Following is a month-by-month timeline of tasks you should be accomplishing by the end of your 11th grade year of high school. Links to resources and helpful documents are attached where to appropriate, so please make use of all the tools available to you. If you have any questions about any of the tasks listed below, contact your regional counselor right away.
- It’s time to review your course work from your previous high school years as well as your planned course work for your 11th grade year to ensure that you remain on track as far as college requirements go. Schedule a meeting to meet with your high school counselor.
- Talk to your counselor about Advanced Placement courses available at your school for your senior year, including eligibility pre-requisites, enrollment procedures, and what the demands and expectations are for AP classes. You can earn college credit in high school by successfully completing AP classes and completing the end-of-course exam with a high enough score.
- Join a club! Tryout for a sport! Get involved in everything high school has to offer you!
- Familiarize yourself with the registration deadline and test dates for the SAT and ACT exams on your island, and register for those tests as soon as possible. You should plan on taking both exams during the spring of your junior year. Visit College Board’s website for SAT exam dates and sites on your island, and ACT’s website for ACT exam dates and sites on your island.
- Take the PSAT in October. Now that you are a junior, your PSAT scores will count for National Merit Scholar consideration. The PSAT is also vital practice for the SAT test which you’ll be taking in the spring. Look for your PSAT results in December. For more information about the PSAT, visit the College Board website.
- PSAT exams are scheduled on only two dates each October. The test is administered through schools, not through test centers, and online registration is not available. If your school is not offering the PSAT, you have the right to contact another school in your community to register to take the test there, if they will permit it (fees may apply).
- Remember that list of colleges you came up with your sophomore year? Now is the time to begin to narrow down that list of schools. Think about the career field(s) you might be interested in, and the other criteria you used to compare colleges as you narrow down your selection. You should also use your GPA and PSAT scores as guidelines when looking at the admissions criteria of the schools on your list. At this point, you might want to try and narrow down your list of possible schools to no more than 15.
- You should begin familiarizing yourself with the various types of financial aid options available to you. Know the difference between grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs.
- You should receive your PSAT scores in December. Take some time to review them with your counselor and your parents to determine which areas you might be falling short in, and whether any of your scores are falling below the minimum requirements of any colleges you are interested in attending. If they are, you should consider enrolling in a test-prep course. There are several options available for a fee; however free or low-cost prep materials are also available to you. Both the College Board website and the ACT website offer on-line test preparation tools, as does the Bridges website. Or, check for self-study prep materials from your local or online book store such as Amazon (SAT or ACT) or Barnes & Noble (SAT or ACT).
- Take a moment on December 19 to remember our princess, Ke Ali’i Bernice Pauahi Bishop, and how much she loved her Hawaiian people. Without Pauahi’s largess, Kamehameha Schools and the Kamehameha Scholars program would not exist. Mahalo, Pauahi!
- Merry Christmas from the entire Kamehameha Scholars staff. Have a blessed and safe Christmas holiday!
- First semester grades are in. How did you do? Remember, your GPA is one area which potential colleges will look closely at. If you’re having trouble in any classes, now is the time to schedule a meeting with your teacher and/or your high school counselor.
- Continue gathering items which show evidence of your achievements in high school, and keep them all in one place so you won’t have to look for them come your senior year when you’re filling out college applications. You might want to download the Summary of Achievements worksheet to make tracking these items easier.
- If it’s feasible for your family to do so, planning visits to some of the colleges you’re interested in is a great way to get a “feel” of the campus. If you time your visit right, you might even be able to sit in on a few classes. If you plan on taking this step, be srue to contact the admissions office NOW of the college you hope to visit to schedule your tour during your spring or summer breaks. Don’t drop in unannounced!
- Continue expanding your vocabulary in anticipation of taking the SAT test your junior year. The best way to do that is to read, read, read! But you can also visit the College Board website to take their SAT Question of the Day to learn vocabulary words. Or check your local or online book store such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble for SAT vocabulary flashcards and books and practice, practice, practice!
