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College decision making

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  • 1. I Got Heart – www.heartawards.org – info@heartawards.org What to do after high school? This document provides considerations for high school students about their options after graduation. Whether you already know what you are going to do or are thinking about your options, these considerations can help you either move closer to a decision or make sure that the path you have in mind is the best one. You may not have answers to all of these topics now and that’s okay. The important thing is to begin thinking about them so you can make a well-informed decision. 1. What type of work might you want to do? a. What interests you in this type of work? b. What are some different ways to do that? c. What education might be required? d. What is most important to you in the type of work you do? e. Are there things you know you don’t want to do after high school? 2. Look at your network a. Who can you talk to that does what you’re interested in? b. What resources are in your school? Counseling center, Library, online? 3. What are your options for after high school? Option Interested Not sure Not Interested 4-year college Community college For-profit college Trade school Military Work Time off Travel Volunteer Other… Other…
  • 2. I Got Heart – www.heartawards.org – info@heartawards.org 4. Do you want to go to a 4-year college? a. Why or why not? 5. How much might your education cost for different options? 6. What payment options are best for you? (Parents’ money, your own money, work or work study, student loans, parental loans, scholarships, grants, military, payback programs) 7. What can you do in high school that would help you achieve your goals after graduation? a. GPA, SAT / ACT, Class rank, specific classes? b. What type of extra-curricular activities do you need? c. Experience or Internships Questions for considering colleges: What type of living situation do you want? (on-campus, at home, with other students, etc.) What type of environment do you want? (town, big city, close/far from home, culture, climate) What type of social experience do you want? How important is having a college degree to you personally? How much academic and personal support do you want? Would you need loans and be able to pay them off? Final Thoughts There is no “right” answer or “best” path after high school that applies to everyone. Remember that you can change paths. This is one of the first major decisions you’ll make as you enter adulthood, so enjoy the journey and we hope this gives you some good things to think about in making that decision. Online resources  bigfufture.collegeboard.org - explore college options and learn more about the financial aid process.  Collegeresults.org - information about college graduation rates for four-year colleges.  nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator – helps you filter for schools that fit your criteria  collegecost.ed.gov/catc/Default.aspx – reports tuition by type of college  Fairtest.org - a list of colleges that do not use or deemphasize use of test scores to determine admission.  Finaid.org- provides students and parents with comprehensive financial aid guidance.  Nacacnet.org - college admission and financial aid guidance. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, ddpavumba, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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