Senior year of high school is a busy year. You’ll be doing College admissions applications. You’ll be applying for scholarships. You’ll fill out your FAFSA.  Oh, and don’t forget about school time, homework time, work time, and social time.

JUNIORS, do yourselves a favor and knock out some of these initial steps in your college planning process early. Doing so will potentially avoid unnecessary stress later on, and it makes for a more efficient process.

Sounds legit, right? Ok, where does one begin?bikes_on_campus

Start at a Spring College Fair!

Click here to see a listing of the five Nebraska college fairs sponsored by EducationQuest Foundation. The college fairs are a great opportunity to learn about different colleges and talk with college representatives.  Ask them questions and get some printed information about their school. This event is always FREE and is a great way to kick off your college planning process.

Prepare for the ACT

During the spring of Junior year, Nebraska high school students will take the ACT.  This is a national college admissions exam that tests students in subject areas such as English, math, reading and science. The test score will have an impact on a student’s college admissions and their ability to earn college-based scholarships. Students can take the test multiple times, and usually, the December test date of senior year is the last one colleges will accept – talk with your college reps for details. Learn more about the ACT on their website, or talk with your school counselor.

Campus Visits

Take advantage of lovely spring weather and go visit a college campus. This is one of the most useful steps in the college planning process. Contact the college’s admissions office and coordinate a visit which often includes a tour, meetings with Admissions and Financial Aid, and also a chance to meet with representatives of your major/program of study. Visualizing yourself on a college campus is important; check out this video to see what other students have experienced on a campus visit.

Research scholarships

There are lots of scholarships out there. Lots and lots! This can seem overwhelming, but the best advice is for you to begin researching NOW what scholarships you can apply for as a senior.  Doing this early helps you identify what scholarships you’re eligible for, what their requirements are, and prepare for the deadlines. Your school counselor office is a good place to start looking; don’t forget about the ScholarshipQuest resource as well!

Visit EducationQuest

For free assistance in this process, visit or call your nearest EducationQuest office. Our college planning specialists are happy to answer your questions during this exciting time.