TOP ELEVEN FOR ELEVENTH GRADERS
1. Keep your grades up! The last grades colleges will see are from junior year, as you will send your applications in before any grades are final senior year. Use tutoring and Knight Time as you need them and stay in contact with your teachers.
2. Attendance is important! If you are going to be out, let your teachers know and get work ahead of time. Make sure to not miss more than 10 days in any course, or you will need to do recovery after school.
3. This is the year to take the SAT and ACT. You will take the ACT at school in March, and that test is college admissible, so take it seriously! You will need to schedule any other SATs and ACTs independently through www.collegeboard.org (SAT) or www.actstudent.org (ACT). You should look at the schedule to determine dates that will work for you. Spring of junior year is a good time to take these tests. Remember that there are no summer test dates and you will want to be done with these tests by the middle of your fall semester senior year, so if you are planning on taking more than one this is the time to start!
4. Log in to Naviance on a regular basis. Your username should be your email address and your password should be your student ID number. If you have trouble logging in, email your counselor for help. Creating a resume is a great way to prepare for college applications. You can coordinate college visits, do career research, and compare college admission statistics.
5. Sign up to attend college information sessions at Ardrey Kell! Each year, more than 60 colleges vists our school. Juniors and seniors are each eligible to sign up for up to 5 of these visits each year. You can sign up in your Naviance account. If you have colleges listed in the “Colleges I’m Thinking About” section of Naviance, you will get emails when those colleges schedule visits.
6. Visit college campuses. Campus visits can make such a big difference in deciding whether you want to apply to a college or not. Take a look at the CMS calendar so you can plan your visits to minimize absences. Always take an official tour if you can.
7. Stay involved! Participating in clubs, playing sports, working a part-time job, or volunteering in the community shows colleges that you can balance your time between academics and extra-curriculars. Taking on a leadership role is always a great idea. It is not important to be involved in a lot of different clubs and groups, but it is important to be significantly involved in a few.
8. Begin thinking about ways to pay for college. There are a variety of scholarships available to students, through organizations or individual colleges. Most colleges will offer a financial aid package to applicants to help cover the cost of post-secondary application. Look over the Financial Aid Information tab on the Student Services website and take a look at the scholarship listings in Naviance so that you have an idea of what you can apply for next year. Talk to your parents about their thoughts on paying for college!
9. Take advantage of programming at school. There will be multiple informational night events throughout the year, including Financial Aid, Testing Information, and the College and Career Expo. Pay attention to the announcements for dates and times, as well as other great opportunities.
10. Sign up for your junior appointment! This is your chance to sit down with you counselor plan and discuss the college application process for senior year. Students who meet with their counselor as juniors are much more prepared and organized for their senior year.
11. Plan to use your summer time wisely! You can do work in the summer to prepare for a busy fall season. Many college applications open in August, so you can create your accounts and begin the applications, as well as work on essays, finalize your list of applications, and search for scholarships before school even starts.