Grade 11

Junior year is a good time to begin making plans for your future. Your school counselors are here to help you through this process. In addition to meeting with you individually to help formulate your post-secondary plans, we also instruct a 10-week Junior Workshop series in order to give you the skills you will need to attain your post-secondary goals.

conard pride

Planning Your Junior Year

To assist in your future planning, you should begin to consider the following:

Know Yourself 

Interests, abilities, achievements, values, and aspirations are important factors to be considered in setting your goals. Explore these areas including computer based surveys and the internet, paper and pencil tests, and conversations with friends, family, and your school counselor.

Career Options

Exploring career options can help in setting goals and possibly in selecting courses in high school. Use print materials, computer generated information, job shadowing and use of Community School to assist you in more clearly identifying your direction. 

High School Program

High school courses should be selected based on graduation requirements, exploration and development of personal interests, meeting college or other post-secondary school options, and preparing to enter the job market after graduation. You should consult with your counselor on a yearly basis to determine if you are meeting your goals.

Extracurricular Activities

Use your “free time” to develop hobbies or other interests. Get involved in school, community and church activities. In particular, seek out ways that you can provide service to your community and to others in need of your skills and talents. Broaden your interests through reading, travel and contact with knowledgeable people. Above all, remember that the quality and not the quantity of these activities is most important to colleges reviewing your application.

College/Vocational Selection

Investigate the institutions or training programs that offer the types of programs you desire. Consult with print and computerized resource materials and with people who have attended these institutions. Learn about the projected demands in your selected vocational field. Attend information programs conducted by admissions representatives from all types of schools in addition to attending the representative visits in the Career Center.

Visit Schools

Write or telephone for an appointment and a campus tour. Spend time visiting classes, dormitories, cafeterias, the library, and special facilities. Speak with students to find out what life is like both on weekends and weekdays.

Admission Requirements

Talk with your counselor and consult written materials to learn about the requirements of various schools and the degree of competition in gaining admission. Know the application procedures and deadlines.


Parents and students should become knowledgeable about financing further education. Consideration should be given to federal, state and local sources of financial assistance. Be sure the sources you use are current and up-to-date. Investigate your eligibility for merit and/or need-based financial aid. Attend the December Financial Aid Night to learn more about financial aid and the required application procedures.

Prepare Early

Get references, transcripts, applications, and other materials early in the process. Applications for admission should be completed well before deadlines. Scholarship applications and related material should also be completed prior to deadlines.

Junior Year Checklist


___ Review your student's Junior class schedule

___ Attend the annual Open House 

___ Read and review the Student Handbook 

___If your student has been granted Conditional Credit Status by the Attendance Appeals Committee, please keep a record available of the conditions outlined in the student contract. 

___ Highlight important dates on the school calendar (grading periods, exams, etc.)


___ Encourage your student to register for and take the PSAT

___ Attend the annual College Fair (at Conard HS) 


___ Attend Junior Planning Night with your student

___ Read and review the Junior Planning Book 

___ Discuss with your student his/her upcoming Junior Planning Meeting


___ Attend Financial Aid Night  

___ Discuss the twelfth-grade course selections with your student, carefully noting graduation and college admission requirements


___ If your student is an in an Advanced Placement course, consult with his/her teacher regarding taking the AP exam (May) and/or the SAT Subject Test (May/June)

___ Review PSAT results and register an account on

___ Register for Spring SAT/ACT


___ Discuss with your student his/her Junior Workshops

___ Register for AP exams

___ Prepare and plan college/career visits and interviews as needed


___ Discuss with your student his/her Junior Workshops

___ Prepare for CAPT science testing

___ Register for April/May/June ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests


___ Attend the National College Fair (Hartford) 

___ Use April break to visit colleges


___ Register for UConn ECE courses for fall

___ Take AP Exams

___ Ask teachers to supply materials for letters of recommendation

___ File with NCAA Clearinghouse (Div I & II athletes)

___ Take SAT/SAT Subject Tests


___ Draft college essay

___ Arrange college visits/interviews for summer

___ Take SAT/SAT Subject/ACT tests

___ Finalize college application list

Planning Night

College Resources


College Prowler
Guides written by current students covering every aspect of campus life. Search college rankings and thousands of unbiased student reviews.

Free online college resource guide and student platform claiming to cover more than 1,600 colleges and universities in the United States. The Unigo website is used by college students to share photos, videos, documents, and reviews of their school. High school students and parents use the site as a research tool to explore college options.
Resource that lists what basic knowledge and skills students will learn at specific colleges. Tuition and graduation rates are also listed and compared.

For students who are deciding between schools to attend or which colleges to apply to, this guide directs you through all the decision points and considerations to make.

Fair Test
Provides a list of nearly 830 colleges that have made SAT's optional.

U.S. News & World Report
Best college rankings in U.S. News and World Report, with admissions information.

College Board
An organization that allows students to do college searches and register online for the SAT.

ACT Home Pag
An organization that allows students to do college searches and register online for the ACT.

College search and database.

