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11th grade checklist

11th Grade Checklist
To Do:
All Year
  • Explore careers and their earning potential in the Occupational Outlook Handbook at
  • Go to college fairs and college-preparation presentations by college representatives.
  • Work with one of your parents to update your information in FAFSA4caster at, and continue to save for college.
  • Take challenging classes in core academic subjects. Most colleges require 4 years of English, at least 3 years of social studies (history, civics, geography, economics, etc.), 3 years of mathematics, and 3 years of science, and many require 2 years of a foreign language. Round out your course load with classes in computer science and the arts.
  • Stay involved in school- or community-based activities that interest you or let you explore career interests. Consider working or volunteering. Remember—it’s quality (not quantity) that counts.
  • Talk to your school counselor and other mentors about education after high school. Your counselor can answer questions about what classes to take in high school, how to sign up for standardized tests, and where to get money for college.
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT.* You must take the test in 11th grade to qualify for scholarships and programs associated with the National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • Register for and take exams for college admission.* The tests that many colleges require are the SAT Reasoning Test, the SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT. Check with the colleges you are interested in to see what tests they require.
  • Use to find scholarships for which you might want to apply. Some deadlines fall as early as the summer between 11th and 12th grades, so prepare now to submit applications soon.
* REMEMBER: Register for all tests in advance and be sure to give yourself time to prepare appropriately! If you have difficulty paying a registration fee, see your school counselor about getting a fee waiver.
To Do:
  • Take another look at your financial situation, and be sure you’re on the right track to pay for college.
  • Talk to your child about the schools he or she is considering. Ask why those schools appeal to your child, and help him or her clarify goals and priorities.
  • Attend college fairs with your child, but don’t take over the conversation with the college representative. Just listen, and let your child do the talking.
  • Take your child to visit college campuses, preferably when classes are in session.
  • Continue to talk to your child about college plans as if he or she will definitely go to college.
  • Keep an eye on your child’s study habits and grades— stay involved.
  • Encourage your child to take Advanced Placement or other challenging classes.
  • Watch videos for parents on the “News Parents Can Use” page at
  • Add to your child’s college savings account regularly.
To Explore:
  • Get in-depth information on federal student aid programs from Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid at