Junior year usually marks a turning point. This is because for most students and families, it’s when college planning activities kick into high gear. Here are some things you can do this year to support your child and give him or her the best options.
❏ Get the facts about what college costs. You may be surprised by how affordable higher education can be. Start by reading Understanding College Costs.
❏ Explore financial aid options. These include grants and scholarships, loans, and work-study programs that can help pay for college costs. Find out more about how financial aid can make college affordable.
❏Continue to visit schools and get a feel for life on campus and the surrounding areas. Attend college fairs throughout the school year to meet admissions representatives and continue to learn more about specific programs.
❏ Encourage your child to set goals for the school year. Working toward specific goals helps your high schooler stay motivated and focused.
❏ Help your child stay organized. Work with your 11th-grader to make weekly or monthly to-do lists to keep on top of the tasks required to get ready for applying to colleges. For more time-management tips, see 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time.
❏ Help your junior get ready for the PSAT/NMSQT in October. This is a preliminary test that helps students practice for the SAT and assess their academic skills. Juniors who score well on the test are also eligible for scholarship opportunities. Find out more about the PSAT/NMSQT.
❏ Plan out your SAT/ACT schedule with the possibility of taking SAT subject tests as well.
❏ Make sure your child meets with the school counselor. This meeting is especially important this year as your 11th-grader starts to engage in the college application process. Learn more about the counselor’s role in applying to college.
❏ Naviance: Start “Colleges I’m thinking about” list in Naviance. This will help keep you organized and have all information in one place. Update resume with activities, achievements, jobs, and community service.