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Preparing for College

Not yet a senior but ready to be a Vol? Start preparing today!




Student.It’s never too early to start your college search, and we are here to answer all of your questions about the UT admissions process. We want you to be prepared to join us on Rocky Top and be a part of the Volunteer family!

If you don’t have a VIP (Vol in Progress) account yet, create one. You will receive information from UT and can use your account to register for campus tours and events. This is also where you’ll apply for admission during your senior year.

Your Junior Year

Your junior year is crucial for the college planning process because you are taking standardized tests, making a list of potential schools, and planning for your important senior year courses. Here is a quick checklist to keep in mind.

Fall

  • Meet with your school counselor.
    • Talk to your counselor about what classes you need to take to put you on track for admission into UT and admission into your desired major. Check on your GPA—it’s not too late to improve.
  • Meet your UT admissions counselor.
    • It’s never too early to connect with your UT admissions counselor. Our team is here to answer all of your questions about the college admissions process. Check your counselor’s page often to see what local high school visits and fairs are on their schedule.
  • Take the PSAT.
    • Taking the test will qualify you for scholarship programs such as the National Merit Scholarship program. Review your test results with your counselor to assess your strengths and weaknesses to help you prepare for future testing.
  • Make a testing plan and start to prepare.
    • Mark your calendar with important dates for tests like the SAT, ACT, and AP exams. UT requires either your ACT or SAT scores (UT does not require the essay). We use the superscoring method of combining your highest test scores into a new composite score. Our codes are 4026 for ACT and 1843 for SAT.
    • Start to prepare for these tests and use free test-preparation resources online and through your school guidance counselor. We suggest you take either the SAT or ACT at least once in the spring of your junior year and once in the fall of your senior year.
  • Stay involved.
    • Continue your involvement in clubs, sports, leadership positions, community activities, and more. We love to see that you participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Create a resume.
    • Keep track of your accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and work experience. This will come in handy when you start your application.

Winter

  • Meet with your school counselor.
    • Plan your senior schedule so that you are on track for graduation and discuss summer programs and opportunities.
  • Register for the spring ACT or SAT test date.

Spring

  • Plan a campus visit.
    • Attend an open house, campus tour, or information session. Check out our Programs and Events page for a schedule of upcoming events.
  • Learn about financial aid options.
    • Financial aid includes scholarships, grants, and loans. UT awards more than $70 million annually in merit and need-based scholarships and even more scholarship dollars are available from external sources. Make sure you do your research! Start by visiting our Scholarships and Financial Aid page for an overview of financial resources available at UT.
    • Check out our net price calculator. By entering estimates of your family income and your academic information, this calculator will provide an estimate of financial aid and out-of-pocket costs.

Summer

  • Work on your application essays.
  • Start looking at the senior year application checklist and the materials you will need to complete your application to UT.