11th Grade Checklist

Remind 101  

  • Sign up to receive reminders from the CCC. Text the number 81010, and in the message, type @24midtown

Academics

  • For many college-bound students, junior year is academically the most challenging. In many ways, it’s the most important—it’s the last full year of grades that will appear on your transcript when you apply to college. Work hard and keep your grades up.

  • Let your teachers get to know you by speaking up in class. Your junior-year teachers will likely be the ones you ask to write your letters of recommendation, and those letters will be much stronger if you participate in class.

✔ Begin Your College List

  • If you know what you want in a college, great! If not, you’ve got a lot of company.

  • Begin to figure out what kind of school you’d like and what you might like to study by doing some online assessments. Find links on the CCC website to helpful tools that will help you figure out the college environment that’s right for you. There are also links to sites where you can assess your skills and interests (such as GAfutures.org) and explore possible majors (such as collegemajors101.com). You do not need to know what you will major in but having some idea of what you’d like to study and the type of environment you’d like to be in can help you narrow down the possibilities.

  • Begin to compile a list of potential schools by visiting one of the many college search engines out there, such as Collegexpress, Cappex, College Board, College Navigator, College Confidential, or Unigo. Type in what you’re looking for, and these sites generate a list of potential matches. Try several and see if you get similar results.

  • Research the schools you’re most interest in. Visit school websites and come in to the CCC to consult the Fiske Guide to Colleges and other helpful books. We also have files on many schools.

  • Make a list of schools that interest you, either on paper, in a document or spreadsheet, or by using the dashboard on the Common App. Throw the net wide—you’ll narrow your list down later. Look for colleges you feel would be a good fit for you— academically, financially, and socially.

✔ Tests

  • While many colleges require you to submit an SAT or ACT test score, a growing number are now test-optional, meaning that they do not require test scores.

  • The PSAT is generally given to all juniors in October during school. The top 1.5% or so nationally are eligible for a National Merit Scholarship. At the Kahn Academy website, you can link your PSAT results for free, targeted practice for the SAT.

  • If you choose to take a college entrance exam, you’ll choose between the SAT or ACT. Some students take both to see which they do better on. Free sample tests are available online so that you can compare the two. Free online prep for the SAT is offered at Kahn Academy, and for the ACT on the ACT website. If you’re not happy with your score, do more prep and take it again. Before retaking, decide whether you prefer SAT or ACT and focus just on that test.

  • Remember the list of schools you’re compiling? Check their requirements. If any require SAT Subject Tests (which some of the more selective schools do), register to take those by the end of junior year. Each lasts about an hour, and you can take up to three in one day. You cannot take SAT Subject Tests the same day as the SAT.

  • AP Tests happen in May, during school. You may be able to earn credit for some college courses, depending on your grade.

  • Try to complete testing by the end of junior year, or by early fall senior year at the latest.

✔ Activities

  • Stay engaged and make sure you’re making a difference to your club, sport, place of worship, job, volunteer activity, or your family.

  • Engage in activities that truly interest you. It won’t help your college admissions prospects to pad your resume with things you don’t enjoy.

✔ College Visits

  • More than 150 colleges visit the CCC every year. Find out who’s coming through Remind 101 texts, the Knightly News, the board outside CCC, or our website. If any schools on your list are visiting, come meet the rep. But don’t limit yourself to schools already on your list—this is the time to explore.

  • Plan a spring break trip to visit colleges, if possible. This might be your best opportunity to visit while they’re in session. Summer visits are fine, too, but campus will be quieter. 

✔ Resume

  • If you haven’t yet, make a resume. Download a template from the CCC website.

✔ Summer

  • Use your time well. Volunteer (try to complete your community service hours), read, or get a part-time job.

  • If you’re interested in a particular career field, see if you can get an internship over the summer. Start inquiring in early spring.

  • Colleges also care about work you do in your home, such as caring for younger siblings.

✔ Special consideration for artists, performers, athletes, and military

  • Some applications require extra work and early planning. If you want to play sports in college, register online with the NCAA eligibility center, make sure you’re meeting all the academic requirements, and make a video of your best moments on the field. Talk to your coach for guidance.

  • If you want to attend a military academy, you must secure the recommendation of your Senator or Representative. Check their websites and start early.

  • Artists who need portfolios or performers who need to schedule auditions or create a performance video should understand the requirements early.

✔ Consider Your Finances

  • Learn about different types of financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, work study). The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships are great for high-achieving students staying in Georgia. Remember that schools offer a lot of aid, so the sticker price is not necessarily what you’ll pay. And because private schools usually have much more scholarship money available than public schools, they may actually cost you less. Every college website has a Net Price Calculator that may help you figure out what you’ll actually pay.

  • Begin researching scholarships you would be eligible for. There are many search engines to help you, such as FastWeb, College Board, Niche, and more. 

✔ Meet Your College Advisers

  • They are in the CCC and are a wonderful resource. They meet with all seniors in the fall.