High school student carrying books

Hello Grade 11 and soon to be the Senior Class of 2024!

It is hard to believe that you will be saying goodbye to your senior classmates and you will

It is hard to believe that you will be saying goodbye to your senior classmates and you will become the ‘elders’ of your high school. At the same time, there will be a lot on your plate with university applications and post secondary plans. 

You should be seriously thinking about your college search and soon a firm list should be crafted. Take some time to make an appointment with your counselor to review your senior year classes and make sure all your credits are in alignment for graduation-not just for your state’s requirements, but be sure you are university ready. Remember, grades are permanent on your record.  

Here are some things you can be thinking about and probably want to accomplish: 

  • Craft a good solid resume
  • Determine who will write your Letters of Recommendation and reach out to these teachers-generally speaking, you may choose one from a Humanities course, one from a STEM course (of course, if you are majoring in an Arts generated course and thinking about an art school, by all means, ask your art teacher)
  • Summer: what will you do this summer? Not a ‘suck up’ activity for university, but something you really want to do
  • If you feel the need to retake or are taking board exams (SAT/ACT- do some test prep and look at the dates for testing. 
  • You could take a stab at the Common App essays
  • Fill out the first four steps on your Common App
  • Attend any post secondary school evenings even if you have hired an Independent Educational Consultant
  • Attend any college fairs: Spring or Summer: some may be virtual but there are definitely some live ones happening
  • Identify any characteristics you want in a college
  • Keep up with your school’s college platform (i.e. Naviance, Maia Learning, Scoir, etc) 
  • Research various colleges on a variety of platforms: Niche, Collegexpress, etc. 
  • Start refining your college list
  • You may wish to take some college tours over vacations-though, be aware that campus visits have changed since COVID. Check the website of the campus to see if the university is open for visits. Be sure that safety is number one priority. We all know the drill: social distancing, mask wearing, limits on guests. These policies may change daily. So, be aware. Some schools are allowing ‘drive throughs’. Check the website to see if there are virtual visits and Q & A as well. 
  • Maintain a list of reading materials you have read for enjoyment as well as required reading
  • AP/IB exams:  study for these exams- depending on your scores and where you attend university, you could gain some wonderful university credits
  • While the Common App’s Essays are generally announced by February, we can start on those after exams. 
  • Once your AP/ACT/SAT exams are taken care of, crafting of the UCAS list will be on the list (if you are applying for UK universities). Watch for Canadian school deadlines as well. 
  • Think about a Gap Year if it piques your interest: gapyearassociation.org


Reflect on this as the year progresses… What went well, what would you like to do next year? Keep some of your outstanding assignments from each class in a portfolio, electronically or in a binder. Keep all grades and transcripts. Knowing that next year is your last high school year, think about what you will want to accomplish both academically and personally. 


  • Work on that college list and hopefully finalize it and balance it: Likely/Possibly,Reach/Aspirational)
  • Understand which application will be necessary for each school
  • Write your Personal Statement for the application
  • Complete the Common  Application once it goes ‘live’, generally on August 1
  • Visit colleges if you can- keeping in mind, virtually in the time of COVID there are numerous online platforms available
  • Keep a deadline spreadsheet of due dates for college applications, understand: Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision

And by all means- have a great summer!