Visit a few colleges: If possible, travel to a few top target colleges the summer after junior year to visit dorms, classes, and recreation centers. Make sure you contact the school first to schedule your visit. It isn’t the most ideal time, since normal classes aren’t in session, but it will give you some idea of whether or not the school should stay on your list.
Know the deadlines for each of your target schools: Go to your target schools’ websites and start browsing the applications and find out the deadlines. Early decision and early action applications are typically due in November of your senior year, while most regular admissions applications are due between January 1 and March 1. Some colleges also have rolling admissions.
Create a resume: Start recording a record of your academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and work experience. This will help you have everything ready when you begin applying for scholarships and filling out those college applications.
Begin drafting college application essays: Your senior year can be very busy, so start drafting your college application essays now.
Work with a tutor to improve your SAT & ACT scores: Did you take an SAT or ACT test in the spring and would like to get a higher score in the fall? Working with a tutor one-on-one this summer is a great way to boost your scores. Christianson Tutorials can set you up with personalized tutoring at times that are convenient for you.
Get your FSA ID: Before you can fill out your FAFSA in October, you need your username and password. So, request that now at: https://fsaid.ed.gov
Outline your financial aid plan: Visit your target schools websites and use their financial aid calculators to find the net price for that school. Hint: It isn't the sticker price you usually see on the admissions site. Or, talk to Christianson Tutorials, we can run a list of multiple schools at one time. The "net price" determines how much your family will need to contribute for your college education. Create a list of all the financial aid options you plan to pursue along with the deadlines for each.
Apply for local and national scholarships: Many seniors apply to more than 30 scholarships. That can take time, but is worth every penny. Don't forget about local options or ones that require essays. Fewer students apply for these, so you often have a better chance. Begin applying between junior and senior year continue throughout the school year.
Begin drafting college application essays: Senior year is very busy, so the summer after junior year is a great time to begin college application essays. At least take a few notes of what your target schools are looking for in their essays, and how you may want to respond.
References: College Admissions Timeline and Planning Calendar - Juniors