102 DECEMBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT FROMTHE DECEMBER 2011 FSJ EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT College Applications Checklist for 11th Graders BY FRANCESCA KE L LY W hen it comes to college admissions, junior year of high school is crunch time. This is when you’re expected to take the most challenging courses, get the best grades and start racking up those SAT or ACT scores. Junior year is the last full academic year that factors into acceptance decisions from colleges. It also provides an opportunity to bring up a mediocre grade point average and polish your resumé. In addition, you can finish—yes, finish—a whole swath of the applications process in 11th grade so that you do not get hit with a ton of pressure the next fall. This no-nonsense, month-by-month guide from December through August of your junior year will help you get a head start on the college application process and sail through your senior year. Francesca Kelly, a Foreign Service spouse, is a writer, university counselor and college essay tutor. She writes frequently on education issues and is a former editor of AFSA News. The complete article excerpted here is available online at www.afsa.org/educationarticles.