So what should a high school junior be doing this year? Here's six things they can do now:
1. Focus on grades.For most colleges and universities, your grade point average is the No. 1 admission factor. It's no wonder since studies show that your high school GPA - not standardized test scores - is the biggest predictor of success in college.
2. Take challenging classes.Colleges want to see that you've taken rigorous classes. This doesn't mean that you must overdose with three or four Advanced Placement classes in one semester. You don't want to get so overwhelmed with hard courses that your grades tank. If you've already got colleges on your list, check to make sure you're on track to take the courses the institutions require.
3. Get involved.Colleges get excited about active students who have done interesting things in high school. Colleges wants engaged students on their campus and they assume that kids who were involved in activities as teenagers will continue to do that as college students.