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The Ivy Coach Daily

May 2, 2023

Can Juniors in High School Apply to Colleges?

An Ivy-covered building between trees is featured at Princeton University.
While students can apply to colleges as juniors in high school, we at Ivy Coach strongly discourage it.

If you’re wondering if you can apply to college as a junior, the answer is yes, you canBut it’s a qualified yes. Because should you? No. While high school juniors who will fulfill their high school’s graduation requirements by the conclusion of their third year are technically eligible to apply to America’s elite universities, with admission rates for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle setting or nearing historic lows, it does not behoove applicants to apply a year before one’s peers.

Yet they can still apply. So let’s dive into the pros and cons of applying to college as a junior in high school and how juniors would navigate applying to colleges a year ahead of time.

Why You Should Apply to College in Junior Year

Why You Should NOT Apply to College in Junior Year

Which Colleges Allow a Student to Apply as a Junior?

Most of America’s colleges allow students to apply who anticipate fulfilling their graduation requirements as juniors. In fact, most schools typically don’t specify that high school students need to be seniors to submit applications. But with below 10% overall admission rates at Ivy League and other highly selective schools, who cares if one’s allowed to apply? A C student can apply to Princeton University. It doesn’t mean that the student is getting in.

How to Apply to College as a Junior in High School

If you’re intent on applying to colleges as a junior — against Ivy Coach’s explicit advice — everything you would do if you applied like a typical high school senior would need to be completed a full year earlier. This timeline would be as follows:

Should a Student Apply to College as a Junior?

As you may have noticed, we included only one potential pro of applying to college as a junior in high school. And that’s telling. It’s because we at Ivy Coach believe that applying a year early to college is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. What’s the rush? Why hinder your chances of earning admission to the best college you can get into by submitting applications when they’re only half-baked? So turn up the oven to 360° and let your candidacy bake. Take it out during the fall of senior year — when it’s ready and delicious!

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