11TH GRADE GUIDANCE
JUNIOR COUNSELOR - DIANA HUMPHRIES
Pre-ACT - A practice test for the ACT. RHS gives this test to sophomores.
PSAT/NMSQT - Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test - This test is used to determine National Merit semifinalists and is given nationally in October. Students are encouraged to take this test as juniors to enter the scholarship competition. Qualifying students are notified in the fall of senior year.
SAT Reasoning Test - A college entrance exam that students generally begin taking during the junior year. The test has three sections: critical reading, writing and math. Remember to send your score to TOPS (code #1595) each time you register for the SAT.
ACT - a college entrance exam that students generally begin taking during junior year. The test has four sections: English, reading, math, and science. Register for the ACT online. There is also an optional writing test. Check with the college of your choice to determine if the writing is required. A complete list of nation-wide colleges that require the writing portion of the test are available on the ACT website. Remember to send your score to TOPS (code #1595) each time you register for the ACT.
Junior year is a great time to begin visiting colleges. Colleges have "visitation days" especially for prospective students and their parents. Most of these days are on Saturdays, which are easier to schedule. Also try "virtual tours" online, which is a way to take a quick look at a campus. Spring break and summer are good times to take college road trips. Juniors should NOT miss school to visit a college.
ATHLETES: An athlete must meet NCAA requirements to play a sport or to receive a scholarship at a Division I or II school. The requirements include a minimum GPA on 16 specific core classes as well as a required ACT/SAT score. Registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse should be done online by the end of the junior year. The cost is approximately $90. ACT/SAT scores must be received by the Clearinghouse directly from the testing agency, so remember to use the code of #9999 for this purpose when registering for these tests. There are no academic eligibility requirements for athletes entering junior colleges.
JUNIOR COLLEGES, VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS: Students can prepare for many high-growth careers by attending a two-year college or trade school. These schools do not require a college-prep high school program nor do they require the ACT/SAT. Students who want a four-year college degree can also start at a junior college and then transfer later to a four-year college. Junior colleges and vocational schools are a more hands-on approach to learning and are also excellent postsecondary options.
MILITARY OPPORTUNITIES: Students interested in attending a United States military academy must begin the application process during their junior year. Visit the academies' web sites for more information. Opportunities in all branches of the U.S. Military can be found at www.military.com.
CAREER EXPLORATION: It is not too early to begin thinking about careers and which path to take after high school. Four good sites to visit are:
SCHOLARSHIPS: Although you cannot apply for scholarships until you are a senior, now is the time to begin looking for scholarship possibilities. Most academic scholarships are based on minimum 3.5 GPA and high ACT/SAT scores. Applicants are also expected to be involved in extracurricular and /or community activities. In order to receive an athletic or talent scholarship, a student must be truly outstanding. In addition to applying for TOPS and for freshman scholarships at prospective colleges, look for national scholarships which are also listed in the 12th grade section of the Ruston High website. Now is the time to begin your search so that you can note requirements, deadlines, and recommendation letters.
Also, begin compiling a list of your high school accomplishments, honors and awards, and community service for these applications. Scholarship searches online are free, so be cautious of scholarship services who contact students and claim to be able to help get money for college.
The junior year in high school is an important year in your academic career. Keep good study habits, take the ACT/SAT, begin browsing for schools. Get busy and don't procrastinate!