College admission professionals look closely at the academic performance in the junior year. Students aspiring to attend a highly selective college or university should be enrolled in demanding courses which will challenge their academic abilities. It is important to maintain a healthy balance between course work and extracurricular activities, and therefore students are encouraged to enroll in classes where they can manage their achievement. Build healthy relationships with your teachers, some of them will be writing college recommendations for you!

Each Fall, over 250 college representatives visit Saint Ignatius during the lunch periods. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather information about colleges. The calendar of visits is on the College Counseling home page and the college tab of Family Connection.

We formally start working with students and their families in November of the junior year. This allows us to have the results of some of their PSAT and ACT in-house test scores and a body of four semesters of grades. Junior Family Workshops take place in the first week in November and we make sure to cover topics that include where and how a student can start to take ownership on the front end of the college selection process. Students fill out a ten page "Junior Questionnaire" that will assist each student to prioritize their criteria for a college. At this time, parents will also receive access to the Naviance Student/X2VOL portal. Within the portal, there are many resources specifically about colleges and the application results of years of Ignatian applications to colleges. Details on how to interpret this data is included in the Junior Family Workshop and on the Junior checklist.

College Counselors are assigned in early November of the Junior year. Junior family meetings with students and their parents/guardians are to used to identify expectations, motives and goals for the direction of the college search process. Typically, these meetings are completed by the end of the junior year, allowing student and families to have a game plan for the summer.

There are many testing opportunities during the Junior year. Each fall, juniors take the PSAT test for qualifying for national recognition with the National Merit Scholarship Program. They will also take a practice ACT in the Spring which provides direction for educational and career planning. Because most colleges require scores on the ACT or the SAT, all students are encouraged to take both tests in the spring of their junior year. SAT Subject Tests are sometimes necessary for admission and placement at some colleges. They are hour long exams which are administered in different subject areas. The end of the school year is Advanced Placement (AP) testing season. These tests are for students who have taken AP courses in high school. Depending on a particular college's AP policy, a student may gain advanced standing in college.

The College Counseling Junior Checklist can be found here.

The summer between junior and senior year is a time to plan college visits, work, be involved in academic or social camps, complete service projects, gather application information and hopefully relax a bit. Many summer opportunities are curated at this website.