If you have a high school junior in your house, college is in the air. And if the student has an obsessive parent, college (or thoughts thereof) permeates EVERYTHING.
Whether or not there's a manic mom or dad on the scene, here's the truth. At this moment, chances are that whatever stage the search is, it's probably where it should be. That said, there are a number of issues to consider right now.
1. Senior year courses -- some rigorous ones, but not taking AP for the sake of having those two letters sprinkled throughout the transcript. Read this piece for some more thoughts on AP, IB, etc.
2. Testing -- there's an SAT test this Saturday. Our teen is signed up to take it later this spring and she will likely take it again in early fall.
3. Subject tests -- some schools want them, most don't. But if there's no firm list yet and you want to play it safe, spring is the time to take a subject test (up to three can be taken the same day). For example, if a student is taking an AP test this year, go ahead and take the subject test too. One test down while the information is fresh.
4. College tours -- start planning spring break to include some campus visits. Of course you can visit schools in the summer, but an empty campus doesn't give the full picture of a school.
Here's a summary of the things juniors should be doing to get ready for the college app process.
Happy college hunting!