- Register to take the SAT Reasoning Test in March or May; the SAT Subject Tests in May, and the ACTTest in April. It is highly recommended that you take these tests during the Spring of your junior year to allow you time to retake the exams in the Fall of your senior year should you find your first scores lower than you’d like them to be.
- Pre-registration for your senior year is coming up soon. Before selecting your classes, take some time to talk to your parents and counselor about which courses are right for you, and will help you succeed in college. Are you eligible to take AP courses? If so, do it!
- If you’ve registered to take the SAT Reasoning Test in March, good luck! Get a good night’s sleep the night before, and don’t forget to take your registration ticket and your ID with you to the test site.
- If you are taking an AP class this year, work with your AP teacher(s) to ensure that you are reigstered for any applicable AP exams at this time. Be certain to take the exams that correspond with each AP clas you ahve taken this school year. Remember, scoring well on your exams can earn you college credits.
- If you were able to schedule some college visits during your spring break, make those visits worthwhile. Sit in on some classes, visit the dorms if you plan on securing housing there, and talk to some students and faculty. Don’t forget to take this Questions to Ask Colleges with some helpful hints for a successful college visit. And don’t forget to send a thank you note once you get home.
- What are your plans for this summer? Why not use this time to do something you can include on your college resume? This might include paid work, volunteer work, academic or cultural enrichment programs, summer workshops, or camps that focus on music, arts, and science or other areas of career interest. Check Kamehameha Scholars’ Resource tab on our website to find out about opportunities on your island.
- Visit a College Fair held each April on your island. This is an excellent opportunity to talk with representatives from colleges in which you are interested, but unable to visit in person. Take this list of Questions to Ask Colleges with you when you visit the college fair.
- If you’ve registered to take the ACT Test in April, good luck! Get a good night’s sleep the night before, and don’t forget to take your registration ticket and your ID with you to the test site.
- If you are a high school athlete who is interested in playing at the collegiate level, you must register with the NCAA and/or NAIA organizations to have your eligibility determined by the end of your junior year in high school. Eligibility criteria includes your coursework as well as your GPA and standardized test scores (SAT/ACT). You should note that both organizations do charge a fee for this service, but if you intend to play your sport at the collegiate level, it’s something that has to be done.
- If you’ve registered to take the SAT Reasoning Test (if you didn’t already take it in April) and/or the SAT Subject Tests in May, good luck! Get a good night’s sleep the night before, and don’t forget to take your registration ticket and your ID with you to the test site.
- Take your AP exams relevant to your junior year AP courses.
- Congratulations! You made it through your junior year of high school! Just one more year to go. You can do it!
- Enjoy your summer! If you are engaged in any activities this summer that will help support your college resume, remember to ask your supervisor or instructor for a letter of recommendation NOW. It’ll be so much easier to do that than trying to track them down in a few years.
- Don’t forget to add any end-of-year report cards, awards, honors, and activities to your permanent file.
- If you were able to schedule some college visits during your summer break, make those visits worthwhile. Sit in on some classes, visit the dorms if you plan on securing housing there, and talk to some students and faculty. Don’t forget to take along this Questions to Ask Colleges with some helpful hints for a successful college visit. And don’t forget to send a thank you note once you get home.
- Start narrowing down various scholarship opportunities that you may be eligible for, and begin drafting any essays or personal statements that may be required as part of the scholarship application package. Eligibility criteria might include need-based or merit-based, ethnicity, major, state/district of residence, gender, and more. Remember, to get money you have to ask for it. For some useful tips about your scholarship search, please visit College Board’s website for some useful information about finding, understanding, and obtaining financial aid. Although it’s probably to early to begin applying, you may want to keep track of possible scholarships on the attached Scholarship Tracking handout. As you begin refining your search, you can start with the following scholarship sources:
Hawai’i Community Foundation
State of Hawai’i Department of Education Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Prince Kuhio Native Hawaiian Civic Club College Board
Fastweb My College Options Scholarship Search