What to Know Your Junior Year


As you may know, junior year is the time for you to begin thinking about college, as you’ll start applying for college as early as November senior year!

So during junior year, I encourage you to do four main things:

  1. College research: Learn about different colleges and which ones might be a good fit. Potentially begin going on campus visits. (Or, given Coronavirus, check out videos and virtual campus tours.)
  2. Study for standardized tests: If you’re considering a college that requires the SAT or ACT, it’s normally wise to take the test in the Spring. This way, if you’re unhappy with your score, you have time to retake it at the beginning of senior year.
  3. Learn about financial aid: Once senior year rolls around, you’ll be too busy doing college applications to research the financial aid process. So focus on understanding that (and taking note of deadlines!) now. To start, here’s a good primer on how college financial aid works (Links to an external site.), and here’s an explanation of the most important financial aid acronym: EFC (Links to an external site.) (Expected Family Contribution).
  4. Apply for scholarships. High school juniors are eligible for plenty of scholarships, and it’s never too early to begin earning money towards your college tuition! Plus, it’s pretty easy to turn common scholarship essays into college essays, when the time comes. To find and apply for scholarships, I recommend you sign up for Going Merry (Links to an external site.).

I know that may seem like a lot to keep track of though, so you might also find this Junior Year Calendar/Checklist (Links to an external site.) to be quite helpful. Print it out, and check things off as you complete them!

11th Grade Checklist