Charting the Course: Why Every Junior Should Start College Planning Now

Gain valuable insights from a parent’s perspective on why early college planning is crucial for high school juniors. This post explores the benefits of starting the college application journey early and provides parents with practical tips on how to support their juniors throughout the process.

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Dear Parents of High School Juniors,

Picture this: it’s a sunny afternoon, and your high school junior is engrossed in their favorite pastime, perhaps scrolling through TikTok or honing their gaming skills. The last thing on their mind? College applications. While it might seem premature to start thinking about college when the SATs and application essays feel light-years away, believe me, the earlier you embark on this journey, the smoother the ride.

Why the Rush?

As someone who has steered through the tempest of college admissions at ten prestigious U.S. universities, let me assure you—the future arrives faster than you think. Starting the college planning process now isn’t about robbing your junior of their carefree days; it’s about setting them up for success and saving your sanity in the process.

Parenting Lessons from the College Application Trenches

Let me share a few lessons from the college application trenches. Think of it as a sneak peek into your future self—one that’s calm, collected, and well-prepared for the impending storm of deadlines and decisions.

Lesson 1: The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Cliché, but oh-so-true. The college application process is a series of deadlines, and meeting them becomes significantly more manageable when you start early. Early planning means less stress, more options, and a higher chance of your junior snagging a spot at their dream university.

Lesson 2: Crafting a Standout Application Takes Time

Picture this: Your junior’s application, standing out like a beacon of brilliance in a sea of mediocrity. Achieving this feat isn’t about last-minute cramming; it’s about investing time in curating a compelling narrative. Early planning allows for thoughtful reflection, revising, and refining—the ingredients for an application that leaves a lasting impression.

Lesson 3: The Money Talk Matters

Ah, the infamous college tuition talk—a conversation most parents prefer to postpone. But here’s the thing: early planning gives you a head start on deciphering financial aid options, scholarship opportunities, and budgeting for the future. A well-thought-out financial strategy means fewer surprises and more focus on the academic journey.

Navigating the College Planning Landscape

Now that we’ve established the why, let’s delve into the how. Navigating the college planning landscape can be daunting, but fear not; I’m here to offer some practical tips for parents ready to embark on this journey.

Tip 1: Initiate the Conversation

Timing is everything, and now is the perfect time to initiate the college conversation with your junior. Discuss their aspirations, interests, and potential fields of study. This isn’t about final decisions; it’s about laying the groundwork for future discussions.

Tip 2: Encourage Exploration

Junior year is the time for exploration—both academically and personally. Encourage your junior to delve into extracurricular activities, community service, and potential career paths. A well-rounded resume not only strengthens their college application but also helps them discover their passions.

Tip 3: Embrace Tech Assistance

In this digital age, why not leverage technology to simplify the process? Platforms like Porta Sophia offer a revolutionary approach, combining personalized counseling with a tech-infused platform. It’s like having a virtual college counselor available 24/7, guiding your junior through every step of the application journey.

The Porta Sophia Advantage

Let’s talk about why Porta Sophia could be your secret weapon in this college planning adventure. Our platform doesn’t just streamline the process; it revolutionizes it. Imagine having a virtual college counselor at your fingertips, providing support, guidance, and valuable resources whenever you need them. With Porta Sophia, it’s not just about saving time; it’s about ensuring your junior gets accepted into the university of their dreams—or your money back.

The Time is Now: A Call to Action

In conclusion, dear parents, the time is now. Your junior’s future is on the horizon, and early planning is the compass that ensures they navigate it successfully. If you’re ready to save time, increase acceptance odds, and embark on this journey with confidence, reach out to Porta Sophia. Your future self will thank you.

Wishing you a stress-free and successful college planning journey,

Diana Navarro


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Jonathan Chenier


Dr. Jonathan Chenier is co-founder and key contributor to Porta Sophia. With over two decades of experience in the field of international education, Jonathan’s journey has encompassed various pivotal roles across five different countries. He has served as an educator, mentor, coach, activities director, athletic director, curriculum director, assistant principal, and principal, crafting a rich tapestry of expertise.

Jonathan’s unwavering commitment lies in empowering students to reach for the stars and fervently pursue their dreams. His extensive career in education has not only cultivated his profound understanding of global academic landscapes but also ignited his passion for guiding students toward their full potential.

Phone: (+52) 55 5473 5321
Email: jc@portasophia.com

Diana Navarro Roa

Co-Founder & Chief Counseling Officer

Diana is a professional psychologist, certified career and college counselor with over two decades of extensive expertise in career counseling, college counseling, and university admissions. With a wealth of experience, she has guided countless students towards their academic and professional aspirations, offering invaluable insights and support throughout the complex journey of college selection and application. Her deep understanding of the admissions process, combined with her commitment to empowering students, makes her an invaluable asset in helping individuals achieve their higher education goals.

Phone: (+57) 313 2100944
Email: diana@portasophia.com

Juan Manuel Navarro Roa

Co-Founder & Business Development Director

Juan Manuel Navarro, Co-founder and Business Development Director of Porta Sophia. With a background in industrial design and international business from Columbia University and Universidad Externado, Juan Manuel brings over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience to the table. Passionate about guiding students toward their academic and personal goals, he and his team offer personalized assistance in college selection, test preparation, essay writing, career choices, and scholarship applications. Let Porta Sophia help you succeed on your journey.

Juan Manuel understands the challenges and rewards that come with pursuing one’s dreams, and they are eager to share their insights and expertise. Whether you require assistance in selecting a college, preparing for admission tests, crafting essays, making career choices, or applying for scholarships, they are here to support your path to success.

Phone: (+57) 301 2010575
Email: juan@portasophia.com

Monica Marriaga Martinez


Mónica Marriaga is a certified university counselor whose experience supporting processes within international schools spans over 15 years.  She is deeply invested in ensuring that students’ trajectory in school propels them to successful career paths.  This is why she works tirelessly towards student welfare and actively supports the university counseling process. Mónica has been involved in directorial affairs at one of the most prestigious IB schools in Colombia since 2015 and she assumed the role of Chairwoman two years ago.  

Mónica thoroughly understands the challenges of becoming an international student, having studied Management at the London School of Economics (LSE) in the UK through a Colfuturo scholarship. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Economics from Universidad de Los Andes and her 20+ years of professional experience include working in diverse industries in the public and private sectors.

Phone: (+57) 313 7184313
Email: monica@portasophia.com


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