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Tips for high school juniors starting out their college search

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.

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 Attend college fairs.

 Visit as many schools as possible, preferably during April vacation when colleges are still in session.

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 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.

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 Be organized. Set up separate folders for each potential school that include cost, programs, and important deadlines.

 Take advantage of online resources available at www.collegeboard.org, www.petersons.com, and www.princetonreview.com.

 Line up teacher recommendations.

 Continue to challenge yourself academically .

 Start thinking about application essay topics.

SOURCE: Kerri Johnston, University of Massachusetts Lowell

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