. Be sure to sign up for IUPUI’s Destination IUPUI, which takes place each spring.
Taking the SAT or ACT is something you wait until your senior year to do, right? Wrong! Studies show that students can improve their scores on the SAT or ACT if they take them multiple times.
At IUPUI, the SAT and ACT are important not only for your admission, but they also play a big part in scholarship consideration. When you send your SAT or ACT scores to IUPUI, we create a super score for each test, which means we take the highest score for each section from each time you take the test.
There are scholarships available for just about every major, interest, or hobby. Don’t limit yourself to scholarships only offered through the colleges you are applying to—be sure to search for private-sector scholarships using sources such as Fastweb.
In addition to any academic requirements, pay close attention to other materials needed for awards, including essays and references—and don’t forget to meet the application deadlines.
IUPUI’s priority deadline for maximum scholarship consideration is November 15. When you submit your application for admission, you’ll automatically be considered for admission-based scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of your high school GPA and your SAT or ACT scores. You can also apply for competitive scholarships to the IUPUI Honors College.
Additional freshman scholarships have deadlines throughout the rest of the year, though most close by February 1.
Many colleges will require that you write an essay or a personal statement, based on a writing prompt they provide, as part of their admission process. Give yourself some extra preparedness by searching for sample essay questions and writing a response. For feedback, have your English teacher or a family member review your essay.