• Junior Year Timeline

    Career (W), College (C), Service Academy (S), Military (M), Athlete (A)

     11th Grade

    Fall [August – November]

    Take the PSAT/NMSQT®.

    (C | S | A) Students who are considering attending a four-year college or service academy would very much benefit from taking the PSAT as their last opportunity to take an official timed practiced exam before the real deal in the spring. You will be able to register for the PSAT/NMSQT in the School Counseling Office. Registration typically takes place during September and the test itself usually takes place in October. 

    Sign up for college rep visits at SHS.

    (W | C) In the Fall the SHS Counseling Office will have representatives from various colleges, universities, trade schools and technical schools come in to promote their schools. Attending these visits can provide students with information about these schools that may not be readily available online and dates for open houses. These visits can also count as a field experience towards the Graduation Project for students. Students can sign up for these visits on Naviance. 

    Try to obtain a leadership position in your extracurricular activities.

    (C | S) Proven leadership ability is a big deal in college admissions. Hundreds of thousands of students have excellent grades and test scores, but what often sets an applicant apart is his or her outstanding involvement in school clubs, athletics, or community organizations. As a freshman or sophomore it was less likely to obtain these positions but as a junior this becomes much more possible. 

    Attend college & career fairs.

    (W | C | S | M | A) Often these fairs take place in the fall at various high schools and local colleges & universities. In York County, the Pennsylvania Association of College Admissions Counseling (PACAC) College Fair typically occurs in October at a local college. These fairs are a great way to learn more about these schools and/or careers from experts. Visiting two booths at these events counts as a field experience towards the Graduation Project for students. 

    Continue saving for college.

    (C) Learning about financial aid early on can also help you down the road. Know that the SHS Counseling Office puts on a Financial Aid Night every September. This event is meant for junior and seniors to give you some knowledge about what to consider for saving up for a traditional college. 

    Take the SAT/ACT.

    (M) You are only encouraged to take the SAT or ACT this early if you’re considering applying to a service academy. Further along in the application process you will need to be able to report a score from an entrance exam. In rare occasions an Academy may look at your PSAT if for some reason you cannot get a PLAN, SAT, or ACT on file before then. You will need enough time to have taken the exam and received a score report back to be included later in the application process. Therefore, you should likely take one of these exams at some point between October and Late January. 

    Winter [December – February]

    Re-explore summer opportunities.

    (W | C) Looking into enrichment programs as a junior is your last opportunity to do so. If you’ve done any in the past then you can re-apply or re-visit ones you considered last year or look for new ones. 

    (W | C) If thinking about possibly entering the work force directly from high school look for a summer job, internship, or volunteer position in a related field. This will help you learn more about that field. If thinking about possibly attending a more selective school – such as an Ivy League or US News “Top 20” school – consider doing a summer internship, college enrichment program, or a research opportunity. 

    (W | C) These summer activities can be found on Naviance under the “Colleges” Tab under the “enrichment programs” link. Many summer internship, college enrichment program, and research opportunities have applications due by the end of February.

    (A) If thinking about doing a sport at the collegiate level, consider attending a camp to improve your skills. This will be the last opportunity that you will have to participate in a camp such as this.  

    Contact your Liaison Officer.

    (S) If considering the Air Force Academy, t is recommended that you make contact with your Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) early in your application process. Your ALO is qualified to answer any questions you might have about admissions, the Academy, or what it means to be an officer in the Air Force. Note that later in the process, you will complete a personal interview with your ALO. It is in your best interest to build a relationship with this Academy representative and to stay in contact throughout your application process. As of August 21st 2016 Susquehannock High School’s ALO is Major Megan E Koehler (koehlerme@gmail.com) 

    Continue to research schools.

    (C | S | A) It is important that, if you’re considering going on to a college, university, trade school or technical school that you start researching the options available to you more seriously. There are numerous resources available to you but Susquehannock’s Naviance/Family Connection site and CollegeBoard’s website can be accessed for free. Students and parents are highly encouraged to save any schools that they’re thinking about applying to under their Naviance profile. This allows their school counselor to forward exclusive information from these schools to the student’s school e-mail account/the parent’s e-mail personal account. If you find out about the entrance requirements for schools you’re interested in you can do everything in your power to reach them over your last two years of high school. 

    (C) An important reason to start researching schools more extensively is because students will be able to submit their SAT or ACT scores to four schools (or the NCAA) for free up until 10 days after taking the exam. Therefore, it’s important to know four schools that you would like to send your scores to when you test in the spring because after this period reporting these scores will come at a fee of $12 per school per report. 

    Search for additional financial aid sources.

