College and Career Websites

COLLEGE/CAREER INFORMATION

  • College Board – the SAT test website, but also very helpful for college and career planning
  • MN Career Information System – a great source for career aptitude is the test found on the bottom left side under Assessment Tools titled IDEAS.  Students rate over 100 activities on a scale of “Like it very much” to “Dislike it very much” and then the results are attached to specific career groups.  You can also search specific careers for average salaries, training and education needed, etc.  Another fun activity on this site is the “Reality Check” in the middle of the left side menu.  It lets students choose a lifestyle – where to live, what to drive, entertainment options, cable/internet, etc. – and gives them an estimated yearly salary needed to support that lifestyle.  This is a favorite activity for students!
    • http://mncis.intocareers.org/ – see the Appendix or contact the high school guidance office for a username and password to access this information
  • http://www.going2college.org/ – college searches, career exploration
  • CareerShip will help you review careers, match careers to interests, or search for a particular career
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) – from the Bureau of Labor Statistics helps you research careers – the training and education needed, job duties, average salaries – and gives statistics on the growth or decline of the job field.

TESTING INFORMATION

ACT and SAT tests are required for college or university admission.  Generally, either test is accepted for admission, but some colleges prefer one over the other.  Typically, most colleges in the Midwest area prefer ACT scores and east or west coast colleges prefer SAT scores.  Check the website or talk with an admissions representative from your preferred college before registering for the test.  Also, the SAT has separate subject tests that some colleges prefer, so be sure to register for the required test/s for your college.

  • ACT test registration, test prep, and management of student accoun
  • SAT test registratio
  • For test preparation
    • http://www.number2.com/ – this is a free site that not only has practice tests for ACT and SAT, but also a vocabulary builder.  It also emails you periodically to remind you to log-in and study
    • http://www.collegeboard.com/ – this is especially good for those juniors who received PSAT scores and now have access to their specific study site based on those test scores
  • Every high school has a school code that students need to use when registering.  This ensures that CLA will receive the score results and that the score is added to the student transcript.  See the Appendix or contact the high school guidance office for the CLA testing code before registering.

FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION

There are many tools to use to find financial aid.  Be cautious when signing up for information, however, as there are also many scams.  NEVER pay for financial aid or scholarship applications – financial aid “finders” that ask for payment are typically scams.

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – this is the main federal website used for all federal and state grants as well as federally funded student loans.  You will need to fill out tax information for parents and students, if they’ve worked in their senior year.  This application should be completed as close to January 1 as possible – be sure to meet your college financial aid deadline, too.  The second site listed below is a link to instructions on completing the FAFSA, including what tax information you will need and how to understand your results
  • In order to fill out the FAFSA electronically, you will also need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will act as your official signature on the application.  You can obtain this PIN anytime, so apply for it early in the senior year
  • A source for scholarship searches that is nationally recognized is Fastweb.  It is affiliated with Monster.com, the job search organization.  Each student fills out a personal profile of family background, interests, skills, possible areas of study, etc. and the site will email scholarship opportunities that the student may qualify for.
  • Other scholarship and student loan search sites:
  • Some corporations have scholarship opportunities for children of employees – parents can check with the Human Resources department at their jobs for applications or more information.
  • Be sure to check with your churches for scholarship opportunities, too.  Some denominations have scholarships available for students that are members of a congregation.