Junior Class

  • college

    Welcome Juniors!

    11th graders are offered the opportunity to take the PSAT in October. The college process officially begins in December when guidance counselors meet in small group seminars with students and provide an evening presentation for parents. Details on the college planning process and standardized testing are covered under college counseling. Guidance counselors meet with juniors and their parents to focus on the college search and application process. Each family approaches this process at their own pace. Families will make appointments with their guidance counselor numerous times throughout junior year. In addition, the Guidance Department offers targeted group presentations based on students' interests or needs. We cover topics related to NCAA eligibility and procedures, students with disabilities, the Common Application, college essay workshops, and the “ Junior Jump Start” meeting. Ardsley High School administers the SAT only in May and June of each year.

    Early Fall

    • September & October: Register online to take the PSAT. Colleges won't see your PSAT scores, but a good score on the exam could turn into scholarship money through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Although you have to pay a few bucks for the exam, it will prepare you for the SAT in the Spring. All juniors will take the SAT during school hours in late Spring.

    • Keep your grades up. Junior year is probably the most important year for earning high grades in challenging courses, especially if you have a few minor bumps in 9th and 10th grade. Improvement in 11th grade shows a college that you've learned how to be a good student. Your senior year grades usually come too late to play a major role in your college application.

    • Continue gathering college information. Go to college fairs, attend college nights, and speak with college representatives who visit your high school; use an online college finder and search top college lists. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a school to your list.

    • Make a college list. Your list of colleges should include schools that meet your most important criteria (for example, size, location, cost, academic majors, or special programs). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you and develop a preliminary ranking of the schools on your list. Include "reach," "target," and "safe" schools in this list.

    • Evaluate your education options. Now is the time to follow a more specific path. Decide whether you want to pursue full-time employment, further your education or training (such as a vocational-technical school, career college, or two-year or four-year college), or a military career. If interested in attending a military academy, talk to your counselor about starting the application process now.

    • Update your resume to include leadership roles in extracurricular activities. Get involved and make a difference. Colleges are looking for future leaders, not passive bystanders.

    • Talk to your parents about your future goals. Now is the time to have that sit down and talk to your parents about what your post-secondary goals are. After all, they do have to participate in the financial aid process!

    Mid-year

    • PSAT results are returned. Access to review questions you got wrong and why and practice for the May or June SAT.

    • Register for senior year classes. Each February, juniors meet with their counselor to choose their classes for senior year. Remember to continue to take challenging courses like a fourth year of language, AP and/or honors classes.  Senior year is not the time to "take off." Limit your selection of "filler" classes and "release time." Colleges want to see that you're still interested in school.

    Spring

    • March & April: Register for the May or June SAT or ACT

    • Attend College Fairs. 

    • Visit college campuses.

    • Student Athletes: If you want to play sports in college, you need to register for the NCAA Clearinghouse before the end of your junior year.

    • Take AP exams as appropriate. Don't just sit for the exam, make an effort to do well on the exam. The score you receive could make a difference in being in college for three years vs. four or five years. Try to get the credit for the class.

    Summer

    • June-August: The summer before your senior year is a great time to visit colleges. Call ahead to schedule a time to visit so that admissions reps can accommodate you for a tour.

    • Gather applications and materials for college. This is the perfect opportunity to "get your ducks in a row." Gather everything you need in the summer so that in the Fall you can concentrate on finishing school and completing college applications.