11th Grade College Planning Timeline

Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10141

If you are planning to attend college, you'd better start preparing now! There are many steps involved in the application process, so, to be successful, follow the steps and links in this timeline!


Preparing for College

College and Career
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

Do you plan to go to college after high school? Some say that your junior year might be the most important year of high school if you plan to go to college. Have you started your college planning? If not, now is the time to start! Read on to help you begin!


The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT. Colleges won’t see your scores, but you can earn lots of money in college scholarships. Taking the PSAT qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship Program. The PSAT will help to show how well-prepared you are and which areas you need to improve on for the SAT. PSAT is offered in October.

Learn about colleges and make a college list

Research different colleges through their websites. BigFuture College Search (by The College Board) will help you determine the criteria that are most important to you in selecting schools — for example: size, location, cost, majors, and special programs. From here, you can develop a list of schools to which you may want to apply. The fall is a great time to attend college fairs and college information sessions. You can also learn a lot from talking to friends, family members, teachers, and recent grads of your school who are now in college.

Stay organized

Create a file to manage your college search, testing, and application data. A filing system with different folders for each school will make it easier to stay organized. Use the College Planning Timeline - 11th Grade in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar to keep you on track and organized.

Organize a testing plan

Find out what tests the schools that you are interested in require. Do they require the SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, AP Exams? Once you determine which tests are required and which tests you want to take, register for the tests that you will take. Most juniors will take them in the winter or spring. You can always take them again in the fall of your senior year if you want to improve your scores.

Update résumé and portfolio

Continue to update your résumé and portfolio as needed.

Class rank and GPA

Check your class rank and GPA. 11th grade is the time to pull up your grades. If you made some mistakes in 9th and 10th grade, improvement in 11th grade shows schools that you are making an upward trend and you’re learning how to be a good student. A drop in grades in 11th grade raises a big red flag to college admissions. Now is the time to make it happen!

Continue on to the Winter section for more steps on the ladder to college entry success!

Image - Button Next