    (W | C) As an 11th grade student you are now likely to find more resources for financial aid for post-secondary education including scholarships. National sources include the College Board’s Scholarship Search, Fastweb, and other electronic sources. Local sources include the SHS Scholarship Bulletin. 

    Complete Service Academy Pre-Candidate Questionnaire.

    (S) Around the late winter/early spring you will need to complete a Preliminary Application (Air Force & Naval Academies) or Candidate Questionnaire (West Point). You will need the following information to be able to complete your Preliminary Application/Candidate Questionnaire; Full Legal Name, Birth Date and Social Security Number, Mailing Address, Home Phone and Email Address, High School Educational Testing Service (ETS) Code (391-545), Class Rank, Class Size, GPA, Congressional State and District (where you or your family votes), Zip Code + 4, and one or more of the following test scores: PSAT, PLAN, SAT, and/or ACT. For the Air Force Academy you may begin as early as March 1 of your Junior Year of high school but it must be completed by December 31st. 

    Select 12th grade courses related to your post-secondary plans.

    (W | C | S | A) When it comes time to request courses for next year’s schedule, it is important to consider how the ones that you select will prepare you for what you want to do after high school. Consider if the course will provide you with foundational knowledge on the type of career that you would like. 

    (C | S) If you are considering attending a selective school – such as an Ivy League or US News “Top 20” school – or one of the services academies then you will need to take Honors, World Language, and Advanced Placement courses to better your chances of being accepted. 

    (A) If you are a student athlete that is interested in Division I or Division II athletics at the collegiate level then you’ll want to make sure your course selections meet with NCAA Guidelines; Academic, Honors, World Language and AP Courses will fulfill these guidelines. By the end of your senior year you will need to have completed 10 courses that meet the NCAA Guidelines. 

    (C) Senior year is your last chance to show schools that you are ready for college level work. Is your schedule going to show colleges that you will hit the ground running or is it going to make colleges question how you will make the transition to the next level? 

    Spring [March – May]

    Meet with your high school counselor.

    (W | C | S | M | A) Your school counselor is the number one resource in the school that you can reach out to regarding your post-secondary plans. A discussion with them can provide information on how to register for the SAT or ACT, how to start narrowing down your selection of schools you may be interested in, and how to locate apprenticeship programs or gainful employment after high school. 

    Take the SAT.

    (C | A) The test is typically offered in March, May, and June. Make sure you start preparing for the test several months in advance using the tools available at satpractice.org. And remember, if you’re not happy with your scores when you get them, you might want to test again in the fall. Many students take the test a second time as seniors, and they usually do better.

    (S) If you already took the exam to have a completed Pre-Candidate Questionnaire or application for nomination, you may want to consider retaking the exam in March for possible score improvement as most students should take the exam for the first time around this point in time. Taking it now could improve your general candidacy for the fall. 

    Take the ACT.

    (C | A) The test is typically offered in February, April, and June. Students interested in a a S.T.E.M. related field should take the ACT as it has a science component that the SAT does not offer which can allow them to stand out in comparison to their peers. Just like with the SAT, if you’re not happy with your scores when you get them, you might want to test again in the fall. Many students take the test a second time as seniors, and they usually do better.

    (S) If you already took the exam to have a completed Pre-Candidate Questionnaire or application for nomination, you may want to consider retaking the exam in March for possible score improvement as most students should take the exam for the first time around this point in time. Taking it now could improve your general candidacy for the fall. 

    Seek nomination.

    (S) In order to have an opportunity to be a candidate for all of the Academies except the Coast Guard Academy you will eventually need to apply for a nomination. Authorities that can supply a nomination will more often than not be your state’s Senator or Representative. However, West Point, The Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy all allow nominations from the Vice President and/or their Branch Secretary too. To better your chances to earn a nomination you will need to complete an “application” to request assistance from as many of these individuals as you can. While this will differ from person to person depending on who you ask, generally these “applications” require many of the same things. This tends to include A Copy of Your Application Form, An Official/Sealed Transcript, SAT or ACT scores, 2 Teacher Letter of Recommendations, A Counselor or Principal Letter of Recommendation, A Current 4” x 6” or 5” x 7” Color Photo, and A Short Essay that explains why you want to attend a military academy. Be sure to double check which components of your application are required to ensure that you submit everything and have the best shot to continue in the nomination process. 

    Attend The Susquehannock College & Career Fair.

    (W | C | M) Susquehannock High School often hosts a college & career fair on the grounds in mid- to late March. This fair is an excellent opportunity for many underclassmen to meet college admissions, military, or business representatives in a formal setting for the first time. This may be the last time for many students to meet representatives at SHS before they start applying for schools. Visiting two booths at this event counts as a field experience towards the Graduation Project for students. 

    Sign up for career visitors at SHS.

