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11th Grade

Junior Year College Planning Checklist

Junior year is a key year in your pursuit of college. This is the year to narrow down the colleges you want to attend and your potential majors. This is also the year to challenge yourself with more AP and honors courses, or perhaps even taken college courses at Norco College if you're ready for that.
Fall Semester
  • PSAT: You likely took the PSAT during Sophomore year, but it is recommended that you take it again in October. Taking the PSAT qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship program, and who wouldn't want a chance to earn money for college?
  • Testing plan: Create a testing plan and schedule for when you will take the SAT, ACT, SAT subject tests, and AP exams and mark the dates on your calendar. Be sure you leave yourself enough time to prepare for each test.
  • College and majors: Narrow down your list of colleges including the most important aspects of why you want to go to that school. Narrow down and research the majors you may want to pursue; you have one more year before you'll have to input your major choice on your college applications. Attend college fairs, visit the campuses, and meet with admissions representatives to learn more about their school.
  • NCAA: If you want to play Division I or II sports in college, start the certification process and meet with your counselor to make sure you're taking the right classes. Check the NCAA link under "Resources."
Spring Semester
  • Standardized Tests: It's time to start taking the ACT, SAT, and/or the SAT subject tests. You'll have from this semester to the fall semester of your senior year to take them.
  • Financial aid: Start familiarizing yourself with the FAFSA application process and how to seek out scholarships. FAFSA applications open in October during senior year, so you'll want to be prepared for that process. We have local scholarships annually and there are various scholarship websites you can apply through. Your counselors and the Career Technician are here to answer any of your questions regarding this, including upcoming application deadlines to mark in your calendar. Check out the Financial Aid tab under "Academics" for more information. 
  • Recommendations: Start thinking of a list of teachers, counselors, coaches, administrator, etc. to write your letter of recommendations. Most colleges/universities ask for 3 letters but pick a couple more teachers/counselors/coaches/administrators just in case.
  • Summer job/internship: Start seeking out places to work or intern at, particularly in the fields you may want to major in. This is a great way to boost your resume and show that you're well-rounded.
  • College appointments: Set up appointments to visit your list of top colleges/universities for over the summer. Visiting the colleges could definitely give you a better idea of what you're looking for; brochures and their website will only help so far.
  • Visit colleges: Now that you've set up appointments, start visiting those colleges! Be sure to talk to college students while you're on the campuses to get a feel for what student life is like there.
  • Financial aid: Organize your financial aid information. Learn that through FAFSA, you can possibly qualify for grants, loans, and work study. Search for sources of scholarships and remember, not all scholarships are academic based; there are scholarships specific to majors, ethnicity, ability, and even if you are left-handed.
  • Personal statement: Start drafting your personal statements to the colleges. You only need one for all the UCs, but you'll need separate ones for each private college/university you apply to.
  • Summer job/internship: Do your best to network at your summer job/internship site. This will be a great way to learn about the fields you're interested in and to get to know your employers. You may never know... they may want to hire you after you're done with college!
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