Grade 11 Students: What Should You Be Thinking About?

By now, you have been watching your friends in grade 12 receive news of their university acceptances, deferrals

By now, you have been watching your friends in grade 12 receive news of their university acceptances, deferrals (not denial), or, sadly, denials. You saw the blood, sweat and tears  put into their applications as well as watching them hit that submit button as well as perhaps sitting with them while they waited. So, what is next for you?

Whether you have hired an Independent Educational Consultant or not, you need to meet with your high school counselor and be familiar with the college counseling office at your school. There will be events going on throughout the year from financial aid nights, college fairs, reps either coming to school or virtual events that may be of interest to you. There may be universities coming to your school that are familiar names or not- don’t dismiss those unfamiliar names because those are hidden gems that just might be a right fit. 

Your college counseling office will have details of college fairs, and again these may be ‘live’ or online. NACAC virtual fair dates are as follows: 

  • Feb 8: Perform & Visual Arts 
  • Feb 15: Multi-session -high school, transfer and families welcome
  • Feb 24: Stem: high school, transfer and families welcome
  • April 3: Multi-Session Student Pathways Virtual Fair: high school, transfer and families welcome
  • April 12: Multi-Session Student Virtual College Fair: high school, transfer and families welcome


Other Grade 11 tidbits

  • You should be able to identify any characteristics you want in a college-large, medium, small. Where would you want to be geographically, etc. 
  • Determine who you wish to write your letters of recommendation
  • Start an account on the Common Application
  • Keep up with your school’s college platform
  • Start an ongoing list of schools piquing your interest, research on various platforms-Niche, Collegexpress, etc. 
  • You may wish to take some college tours, be aware of COVID regulations and if a tour is not possible, definitely do a virtual tour on the school’s website or one of the online platforms like ecampustours. 
  • Study for your AP exams
  • Sign on for SAT/ACT exams if you wish to take those


  • Think about what you want to do, whether it is work, volunteer (if it is volunteer work, be something you want to do)
  • Work on your college list and application
  • Work on your Personal Statement for the Common Application
  • Visit colleges
  • Keep a deadline spreadsheet of due dates and understand college terminology

Believe it or not, this is not everything. There is still financial aid to think about, there is another application in the works (Coalition Application), we need to talk about resumes, extracurricular, and the list continues. If you start now, the job will not be all consuming your senior year, first semester. It is a matter of time management and consistency. 

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