Preparing for College

  • You have a lot to deal with in high school right now, but it’s not too early to start thinking about college. While it may seem far away and a little overwhelming, taking some steps your junior year can make a big difference when you apply to colleges as a senior.

    High School Coursework

    Your high school transcripts are the most important part of your application to IUP. We look closely at the courses you’ve taken and how you did in those classes. Your junior year may be the most important year of coursework, depending on when you apply and how well you’ve done. Be thoughtful about the classes you take—don't be afraid to challenge yourself.     

    SATs and ACTs

    Hopefully you aren’t stressing about the SATs or ACTs, but it’s a good idea to take them at least once during your junior year. If you are looking at competitive programs , you have even more incentive to start preparing for and taking these exams early.

    Since the earliest you can take the SATs during your senior year is often in October, it can be helpful to start taking the exams during your junior year. Otherwise, when you start your senior year, you may feel lots of pressure if you haven’t already taken the exam at least once. If you register for an earlier date during your junior year and your scores are not as high as you need or want them to be, you will have plenty of time to study, make some adjustments, and earn the scores that show your ability.

    The ACTs are another exam for you to consider. Sometimes, if you struggled on the SATs, you can earn scores that are better indicators of your ability on the ACT exams. The ACTs cover a broader range of information and are worth considering, especially if you didn’t do as well on the SAT as you expected.

    We encourage you to submit all of your scores when you test—your score report is included in your registration and is considered official when it comes directly from the testing service. Whether you take the SAT, ACT, or both, we will apply the highest exam score to your IUP application. 

    Visiting Campus

    Our students tell us that when they made a visit to IUP, that’s when they knew it was the right fit for them. IUP has many opportunities to visit. As a junior, we encourage you to consider attending one of our Open House programs offered in April, July, and August. You’ll be able to tour campus, learn more about campus life, and speak with professors at our Academic Marketplace. 

    In July and August, we host Decision Day programs for rising seniors who want to apply and learn their decision before the start of the senior year. This is a great opportunity for students to be admitted or to get immediate, early feedback from an IUP admission counselor to learn just what we need for admission.

    Financial Aid

    If you haven't already started thinking about how to finance your college education, you should definitely start considering the types of financial aid available and begin planning. You might also look for scholarship opportunities. To make yourself as competitive as possible for admission to IUP and for scholarships, keep your grades up and look for things you can do that will strengthen your application, such as activities, community service, or a part-time job.

  • Helpful Timeline

    Spring Semester, Junior Year

    Take your SATs or ACTs if you haven’t already. IUP SAT code: 2652; ACT code: 3704.

    Don’t let these tests get you stressed—get one exam over with and see how you do. It will help you to plan down the road. There is a lot more flexibility when it comes to these exams, but they still play a role in competitive majors and scholarship opportunities.

    Summer Before Senior Year

    Visit us. This is a great time to see how beautiful the campus is. We have multiple visit options and dates throughout the year, so you should be able to find something that fits your schedule. You can always check out our virtual tour, too!

    September 1, Senior Year

    We will begin reviewing applications for those entering college the following fall.

    Get your application in early! Also, register to take your SATs or ACTs again if you need to. (IUP SAT code: 2652; ACT code: 3704.) Get information from your guidance counselor.

    Two Weeks After You Apply

    You should hear from us with a decision or a request for more information so we can learn more about you. The only exception is for students planning to major in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. These students will receive a decision after December 15.

    Explore IUP as an Admitted Student!

    See information for admitted students.

    Set up your MyIUP account to explore opportunities you have at IUP. Attend an Experience IUP admitted student event. Read our detailed to-do list for admitted studentsto help you with your next steps.

    May 1

    You have until May 1 to make your decision.

    Confirm your enrollment at IUP by making a nonrefundable $150 tuition deposit. This holds your place in the freshman class and guarantees your housing if you plan to live on campus. We will work with students after this date, space permitting. For the most housing and orientation options, deposit as soon as you make your decision!