11th Grade - Junior Year
It is extremely important to maintain good grades in your junior year. You
should also challenge yourself academically because colleges pay attention
to the difficulty and diversity of your coursework. The more rigorous your
high school curriculum is, the better prepared and more qualified you are
for college. Continue to research careers that interest you and find
colleges that suit your future goals.
General Things You Should Do This Year:
_____Continue to pray for God's direction and wisdom as you seek His will
regarding your plans for after high school.
_____Meet with your school counselor.
_____Review your academic record and strengthen any weaknesses or problem
_____Ensure that you are on track for high school graduation and college
entrance requirements. Remember that different colleges have different
requirements, so you will need to check with specific schools as you
become interested in them.
_____Enroll in Honors, AP, and/or Dual Credit classes if possible.
_____Take ACT/SAT preparation courses, or study for the SAT and/or ACT.
_____Update your high school resume: grades, test scores, honors, awards, etc.
_____Attend college fairs and college planning sessions with your parent or
_____Attend financial aid information sessions at a local college or college
_____Research specific schools: Check admissions requirements against your
credentials and begin to determine realistic choices.
_____Visit college campuses and meet with admissions officers. Remember to
call ahead for an appointment or register for an Open House day. Look at the
'Checklist and Questions for College Visits' page on this site!
_____Watch for open house events at colleges you would like to visit.
_____Continue saving for college and researching financial aid opportunities.
During the Fall Semester of your Junior Year
_____Find out schedules and register online for standardized tests, such as
the PSAT, SAT I, SAT II: Subject Tests, and ACT.
_____Prepare for and take the PSAT in October (it's required for several
and is especially important for National Merit Scholarships).
_____Student athletes should talk with their coaches about procedures to
indicate interest in college-level athletics.
Use your ASVAB results to help you continue to pray about and plan for
During the Spring Semester of your Junior Year
Register for the ACT and/or SAT. Find out if any SAT II: Subject Tests are
required by colleges you are considering.
If you have a clear "first choice" college, decide if you are going to
apply for early decision or early action. Be aware that if you are
accepted for early decision, you are likely committing yourself to attend
Select courses for your senior year that strengthen your academic record
and ensure that you meet College Entrance Requirements.
Identify and ask teachers to write a letter of recommendation for your
college applications and scholarships.
Take the Advanced Placement exam for any AP course you have completed. If
you score well, you may receive college credits.
Check your transcript at the end of the year to make sure it is correct.
Use spring break or summer vacation to tour college campuses. Have
questions prepared in advance and take notes on your visits.
Explore careers by taking a summer job or internship in your field of
If you are planning to explore a military academy, begin the process by
contacting your congressperson.
Parent Checklist for the Junior Year
This year the college search process begins in earnest.
Just as you've been doing all along, help your child stay on top of things
and continue to provide support and encouragement ï¿½X and constructive
criticism, if needed.
Most importantly, continue to pray for God's direction and wisdom concerning
your child and their plans for after high school.
>Make sure your child registers for the October PSAT. This is the
test for the National Merit Scholarship program and great practice for the
>Check into college fairs and college representative visits to the school.
Encourage your child to attend and to start becoming very familiar with
>Make sure your student is registered on at least one of the free
scholarship search web-sites. (i.e. www.fastweb.com)
>An important note: If you haven't done so yet, get a Social Security
for your child.
>If your child is taking the PSAT, make sure the date is in big bold
on the family calendar. Remind your child to read the Student Bulletin and
to do the practice questions.
>Register for the ACT/SAT. It is good to begin taking these in the Junior
>Schedule college visits. Explore different types of schools. Discuss which
characteristics of schools are attractive and which aren't.
>Discuss your child's PSAT scores with them, and, if necessary, discuss
strategies for improving weak areas. Look into prep options for the SAT,
ACT, and AP.
>Start brainstorming with your child about possible target colleges, with
test results in mind. Ask other college students you know questions and
encourage your child to do so as well.
>Take an introductory look at financial aid forms just to see what you'll
doing this time next year.
>Communicate with your student: How's school going this year? Continue to
evaluate your child's academic progress. Does everything seem to be going
alright? What does your child need if he or she is struggling?
>Start making initial summer plans for working, studying, volunteering,
Try to make sure your child is involved in something that looks good on a
>Keep searching for scholarships.
>Consider and plan spring vacation college visits. Hopefully, your child's
spring break WON'T coincide with college breaks, so you can see and talk to
some students, sit in on classes, etc.
>Have your son or daughter start a "College Binder" by making an early list
of target colleges in a notebook. Visits to college Web sites should
increase and he or she should begin calling, writing, or e-mailing target
colleges to request publications. Set aside an area where all the marketing
materials can be organized and be easily referenced.
>If you haven't done so yet, register for upcoming SAT or ACT tests. Check
the registration lines!
>If AP tests are coming up, make sure your child prepares for the tests.
>Discuss the lineup for senior-year classes. Urge your child to include at
least one math or science course, as well as the most challenging courses
possible. Both of you should recognize that colleges weigh senior classes
and grades as heavily as the junior record.
>Does your child still need to take the SAT or ACT? Check for registration
lines and upcoming test dates.
>If it hasn't already been done, have your child update his or her
high school resume.
>Does your child still need to get the SAT and/or ACT out of the way? (And
yes, this is yet another reminder!) Make sure no lines or test dates
are being overlooked.
>Assess the need for and affordability of special services, such as
standardized test prep courses.
>Make sure your child is registered for anything that still needs to be
done. As always, if your child has a test coming up, mark the test and
registration dates on the family calendar.
>Take advantage of the summer slow-down by visiting scholarship search and
financial aid Web sites with your child, or by checking out comparable
>By now, your child should be accustomed to setting summers aside for
employment or some other constructive activities. These are the types of
activities that sit well with admission officials. This is also a good time
to take some summer visits and plan fall college visits.
>He or she should continue requesting college publications. They should
begin planning, if not executing, any supplemental submissions that will be
needed, such as audition tapes or art slides or portfolios. Review and
update the list of target schools that you and your child have been
developing, adding the pros and cons of each school.
Some information taken from Petersons.com