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Preparing for College: A Checklist for High School Juniors

University of Arizona Campus Mall, looking South West.

Four things you can do as a high school junior 


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1. Participate

Your participation in extracurricular activities can help with your admission to college and acceptance into special programs. Colleges know that what you do outside of class says a lot about the person you are and what you’ll bring to their institution. Plus, your involvement in clubs, volunteer organizations, and community projects can check an important box on many scholarship applications. Once you get to college, staying involved is easy. At the University of Arizona, we have hundreds of student clubs and organizations where Wildcats can help others, make friends, and learn new skills.



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2. Practice

Taking a practice or Preliminary Standardized Admissions Test (PSAT) will prepare you for the real thing and is required for National Merit Scholar consideration. And while SAT/ACT test scores are not necessary for admission to the University of Arizona, they can help. Standardized admissions tests can reveal your academic strengths and weaknesses, aid in course selection, and support your application for scholarships and special programs. Want to take your test prep to the next level? Arizona's Think Tank offers a self-paced online course you can take now, so you can learn what to study and how to do your very best come test time.



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3. Prepare

Have you thought about how you'll pay for college? Do you know that most students attending the University of Arizona rely on some type of financial aid? It’s never too early to explore aid options, including loans, scholarships, and work-study, to see which you qualify for, and which might work best for you. Now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA – which is required to receive most types of financial aid. Deadlines for FAFSA and scholarships can seem to come up fast, but if you do a little research and prepare ahead of time, you'll be ready.



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4. Visit

Taking a tour is a great way to get to know the college you’ll be attending soon. A first-hand experience is hard to beat when it comes to getting a feel for a campus and the surrounding area. You can get to know the University of Arizona and Tucson better by joining us for a virtual or an in-person visit. Check out our Arizona Experience or Wildcat Snapshot events designed specifically for current juniors or seniors in high school. And remember to pack your flip-flops because we get the sunshine—more than 350 days a year on average!


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