Prepare for College - 11th Grade

With just two years of high school left, now is the time for you to start bringing your college dreams to life. Find out what you should do, who you should talk to, and how you can prepare for your college application process to go smoothly. 

What You Can Do as an 11th Grader

  • Meet with your school counselor. Review your course plan for the school year and plan your senior class schedule.
  • Begin researching financial aid options, focusing your energy on scholarships and grants. These are types of financial assistance that never have to be paid back.
  • Make a list of entrance requirements. Look up the minimum acceptance requirements for entering freshmen at your top colleges, such as grade point average, high school subject credits, and standardized test scores.
  • Register and take the PSAT/NMSQT. The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. Take these tests as practice college admissions tests. The PSAT/NMSQT also establishes your eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program and additional scholarship programs. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills.
  • After your PSAT /NMSQT or PLAN scores come in, schedule a meeting with your school counselor and bring your list of entrance requirements. With your counselor, determine if your list of colleges is reasonable or needs to be adjusted, and if your current and future high school classes are appropriate
  • Assemble all of your accomplishments and achievements into one folder so that they are easily accessible when applying for scholarships.
  • Begin drafting college and scholarship essays.  This way you can get a jumpstart on the admissions/scholarship process.
  • Take the SAT or the ACT in the spring. Prepare as much as you can. Check out these websites for a great place to start getting familiar with the test questions: ACT or the SAT.
  • Visit as many colleges as possible. Many institutions have programs designed to allow you to see what day-to-day college life is all about. If you cannot visit, check to see if the college you are considering offers a virtual tour via the web.