Georgia Student Finance Commission

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11th Grade

College Decision Guide

11th Grade

11th Grade Checklist Fall Semester:

  • It's not too late to participate in Dual Enrollment and take some college-level coursework to earn credit towards both high school and college graduation. 
  • Maintaining your grades during your junior year is important! Colleges will consider the difficulty of your classes and place emphasis on your performance.
  • Now is the time to really focus on your college research. You can look for colleges within Georgia as well as conduct a national college search. Put together a list of your top choices and share with others to determine what’s best for you.
  • Talk to your guidance counselor or adviser about the following:
    • Schedules for the PSAT, SAT I and SAT Subject Test, ACT and AP exams. Determine which of these exams would be the best fit for you and register. Remember, you can always change your mind.
    • The admissions requirements for the colleges you're interested in. Do your research, and be sure to find out about any additional requirements besides GPA and test scores.

Spring Semester

  • Check your HOPE GPA in February to see if you are tracking to be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship.
  • If you're choosing your senior year classes, look for classes that will give you a strong transcript and fit your college study plans.
  • Continue your campus tours online or in person. You want to be narrowing down your list of potential colleges. Begin to accumulate information about various colleges, universities and technical schools.
  • Register for the March SAT, the April ACT, or both. Research the requirements of the colleges you're interested in to learn about admission deadlines and which tests to take.
  • If you plan on competing in Division I or II college sports, talk with your coaches about your options. Contact college athletic departments at schools you would like to attend and be sure to register with the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse.
  • Talk to counselors, teachers, school administrators and mentors about writing letters of recommendation for you. Think about what you would like to include in these and share your thoughts with those who will be helping you.
  • Research scholarships and start applying. Several awards are available for high school juniors.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate and meet admissions requirements at colleges of interest.

Summer Before 12th Grade

  • Check your final HOPE GPA in June to see if you are tracking to be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship.
  • If you took AP exams your junior year, your scores should arrive in July.
  • Request applications and financial aid information from colleges of interest and continue with your college visits. Call ahead for appointments with financial aid, admissions and academic advisors. If you go on college interviews or visits, don't forget to send thank-you notes or emails afterward.
  • As you continue your college search; complete self-assessments, decide what you may want to study and let that help you narrow down your list of potential colleges. Include one or two “backup” schools to apply to that you know you won’t have any problem getting into.
  • Take necessary admissions test(s) (AP, ACCUPLACER, SAT I and SAT Subject Test) if you did not take them in May.
  • Talk with your guidance counselor about HOPE and State Aid Programs to help pay for college; search for scholarships.
  • Calculate your potential college costs and estimate your federal student aid eligibility.
  • If you haven’t already, take the SAT and/or ACT in the fall.
  • Create a calendar of upcoming deadlines: college admission applications, financial aid applications and scholarship applications.
  • Keep your parents or trusted adults in the loop! Share your future goals with them, ask for advice and see if their employers offer any financial aid benefits you can use.