11th Grade – Junior Year

So here it is, your Junior Year!  This will be your most important grade when it comes to post-secondary school and your applications to college.  Your most recent grades and coursework that any college will see from you is during this year, so make it count!  As if that wasn’t enough pressure, you will also be taking the ACT test during this school year, which has a major impact on admissions.  Check out this list and make sure you are getting these things done!…

Junior Year Planning

  • Once again, meet with your counselor as soon as possible to review freshman and sophomore year’s courses/grades.  Also, make sure you are enrolled in the proper courses for admission to your college(s) of choice.
  • Make note of your GPA and Class Rank.  If you haven’t done as well as you’ve wanted, it’s not too late!  Colleges pay attention to an upward trend in grades, so do well this year and senior year to finish up strong.
  • Revisit that list of colleges you made sophomore year.  Revise it and rank the schools in order of highest priority, to lowest. 
  • To help revise your list of potential schools, visit campuses and college fairs to find out as much as you can about each school.  Research, research, research!  Also, a campus visit is very important in determining a “right fit” for each student.
  • Continue to visit with college representatives at your school.
  • If the military academies are of interest to you, meet with your counselor to find out when the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test is given.  You will need this to enter the military academies.
  • Continue to review college admission requirements for your potential schools.  Admission requirements are ever changing from year to year, so make sure you are aware of any changes in criteria or deadlines.  Visit the school’s website and www.collegeboard.com for the best and most accurate information.
  • Find out when the ACT test is offered in the upcoming spring, and register for it.  Some schools will administer the ACT test at their school and even pay for it.  It’s best to check with your counselor to find out what your options are.  Just make sure you look into it early because the ACT test is an absolute must for admission.
  • By this time, you should have had conversations with your student/parents about college.  Your college list should be narrowed down to around 5 potential schools by now.  A few more is ok, but try to have 5 legitimate school options going into your senior year.
  • Now that you have your list narrowed down, make sure you have all of their admission requirements covered.  If a school requires the SAT I or SAT II tests, take those!
  • Begin looking over past notes and materials to prepare yourself for the upcoming ACT test.  There are publications that can be purchased to supplement your knowledge and are designed specifically to help boost your ACT score. 
  • Look into scholarship and financial aid options for college. 
  • Once you start receiving information from colleges, you should start to organize that information by creating a folder for each prospective college.  That way, you have all of your information in one place and everything you receive from those schools can go right in there so it is not misplaced.
  • It seems early, but start writing a rough draft of a few different personal statements that you can use when you apply senior year.  Read and revise them, then let your counselor and English teacher take a look at them and make any corrections or criticism.
  • Junior year is also a good year to start thinking of a few teachers that could write a letter of recommendation for you.  Make sure you maintain a good rapport with your teachers, as well as good grades.  Stay involved in clubs, organizations and/or extracurricular activities!
  • Sit down with your counselor and make sure you have everything ready for senior year.  Also, find out when your prospective college’s priority application deadlines are.  Usually, they are by November 1st.
  • Volunteer in the community or at the school
  • Attend Summer classes or seminars at a local college, which may give you college credit!
  • Visit your Top 3 college picks and tour the campus…on a school day.
  • If you haven’t done so already, begin to look for a job to help save up money for college.

For a more complete “to-do” list that covers Freshman through Senior year, take a look at Plan, Prepare, Succeed!  Getting Accepted to College.  We provide you with a College Preparation Timeline that shows you what you should be doing, and at what time during the schoolyear.