Preparing for College – 11th Grade Timeline
Junior year grades are extremely important for college admissions. Grades also are used to determine scholarships and grants. Do all your homework, keep your grades up, and strive for at least a 3.0 GPA.
All 11th graders in Envision Schools will take the PSAT on October 17. Even though these scores will not be used for college admission, do your very best on the PSAT, because the scores may qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship Competition and the National Achievement and the National Hispanic Scholars Programs.
Start talking to your family about your college preferences and the factors that might affect your choices, such as: cost, location, campus size, etc. Parents: if you are setting any specific parameters, now is the time to share them with your student, before they get their minds set on any particular schools.
Stay involved in extra-curricular activities at school and in community service. Take on leadership roles when possible.
Remember to keep a record of all that you do, and continue your activities into the summer time if possible.
Start researching options for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. Talk to your College Advisor about good places to start your research.
In January, you should receive the results of your PSAT. Talk to your College Advisor about how you might improve on future standardized tests.
Begin to make a preliminary list of colleges that you are interested in attending. There is a lot of information on the Internet and also in the College Advising office at your school. Meet with your College Advisor to discuss your preliminary list of colleges and adjust your 4-year plan. Discuss whether your initial list of colleges meets your needs and interests (academic program, size, location, cost, etc.) and whether you are considering colleges where you are likely to be admitted. Discuss standardized tests that you will need to take and make a calendar of test dates for yourself.
Request admission literature and financial aid information from the colleges on your list.
Attend a college fair to get more information about colleges you are considering. Visit NACAC’s National College Fairs website for dates and locations.
If you work, save part of your earnings for college.
Begin visiting colleges. Seeing the college in person, taking a tour, and talking to students can be the greatest help in deciding whether or not a school is right for you.
If you plan to participate in college athletics, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Make a list of teachers who you would like to ask to write letters of recommendations for you. Talk to them before the end of the school year to make sure they are willing.
In the end of your junior year, take the SAT. If you want to raise your scores, you will have more opportunities to take it again in the fall.