Here are some tips for high school juniors starting out their college search:
■ Start a list of potential schools based on size, location, programs of interest, student life, and cost.
■ Attend college fairs.
■ Visit as many schools as possible, preferably during April vacation when colleges are still in session.
■ Make sure your list includes schools big and small, urban and rural, near and far, and include a mix of safety, just right, and reach options.
■ Be smart about social media presence, because some schools check Facebook and Twitter accounts.
■ Set up a professional-sounding e-mail account dedicated strictly for college correspondence.
■ Be organized. Set up separate folders for each potential school that include cost, programs, and important deadlines.
■ Line up teacher recommendations.
■ Continue to challenge yourself academically .
■ Start thinking about application essay topics.
SOURCE: Kerri Johnston, University of Massachusetts Lowell