Through much of the last few months, the focus has been on the senior class for high school students. However, as the pandemic has progressed, cancellations of SAT and ACT testing, a lack of GPA’s for spring courses and canceled extracurriculars have put an additional strain on our junior class.
If you are the parent of a high school junior, I’m sure that you’ve got a lot on your mind. Our first piece of advice: take a deep breath.
With juniors nationwide in the same situation, your child is not alone. That being said, there are some ideas that might help your child take this curveball of a process and use it to their advantage.
First, have your child take the SAT if possible. With many schools already moving to a test optional process, those that take the SAT have the advantage over the rest of the class. If your child is able to take it and scores well, that’s a win. But if not, they shouldn’t feel bad excluding their scores. It’s always good to have options.
Next, look towards extracurriculars. While your child may not be able to participate in their favorite sport, they may be able to stay involved through school clubs or organizations like student government. If not, other things like learning a new language or taking additional courses show creativity and ambition that can stand out on a college application.
Speaking of extracurriculars, if your child has been volunteering during the crisis, they shouldn’t be afraid to mention that as well. College admissions officers will be searching for reasons to advocate for your child, and anything from helping out at the food bank to delivering groceries to the elderly can go a long way.
What do issues with standardized testing put a greater influence on? The college essay. If your child is using their extra free time to their advantage, they can start writing now, and make sure that this important piece is polished by the time they submit applications in the fall.
Last but not least, speak with a certified college planning specialist. As we come to uncharted waters, it’s more important than ever before to find schools for your child that will be able to balance fit and finances.
We know that this is a hectic time for high school juniors, but we’ll get through this together. If you have questions on the topic, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help!
All the best,
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.
Wilner, Jon. “A Coronavirus College Admissions Cheatsheet: What High School Juniors Need to Know Right Now.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 15 May 2020,