High School Junior PlanThe 11th grade is the most important school year during your pre-college years. This list will help you to stay on top of the many different things you need to make happen.
11th Grade – The Junior Year
- Continue to take challenging courses and to explore careers. This is a very important year. Colleges usually base their decision on your sophomore and junior year grades.
- In October, take the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). Good scores may lead to a merit scholarship, so take this test seriously. Compile a list of your top 7-10 college choices. Write the colleges for information. Compare entrance requirements, cost, size, unique programs, facilities, your intended field of study, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Talk to friends or relatives who have attended.
- Plan to attend at least one college fair. It's a good time to gather information about a lot of colleges and ask questions. Besides, they're fun!
- Visit the counseling office often to see when representatives for the colleges you are interested in will be visiting your school. Schedule to meet them. Also check for new incoming information about colleges and scholarships.
- Take the SAT I and/or the ACT (American College Test) during the spring semester. Find out which test the colleges you are interested in require. Consult with your counselor or college admissions offices if you're unsure of your score. Should you take the test again?
- If you're taking an AP course, get ready for the May exams.
- Start learning about college costs and financial aid. Use financial aid calculators to estimate how much your family will be expected to pay. Set aside money for college from part-time jobs, gifts, or any other source. Saving any amount can make a big difference in what you can afford to pay for college. Continue to check into scholarships. There are books and online searches with scholarship lists.
- Plan your summer activities. Consider a career-related summer job, summer courses at a local college, community service, or volunteer work. The summer before your senior year is also a good time to visit your top three college choices.
Information, Considerations and Getting Started
Sources of Information
- college catalogs, information bulletins, and videos
- college representatives
- parents, students, and alumni
- school counselors and teachers
- directories and computerized information
- professionals in the field
- community leaders or mentors
- majors available
- opportunities for financial aid
- size of enrollment
- admissions selectivity
- affiliation (public, private, or church related)
- type of community
- minority representation
- sex ratio
- types of housing
- specialized programs
- campus activities
- athletic program
- know yourself and reasons for attending college
- consider college characteristics
- list, compare, and visit colleges
- apply for admission and observe deadlines
- develop a plan to finance your education review and finalize your plans
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