attend interior banner - dcc students inside on benches
11th Grade Plan

11th Grade Plan

Download PDF version >>  
SUMMER - Prior To Your Junior Year

Visit as many colleges as possible. Check websites for information about tours and open house programs and combine with a family vacation or gathering. Even if a school is not on your list, but an opportunity for a visit presents itself, consider checking it out. Doing so will give you perspective for asking more informed questions and making better decisions later in the process.

Prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT or SAT by visiting the College Board’s SAT Preparation Center at, or take the practice ACT at


Take the most challenging courses you can as it is the rigor of your curriculum, along with a solid grade point average, that will be evaluated by college admission committees. Taking challenging courses shows that you are ready for a competitive college environment. Be sure to meet with your counselor to review the courses you’ve taken and determine what you still need to take.

Maintain your grades. Grades earned in your junior year will be evaluated by college admission officials when you apply for admission.

Obtain schedules for the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and ACT and determine which of these exams you will take. Complete the registration forms and mark the dates on your calendar. See your counselor for information.

Inquire about national competitions and scholarships, such as the Intel Science Talent Search, by visiting with your counselor.

Complete SAT II subject exams as you finish subject areas. See your counselor for information.

Develop your leadership skills and stay involved. Colleges look for consistency and depth in activities.

Attend college fairs, financial aid nights and college planning workshops. Encourage your parent(s)/guardian(s) to accompany you.

Establish an e-mail account specifically for your college search. Remember, a “funky” e-mail address is best left for communicating with friends and family.

Start early! Learn about federal financial aid, your potential eligibility, and how the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) works. Visit Federal Student Aid at and SUNY Smart Track at for more information.

Talk to your counselor if you are interested in a military academy to find out about requirements and timelines.


Generate a list of 10-20 colleges and contact them for information. Research costs and note upcoming campus visit programs.

Organize! Make folders for your college information, along with deadlines and important dates. Check it often.

Send e-mail messages to your colleges of interest to get on their mailing lists. To request information from SUNY go to

Research scholarships at and see your counselor for additional information.

Create a first draft of your resumé to maintain a record of college courses taken, college programs in which you’ve participated, awards you’ve won, projects you’ve completed, extracurricular achievements, and volunteer work.

Review your senior year class schedule with your counselor to ensure that it fulfills graduation requirements.

Start the certification process if you are interested in participating in college athletics. Consult with your athletic director or coach(es) to determine whether you are a candidate for an athletic program. Be sure to check with your counselor to make sure you’re taking a core curriculum that meets NCAA requirements. For more information go to


Research Early Decision and Early Action programs and schedule your testing to meet early deadlines.

Attend college fairs, financial aid nights and college-planning workshops. Many spring events are designed for high school juniors.

Utilize your college list to arrange visits to campuses during spring break.

Focus on financial aid and enlist the assistance of your parents/family members. For each college on your list, calculate the total cost of a year (two semesters) using the college’s net price calculator. SUNY’s calculator will be available at

Contact your U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator to express your interest in and desire to be nominated to attend a military academy.

Consult your coach and counselor BEFORE submitting the NCAA eligibility paperwork (for potential athletes).

Consider whom you’ll ask to write letters of recommendation (current teachers and counselors). Then, provide a summary of what you wish for them to include and politely ask if they can assist. Remember to send each a thank you note.

Inquire about personal interviews or group information sessions at your favorite colleges.

Search for summer pre-college programs, workshops and classes at SUNY campuses or apply for internships and summer jobs in your field of interest.

Pace yourself. Don’t spend so much time trying to improve standardized test scores that your grades and involvement in activities suffer. Find and maintain a balance.

SUMMER - Following Your Junior Year

Take the SAT II subject tests if your potential colleges require them and you have finished the curriculum which would help you score well. (If you and your family are experiencing financial hardship, ask your counselor about a fee waiver.)

Narrow your list of colleges to 4-8. Make sure these are a right match for you. Just because a relative attended an Ivy League school, doesn’t mean it is a good fit for you.

Visit the three schools at the top of your list (be sure to include SUNY). Schedule your visit in conjunction with a family vacation or when colleges are hosting events.

Decide on whether you’ll apply as an Early Decision or Early Action candidate and begin preparing your application for admission. These deadlines are typically in early to mid-November of your senior year.

Compose rough drafts of essays and ask your family, friends, and teachers to review your essays for grammar, punctuation, readability, and content.

Contact coaches, if applicable, and include your high school sports schedule and game tapes. Be sure to tell them why you are interested in their program and school.

Create an arts portfolio, if applicable, to showcase your performing, visual or creative arts work. Your portfolio may include essays, photographs, illustrations, slides or other forms of artwork. A portfolio should represent your best creative work from class projects or assignments and be consistent with portfolio instructions given by an individual campus program.

Preview application questions now and begin to draft your answers. Worksheets for the SUNY application can be found at

∧ Back To Top  

Links to non-SUNY websites and information are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

Attend SUNY