Parent/Family Plan: 11th Grade

Junior year marks a turning point for students and families.

This is because college planning activities kick into high gear. Here are some things you can do this year to support your child and help them to have the best options.



  • Ensure your child meets with the school counselor.
    This meeting is especially important this year for your 11th-grader to confirm they are on track with college requirements and start to engage more in the college search and college application processes. Learn more about college requirements (internal link) and counselor's role in applying to college. Students who qualify for free/reduced lunch programs can also get fee waivers for ACT & SAT tests from their counselor.
  • Attend college fairs such as North Coast College and Career Expo, September 20th, 2018 at Eureka High School. There are special workshops for 11th graders and parents/families.
  • Help your child stay organized.
    Work with your 11th-grader to make weekly or monthly to-do lists to keep on top of the tasks required to get ready for applying to colleges. For more time-management tips, see 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time.
  • Help your junior get ready for the PSAT/NMSQT in October.
    This is a preliminary test that helps students practice for the SAT and assess their academic skills. Juniors who score well on the test are also eligible for scholarship opportunities. Find out more about the PSAT/NMSQT.


  • Review PSAT/NMSQT results together 
    Start by logging into the student score reporting portal. Your child’s score report shows what they should work on to get ready for college; lists Advanced Placement courses that might be a good match for them; and connects them to free, personalized SAT practice on Khan Academy based on their results.
  • Help your child prepare for the SAT, ACT, and CAASPP exams (internal link) in the spring of Junior year.
    Your child must register for SAT & ACT. The CAASPP exam is given in class and does not require registration.
  • Discuss taking challenging courses next year.
    Taking a senior year math class is one of the best ways a student can be prepared for college. Taking honors courses or college-level courses like Advanced Placement as a senior can also help your child prepare for college work — and strengthen their application. Learn more about advanced classes.
  • Encourage your junior to consider taking SAT Subject Tests.
    Many colleges require or recommend taking these tests to get a sense of your child’s skills in a certain academic area. In general, it’s best to take a Subject Test right after taking the relevant course. Learn more about SAT Subject Tests.
  • Encourage your child to take AP Exams.
    If your 11th-grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May. Read more about the AP Program.


  • Search together for colleges that meet your child’s needs.
    Once you have an idea of the qualities your child is looking for in a college, help them enter these criteria into Cal State Apply’s Choosing a Campus or College Search to create a list of colleges to consider applying to.
  • Help your child research scholarships.
    This form of financial aid provides money for college that doesn’t need to be repaid. Learn more through (Internal link to Fin Aid Page).
  • Attend college info nights, fairs, and financial aid events.
    These events allow you to meet with college representatives and get answers to questions. Your child can ask the school counselor how to find events in your area. Check out the College Fair Checklist for more information.
  • Help your child make summer plans.
    Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills — and colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities. Help your high schooler look into summer learning programs or find a job or internship.
  • Visit college websites and campuses together.
    Make plans to check out the campuses of colleges your child is interested in. Use the Campus Visit Checklist to learn how to get the most out of these experiences.