It's never too early or too late to take action to become college-ready.

As you develop your academic skills in high school, take time outside of the classroom to start tackling your college readiness checklist. There are a lot of steps to take in your junior and senior year, but we’ve broken them down below. Start talking with your counselor, family and friends and make your Next Stop College!

in your Junior Year:


  • Prepare for the March SAT exam
  • Ask your counselor about College Now and AP classes
  • Draft your college list
  • Prep & study for Regents/ retake Regents
  • Document your plan for after high school, including the colleges to which you would like to apply


  • Research, schedule and go on college visits
  • Prepare personal statement essays
  • Research & apply to scholarship opportunities
  • Take College Now summer classes
  • Talk to alumni & college friends about their college experiences

in your Senior Year:


  • Determine eligibility for opportunity programs with the help of your counselor
  • Revise your college list and make sure it includes good fit colleges!
  • Retake SAT*
  • Apply to CUNYs, SUNYs, and private/out-of-state colleges

*Ask your counselor for a fee waiver


  • Complete financial aid applications (FAFSA, TAP, DREAM)
  • Apply to scholarships in time to meet application deadlines


  • Review college offers with counselor & family
  • Attend accepted students events and campus tours
  • Select your college & submit your deposit-or have it waived!
  • Check college portal for enrollment tasks and financial aid

“When I was in high school, I prepared for college by meeting with my college guidance counselor when I was a sophomore. He was the one who recommended me to take AP courses as well as College Now courses to help me save money and get a sense of what it’s like to be in college.”

Nataly T., John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Nataly T. student