Juniors, Begin College Planning Here

Review this list of tasks to complete with your 11th grader to help you prepare for the college admissions process and start planning for the future.
Junior using phone to plan for college

The college planning process starts earlier than it did a decade ago, with high school juniors in the thick of the college search before summer even hits. If there's an 11th grader in your family, you'll want to make sure you start thinking about higher education plans now by reviewing our list below. We've laid out the tasks to complete this spring with your child that will help you both get a handle on the admissions process and start planning for the future. Selecting a college is a big decision, with many crucial steps, but it's also a fun one. Try to enjoy the ride as much as possible.

Put these items on your to-do list for the next few months:

  • Watch MEFA's College Admissions webinar anytime to get a full overview on what you need to know
  • Check out our Applying to College web page. It explains the timing of the process, and describes the different types and components of the college application
  • Create an email address that both the student and parents can access, and use it for the entire college admissions and financial aid process. Make sure it's professional and includes the student's, not the parent's, name
  • Determine a shelf, drawer, or other central location in your home for paperwork related to the college search, including pamphlets, handouts from the high school, and mail
  • Have the student register for an account in MEFA Pathway to organize the college list, keep track of applications, and search for scholarships
  • Start researching schools online by exploring college websites and using tools such as the College Navigator
  • Check to see when colleges are visiting the high school and make appointments to meet with school representatives
  • Reference the NACAC and NEACAC college fair schedules and plan to attend one near you
  • Use school breaks to visit campuses. Read our tips before you go
  • Check the ACT® and SAT® schedules and have the student register for a test this spring
  • Have the student figure out what courses he or she needs to take in senior year to make sure requirements are met for high school graduation and MA public college and university admissions
  • If available, set up a meeting with the school counselor for both the parent and student to discuss college plans and ask questions
  • Before summer hits, ask junior year teachers for college letters of recommendation
  • Is the student thinking about a gap year after high school? Start researching options, including Americorps and AFS Intercultural Programs

If you have questions about applying to college, or want to talk through the process with someone, give us a call or email us. We're available at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) and

Watch our College Admissions webinar