11th graders are offered the opportunity to take the PSAT in October. The college process begins in December with an evening presentation for families on the Nuts and Bolts of the college application process. In addition, a panel discussion with a group of college admissions counselors is offered during this meeting. In late January/early February, school counselors will meet with students and parents in individual meetings to focus on the college search and application process. During this meeting, we will help families select courses for senior year, discuss all types of post-secondary planning ( college, vocational, military etc.) standardized testing, post-secondary planning for students with disabilities, specialized programs, and NCAA eligibility and procedures.
- September & October: Register in the counseling office to take the PSAT. Colleges won't see your PSAT scores, but a good score on the exam could turn into scholarship money through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. It will prepare you for the SAT in the Spring.
- Keep your grades up. Junior year is probably the most important year for earning high grades in challenging courses, especially if you have a few minor bumps in 9th and 10th grade. Improvement in 11th grade shows a college that you've learned how to be a good student. It is also important to keep up your grades through your senior year, as colleges may ask you to report first quarter and/or mid-year grades.
- Continue gathering college information. Go to college fairs, attend college nights, and speak with college representatives who visit your high school; use Naviance to search top college lists. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a school to your “working college” list.
- Make a college list. Your list of colleges should include schools that meet your most important criteria (for example, size, location, cost, academic majors, or special programs). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you and develop a preliminary ranking of the schools on your list. Include "reach", "target" and “most likely” schools in this list.
- Evaluate your education options. Now is the time to follow a more specific path. Decide whether you want to pursue full-time employment, further education or training (such as a vocational-technical school, career college, or two-year or four-year college), or a military career. If interested in attending a military academy, talk to your counselor about starting the application process now.
- Update your resume to include leadership roles in extracurricular activities. Get involved and make a difference. Colleges are looking for future leaders, not passive bystanders.
- Talk to your parents about your future goals. Now is the time to have that sit down and discuss with them what your post-secondary goals are. After all, they do have to participate in the financial aid process!
- PSAT results are returned. Access to review questions you got wrong and why and practice for future SAT or ACT exams.
- Register for senior year classes. Each January, Juniors meet with their counselor to choose their classes for senior year. Remember to continue to take challenging courses like a fourth year of language, AP and/or honors classes or continue on with higher level science or art courses. Remember this! What is challenging for one person is not the same for another. Everyone is different! This is about you!!
- March & April: Register for the May, June or July SAT or ACT. . Registration information is available on our site “College Information”
- Attend a College Fair. Each year, there are a number of College Fairs available for students to attend. Visit our website for up to date information on those fairs.
- Student Athletes: If you want to play sports in college, you need to register for the NCAA Clearinghouse before the end of your junior year.
- Applications available for National Honor Society Membership. Check with the NHS advisors (Ms. Shaw & Ms. Rudolph) for detailed information.
- Applications available for Peer Leadership. Check with the PL Director, Mr. Conwiser for detailed information.
- Attend a Financial Aid Night Presentation. Hastings will host a financial aid night presentation for all students and families who wish to attend. It is a good opportunity to get a head start on financial aid forms, to find out how colleges determine aid eligibility and what is actually available for you. (Dates will be announced and posted as they are booked).
- Take AP exams as appropriate. Don't just sit for the exam, make an effort to do well on the exam. The score you receive could make a difference in being in college for three years vs. four or five years. Try to get the credit for the class.
- Start your college application essay(s) early. You will begin your college essay in your English class. Remember, most colleges require essays as part of their application packet. Get the topic and start writing it early. Try to make your essay compelling and be sure it reflects your best effort.
- June-August: The summer before your senior year is a great time to visit colleges. Call ahead to schedule a time to visit so that admissions reps can accommodate you for a tour. ALSO, continue with your summer plans - stay connected with your extracurricular activities, jobs, camps etc...
- Gather applications and materials for college. This is the perfect opportunity to "get your ducks in a row." Gather everything you need in the summer so that in the Fall you can concentrate on finishing school and completing college applications. Make a spreadsheet with this information - this is a good way to list everything that you have learned and start comparing.