University and College Accountability Network
This free database provides information in a consistent format on more than 650 independent colleges. Click on a college and UCAN will provide information on a broad range of topics from academic programs, student life, graduation rates, and financial data.

Virtual Campus Tours 
A source for numerous virtual college campus tours.

The Common Application 
Provides the common application, which is accepted by over 300 colleges.

Campus Pride  
Leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBT-Friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. Find your LGBT-Friendly campus by using the "LGBT- Friendly Campus Climate Index.

Current Trends in Admissions

College Bound News

Standardized Test Preparation Resources

Naviance- PrepMe (Look under the "colleges" tab.)

ACT Home Page
FAQs about ACT; strategies & sample questions. 

College Board SAT Test Center
SAT preparation and practical questions.

My College QuickStart
A free personalized college and career planning kit based on your PSAT test results.

College Essay Writing Resources

Tips for the Personal Essay Options on the Common Application

Tips for Writing Your College Admissions Essay

Let me introduce myself - First lines from the application essays of Stanford's newest class - First impressions matter

  • Unlike many mathematicians, I live in an irrational world: I feel that my life is defined by a certain amount of irrationalities that bloom too frequently, such as my brief foray in front of 400 people without my pants.
  • Sitting cross-legged on the floor of a Bhimanagar slum dwelling in Bangalore, I ran my fingers across a fresh cut on my forehead.
  • I almost didn't live through September 11, 2001.
  • When I was 8 years old, I shocked my family and a local archaeologist by discovering artifacts dating back almost 3500 years.
  • When I was in eighth grade, I couldn't read.
  • While traveling through the daily path of life, have you ever stumbled upon a hidden pocket of the universe?
  • The spaghetti burbled and slushed around the pan, and as I stirred it, the noises it gave off began to sound increasingly like bodily function.
  • I had never seen anyone get so excited about mitochondria.
  • Cancer tried to defeat me, and it failed.
  • I stand on the riverbank surveying this rippled range like some riparian cowboy - instead of chaps, I wear vinyl, thigh-high waders and a lasso of measuring tape and twine is slung over my arm.
  • I have old hands.
  • Flying over enemy territory, I took in Beirut's beautiful skyline and wondered if under different circumstances I would have hopped on a bus and come here for my vacation. Instead, I saw the city from the window of a helicopter, in military uniform, my face camouflaged, on my way to a special operation deep behind enemy lines.
  • My younger sister Jessica arrived home one day reeling about the shirt that her friend had worn to school. It had simply read, "Genocide, Homicide, Suicide, Riverside"
  • I'll never forget the day when my childhood nightmares about fighting gigantic trolls in the Lord of the Rings series became a reality. Sword in hand and clad in medieval samurai armor, I dragged myself into the battleground as I faced my opponent, a warmongering giant.
  • Good Grief! You never would have guessed that an unassuming meek lovable loser like Charlie Brown would have an influence on anyone, but indeed he has.
  • Some fathers might disapprove of their children handling noxious chemicals in the garage.
  • I was paralyzed from the waist down. I would try to move my leg or even shift an ankle but I never got a response. This was the first time thoughts of death ever crossed my mind.
  • As an Indian-American, I am forever bound to the hyphen.
  • Journey to Gulu's outskirts and you will uncover the scene where education was raped 11 years ago; some Ugandan teens also lost their innocence in exchange for their lives.
  • I have been surfing Lake Michigan since I was 3 years old.
  • On a hot Hollywood evening, I sat on a bike, sweltering in a winter coat and furry boots.
  • I change my name each time I place an order at Starbucks.

Career Resources

Connecticut Department of Labor
A Website committed to protecting and promoting the interests of Connecticut workers.


NCAA Online
Information about playing sports at the NCAA Division I, II, or III college level.

Be Recruited 
An online networking destination for high school student-athletes seeking recruitment from college coaches and universities.


Air Force ROTC 

Army ROTC 

Marine ROTC 



Interested in a Gap Year? See article listed below for resources to check out!

USA Gap Year Fairs is a national circuit of events that brings together reputable Gap Year organizations, interested students and parents, high school college counselors and the Gap Year experts. These events are designed to provide students with a broad exposure of Gap Year Programs and the opportunity for face to face conversations with the people who work in the field. For students and parents interested in Gap Year, these fairs are the legitimate source to connect with reputable organizations that focus on Education, Service and Personal Growth. 

As an AmeriCorps member, you’ll gain new skills and experiences—and you’ll also find the tremendous satisfaction that comes from helping others. In addition, full-time members who complete their service earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725 to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans; members who serve part-time receive a partial Award. Some AmeriCorps members may also receive a modest living allowance during their term of service.

Rustic Pathways 100+ culturally immersive adventure and community service programs for students ages 12-22 and teacher led groups in 20+ countries

Appalachian Mountain Club

Where There Be Dragons Explore your global community. Dragons offers summer travel, Gap Year, and college study abroad programs in 19 countries, each on e custom-crafted by instructor teams who bring their unique vision and expertise to the course design. 

NOLS the leader in wilderness education

Outward Bound