Planning for college can be a daunting task, but you can be fully prepared academically and financially with a few tips:
- Use our checklists. Whether you’re a few years away from college, ready to start tomorrow, young or a mature student... or even getting ready for grad school, our college preparation checklists will guide you through your academic and financial preparation.
- Research. You have access to all sorts of college prep and financial aid help at your fingertips. By being on this website, you are already taking a step in the right direction to securing your financial aid for your future academic career.
- Explore career options. Think about your potential career and the different paths you can take to reach that goal. Your career choice could determine the college you choose to attend. If you’re unsure about what your options are within a certain career path, check out our Exploring Your Career Options page, which features a career search tool.
- Choose a school. Look for a school that matches your goals, needs, and personality. Visit our Choosing a School page to give you a head start in finding the right school and in learning about college costs and other things to consider when choosing a school.
- Know your financial aid deadlines. This is a simple tip, but it is also a very important one. Each college or career school has its own deadlines for when your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form has to be submitted for each academic year, and those deadlines may be different from state and federal deadlines. Learn about FAFSA deadlines.
- Budget. Learn how to budget, and create your budget for financial success in college. It’s no secret that furthering your education costs money, but budgeting is a smart tool that can alleviate the stress of funding college. Please visit our Budgeting page for tips on getting started.
- Ask for help. Ask your high school counselor or academic advisor regarding academic preparation and financial help or concerns you may have. If you are applying to or have been accepted to a college or university, the school’s financial aid office can be a great resource for you, even before you start school.