What to Expect - JUNIOR YEAR

What to Expect - JUNIOR YEAR

What to Expect Your Junior Year

Junior Year

This will be one of your busiest years. This is the year you will research and prepare yourself for your post high school career. This includes 4 or 2 year college/university, trade school, military, or a career. Visit the Counseling Office often for assistance. Your biggest accomplishment will be to finish your standardized testing including PSAT/SAT/ACT’s and to finalize your college list. 


Continue to maintain or raise your current GPA. As part of the college admissions process, your GPA will play a crucial role in acceptance. Ask for assistance from teachers and tutors to help raise your GPA so you have the ability to become accepted to the college of your choice. Visit http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles-quiz.shtml to find out what kind of learner you are. 

Career Exploration 

Trying to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life can be a daunting task for a person at any age. We encourage students to start their career exploration early to make the process easier. 

Check out https://www.onetonline.org/ to research careers and possible salaries. 

Visit https://www.workstats.dli.pa.gov/Products/CareerGuide/Pages/default.aspx

  Published by the Department of Labor & Industry, this guide is packed with great information on a variety of different careers and resources to help with your career search.

Thinking about a career in the trades? You may want to further your education before you get started. Check out these somewhat local and affordable options:


Considering a military career? You have a lot of options to consider:

Have you ever considered a career in Military Social Work?

  • Military service members, veterans and their families have special needs that may necessitate working with a social worker. For example, military personnel may be dealing with psychological and emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, especially if they have been fighting on the front lines of war. Families of veterans may be struggling with domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse or suicide. Military social workers must be prepared for the complexity that comes with treating both active-duty and civilian clients who are part of military culture.

Job Shadowing

This is an amazing opportunity to find out about any career you are interested. Contact the company’s human resource department. Mention you are a high school student interested in learning more about the specific career and would like to job shadow. Job shadowing is the cheapest and fastest way to find out if you would like to pursue a specific career. Remember: finding out what you do not like is just as important as finding out what you do like!

College Search

You need to finalize your college list of 3-6 colleges. Include a dream school and at least 2 schools you know you will be accepted.  Wondering how to find the "perfect" college? Here are some tips to help you with the search:

Getting Started:

  • Try out the Super Match College Search: This tool can be found under the "Colleges" tab in Naviance. It will allow you to select all the things your dream college would have (activities, location, size, setting, majors, etc.) and it will generate a list of colleges you may like based on those factors.

  • Add colleges to your "Colleges I'm Thinking About" list: This tool can be found under the "Colleges" tab in Naviance. It will help you get organized and give you some great information on the colleges you are considering. Click on the graphing tool next to each colleges to see what type of students that college has accepted from Spring-Ford in the past.

Finding out what type of college you would like is important as you research where you would like to apply. Do you want a big university where you are referred to as a number or a small school where everyone knows your name? Do you want the city life or prefer suburbia. Only you can make this decision. Talk with students who attend the college of interest. Make appointments with the Admissions Counselors to visit the college campus or ask questions over the phone. Remember, the admissions counselors are deciding who will be accepted, always be polite and courteous. After your visit, send a hand written thank you note.

3 Factors of Your Best Fit College:

1. Academic Fit: This is why you are going to college! Make sure that the college offers the academic program you need to set you up for your future career. You can determine if a school is a good academic fit by meeting faculty members for your major, checking out the classrooms/labs/facilities for your major, asking about student research/internship/co-op opportunities for students with your major. Not sure what you'll major in? Find out what the opportunities the college offers to students who are undecided.

2. Social Fit: This is going to be your home for the next 4 years! Do you like the campus? Have you tried the food? Would you want to be friends with the people you see walking around on campus? Does the school offer the clubs, sports, music programs, etc. that you want? The more comfortable you feel on campus, the more likely you are to take academic risks and get involved. You will build up your resume without even realizing it!

3. Financial Fit: For some families this may feel like the biggest factor of the three and for good reason! College is expensive! When searching for a college, we recommend that students apply to both expensive and inexpensive schools because sometimes those expensive schools offer the most free money to our students. Each school will provide students with a financial aid package after the student has been accepted. This will break down the entire cost of the college and what types of scholarships, grants, and student loans that are being offered. Students should review their financial aid package before committing to a college.


Are you interested in playing collegiate sports? What division are you considering? Check out http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future to register and find the requirements for Division I and Division II. Make sure you review the sliding scale requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT. https://www.ncsasports.org/ncaa-eligibility-center/ncaa-sliding-scale

Remember Division III will not offer an athletic scholarships. Send your official SAT/ACT scores to the Eligibility Center through the testing agency (College Board or ACT) using the CEEB Code 9999. Make contact with the coaches, send them footage of your best game so they can see your talent! Use social media to highlight your abilities and desire to play in college


In October you will take the PSAT’s at Pottstown High School for free. 

Fast Facts on PSATs:

SAT’s and ACT’s 

The SATs and ACTs are two different college entrance exam options that are considered equally for college admission. Highly selective colleges may also require students to take SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT II tests).

 Register at https://www.collegeboard.org/ for your SAT’s. Register at http://www.act.org/ for your ACT’s. As a junior, your testing needs to be completed prior to returning for your senior year. 

Testing Recommendations:

  • All students interested in going to college should take SATs and/or ACTs in junior year.

  • There is a good amount of Algebra II on the exams. If you are currently in Algebra II, we recommend you test later in the spring. If you have already completed Algebra II, you can test at any time.

  • Students should try both the SAT and ACT to determine which test they like better and results in a better score. We then recommend that students take that test at least once more to get their best possible score.

  • Three seems to be the magic number of times a student should take the SATs or ACTs. After three testings (without some sort of extra preparation like a prep course) scores will begin to plateau.

  • If your career choice involves science or the medical field, you are strongly encouraged to take the ACT’s since part of their testing involves a science section unlike the SAT’s.

To Prepare:

To Send Scores:

  • Scores must be sent by the testing agency (College Board or ACT). Requests to have scores sent to different colleges can be processed online. 

College applications

Create an account on https://www.commonapp.org/ . You will need to link your common app to your Naviance account through the Ferpa agreement on common app so counselors can send required documents to the colleges for admission. Not every college uses the common app as their application process. If the college is not available on common app, you will need to apply on the college specific website. If you have a portfolio, you might want to consider applying on the coalition http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/.

Naviance / Letters of Recommendations

Naviance https://www.naviance.com/ Complete the career interest surveys to find more information on career clusters. You will request letters of recommendations through Naviance not through the common application website. On the left under colleges, scroll down to apply to college, click on the tab marked letters of recommendations. Enter the teacher you are requesting a letter of recommendation. Make sure you give the teacher a minimum of 2 weeks to write their letter for you. They are busy and need time to write.


Believe it or not, it is never too early to research and win scholarships. Junior high students have won scholarships so spend time researching scholarships on https://www.goingmerry.com/, https://www.fastweb.com/, https://www.dosomething.org/us. You can also check out https://myscholly.com/ which is a scholarship database app for your device. Collegeboard also offers scholarships at https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/  

Take note, scholarship money through outside the college organizations are checks with your name that go into your pocket!

**Remember: the more you accomplish, the less stress you will be your senior year!**

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