    (W | C) Throughout the school year the SHS Counseling Office will have representatives from various jobs and careers fields come in to discuss the knowledge, certifications, responsibilities, and expectations required for their position. Attending these visits can provide students with a practical experience to learn from an expert in a desired field while also establishing a connection to possibly shadow that individual. These visits can also count as a field experience towards the Graduation Project for students. Students can sign up for these visits on Naviance. 

    Complete the “Information for Recommendation(s)” form.

    (W | C | S) Letters of recommendation will play a huge role throughout your senior year. Students that will be applying to colleges are going to need these letters to be submitted alongside their applications. Students who plan to enter the work force can use these letters to better their chances of earning employment. Regardless of the reason you will need one, teachers and counselors are going to need to be able to write a great letter for you and it starts with filling out your “Information for Recommendation(s) form under the “About Me” section on Naviance. 

    Think about shadowing a professional.

    (W | C) Think about setting up an opportunity to shadow a professional in a field/career that you’re interested in. This may possibly help you with landing an internship or job with that individual/at that company in the future. If you want to pursue a major related to that field/career this might help you to determine if you enjoy the duties and tasks related to the field/career. If you do shadow somebody it can count as a field experience towards the Graduation Project for students. 

    Start to gather documents for financial aid.

    (C | A) Be sure to keep a copy of your tax returns handy. You’ll use these to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens on Oct. 1.  

    Research Apprenticeship Programs

    (W | C) Taking place in an apprenticeship program next year as a senior is a great opportunity. For students going to college it can give them practical experience in their intended major to see if they truly do like the requirements. For students going directly into the workforce it can give them a foot in the door to a non-entry level paying position after graduation. Successful registered apprenticeship programs across the country are connecting students to careers in critical, high-paying, in-demand industries such as IT, health care, and advanced manufacturing. Moreover, employers see apprenticeship as a powerful tool for finding and developing talent. Doing research at this point could set you up for a lot of success right after high school. 

    Consider Taking SAT Subject Tests.

    (C | S) If thinking about possibly attending a more selective school – such as an Ivy League or US News “Top 20” school – consider taking the SAT Subject Test in certain subject areas as some schools require or recommend that you take them, especially if applying to take specific courses or programs. Additionally, doing this can send a strong message to colleges about your interest in specific majors or programs. It is typically recommended that you take these exams in May or June – if offered – when the material remains fresh in your mind. 

    Summer

    Participate in summer opportunities.

    (W | C) If you looked into and applied for a summer job, internship, or volunteer position during the winter you should have received the results of your application by now. If accepted, it is important to follow through if time and money permit so that you can establish strong relationships with potential references, contacts, or professors. 

    Visit colleges.

    (C | A) When planning your campus visits, make sure to allow time to explore each college. While you’re there, talk to as many people as possible. These can include college admission staff, professors, and students. Take campus tours and, at colleges you’re serious about, make appointments to have interviews with admission counselors. If you cannot visit a college in person consider visiting one virtually through https://www.youvisit.com/collegesearch. 

    Continue to research schools.

    (C | S | A) It is important that, if you’re considering going on to a college, university, trade school or technical school that you start researching the options available to you more seriously. There are numerous resources available to you but Susquehannock’s Naviance/Family Connection site and CollegeBoard’s website can be accessed for free. Students and parents are highly encouraged to save any schools that they’re thinking about applying to under their Naviance profile. This allows their school counselor to forward exclusive information from these schools to the student’s school e-mail account/the parent’s e-mail personal account. 

    Receive “Candidate” status.

    (S) At some point between the end of your junior Year and the start of your senior year (likely between May and July) you will be notified if you are eligible to move on in the application process. If any of the Academies feels you could potentially be a good member you will receive what is called “Candidate Status.” For West Point and the Air Force Academy you will also receive a “Candidate Kit” which you will need to complete and upkeep throughout your Senior Year. For the Naval Academy, all candidates should contact their Blue and Gold (BGO) Officer immediately upon receipt of their official candidate letter as well. The contact information for your BGO is located in your Candidate Information Page. The preferred communication method for most Blue and Gold Officers is email. Ensure the email address provided in your application is valid and checked regularly. If you do not know who your assigned Blue and Gold Officer is, you may contact the Area Coordinator to find out. 

    Get your FSA ID.

    (C) Before you can fill out your FAFSA in the Fall of your senior year, you need to get a username and password (also known as an FSA ID). 

    Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

    (A)  If you are still interested in Division I or Division II athletics and have received interest from schools you’ll need to register with the Eligibility Center. This will allow coaches and schools to know your academic status following your junior year to see if you’re on track to be eligible. The Clearinghouse will need official test scores from the College Board or ACT in addition to an official transcript from the end of your junior year uploaded from the SHS Counseling Office.