Timeline: 11th Grade
During the 11th grade the college admissions process officially begins. Follow the timeline to stay on track; the more you do in the 11th grade the happier you will be during the 12th grade and most importantly in your future.
PSAT — Take the PSAT seriously. This is an opportunity to practice for the SAT, and strong scores can lead to scholarship money.
Register with DC-CAP* — See Ms. Mitchell in Room 009 to register. By registering for DC-CAP, you will be eligible for additional college counseling resources and services, including the Last Dollar Award which is valued at $2,070 for college.
Apply for the DC Achievers Scholarship — The DC Achievers scholarship is for Thurgood Marshall Academy students who demonstrate financial need (based on award criteria) and high potential. The scholarship includes a college preparation program, summer workshop, mentoring in DC and at your college, and up to $50,000 for college (approx. $10,000/year). Contact your DC Achievers advisor at Thurgood Marshall Academy for more information or check out the DC Achievers page in the College Counseling section of the website.
SAT Prep Class — Take advantage of your SAT Prep class at Thurgood Marshall Academy. During this class, you will learn test taking skills and strategies to improve your SAT score. If you are still struggling on the test, you may want to consider a one-on-one tutor or a second SAT Prep class outside of Thurgood Marshall Academy.
Start Your Career/Major Search — During SAT Prep, you will explore your career interests. You should extend the lessons beyond class by interviewing people who have the job you are interested in exploring. You need to know everything there is to know about your potential career. During SAT Prep, you will also explore what you should study in college based on your career interests.
Explore Your Talents — By trying new things and participating in programs you enjoy, you will have a chance to discover your strengths, continue to develop your talents, and learn new things you may enjoy. Knowing your talents is important for finding the college and career that you will enjoy the most and will lead you to your future success.
Get Involved — Join school, community, or religious programs. At Thurgood Marshall Academy, you could join a sports team, the debate team, the dance team, art club, or a variety of other groups. If you are interested in something Thurgood Marshall Academy does not offer, see the Programs Office or your college counselor to find a program in the DC community. Colleges want to see your individuality and consistent commitment, so when you find something you like to do, stick with it. As a junior, you should participate in at least one of the activities you started in the 9th or 10th grade.
Participate in College Visits — Take advantage of college visits with Thurgood Marshall Academy. We are visiting two schools this year; this is the time to figure out what type of school you would like to attend.
Attend the College Fair — Juniors will attend Washington, DC’s largest Annual College Fair hosted by National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) at the Washington Convention Center. Ask your parents/guardians to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about your college interests.
Attend College Visits at School — Colleges visit Thurgood Marshall Academy to recruit students. See your college counselor for information about visits and a calendar.
Attend Financial Aid & Scholarship Workshop — During Thurgood Marshall Academy’s open house nights for parents/guardians, there will be special college sessions. Take advantage of the workshops and attend with your parent/guardian. Information about the sessions will be on the website and will be sent home through mailings.
SAT Prep Class — You need to be working hard to prepare for the SAT. Make sure to complete your homework and complete extra practice work; your SAT scores will affect where you attend college.
Create Spring Test Plan/Register for Tests — During SAT Prep, you will register for the spring SAT and ACT tests. If you miss registration, see your college counselor. You need to register by March 31st for the May 2nd SAT. You need to register by February 27th for the April 4th ACT. You need to register by May 5th for the June 6th SAT II exams.
Take ACT, SAT I & SAT II Exams
Take AP Exams
Research 15–20 Colleges — In SAT Prep and on your own, start researching schools that you may be interested in attending. Stop by to talk to your college counselor about your schools, and stay after school to research schools. Make sure to think about the criteria that are most important to you. You should search for schools in the College Search section of the website or on www.collegeboard.com.
Create a College List 8–10 Universities — When your school search is complete, you should have 8–10 schools you are planning on applying to in the fall.
Plan Summer & Senior Year Schedule — Make sure your schedule has the most advanced classes available to you.
Create a Summer Plan — Take advantage of your extra time during the summer to catch up in summer school, volunteer, attend a pre-college summer program, or find an internship. Apply to the programs you are interested in early so you can take advantage of a great opportunity. Research programs in the Summer Opportunities section of the website or see your college counselor, Dean, or the Programs Office for special summer opportunities.
Ask for College Recommendations — Request letters of recommendation from 1–2 of your junior year teachers. You will use these recommendations for your college and scholarship applications. You will learn how to request recommendations in your SAT Prep class.
Write College Essay(s) — Start your personal statement to make your college application process easier during your senior year.
Attend a Meeting with Parent(s) & College Counselor — Attend the Letter of Understanding meeting with your parent/guardian and college counselor. During the meeting, you will review your completed high school credits and determine your senior year schedule requirements for graduation. After reviewing your credits, you will discuss your college list with both your parent/guardian and counselor.
Visit Colleges — Take advantage of visiting colleges with your friends and family. You can visit local schools by taking the metro, bus, or driving. If you are going on a vacation with family or friends, visit colleges on the way or when you arrive at your location. Your college counselor can assist in planning college visits, or you can go to the college’s website and call to schedule a visit. By visiting schools throughout high school, you will be able to determine the type of school you would like to attend.
Participate in Senior Seminar — 98% of the senior class will attend Senior Seminar workshops. During these workshops, students will learn about the application process, complete the college and financial aid applications, write their personal statement, and meet with TMA’s college counselor almost daily.
Participate in a Pre-College Summer Program — A pre-college summer program involves attending summer classes at a college; students compete to be accepted into these programs. A challenging summer school program can increase your changes of getting into a competitive college. There are summer programs for nearly every type of student and interest, whether you would like to work on academic subjects or develop skills such as playing an instrument or sport.
Use a summer program to develop a talent or interest in the arts, or you could join a program in film and video, creative writing, visual arts, animation, dance, music, or theater. Participate in a science and technology program where you can study engineering, computer science, ecology, or even compete in a robot building competition. There are local programs, or you can experience living on a college campus. Thurgood Marshall Academy has had students enter programs across the country.
Look for programs in the Summer Opportunities section of the college counseling website, or see your college counselor, the Programs Office, or the DCCAP Advisor for special summer opportunities.
Find an Internship based on your Career Interest — Washington, DC, offers many summer internships for high school and college students. If you are interested in an internship, take advantage of your resources at Thurgood Marshall Academy and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities listed in the newspaper, on the internet, or advertised throughout the school.
Create a Summer Reading List — READ!