College: The Next Step High School Students

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1 College: The Next Step High School Students College: The Next Step High School Students

2 For the past several years, you ve probably been focused on the goal of finishing high school. Now that your goal is almost a reality, it s time to plan for the next step: getting a college education. Before you tackle the details, it s important to face any concerns or doubts you might have about college. BE CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR DECISION TO GO TO COLLEGE Did you know you can go to college even if: { You re not sure what career you want to pursue or what you want to major in. Students have different interests and preferences for types, sizes, and locations of schools. The good news is there s a college and a program of study for everybody. { No one in your family or community has attended college or perhaps even graduated from high school. You can be the first. { You didn t make the highest grades or highest scores on college entrance exams. No doubt about it, those things are important, but other things count, too. Colleges consider more than grades and test scores. They want to see that you took challenging courses. They want to see that you were involved in clubs and organizations, or that you volunteered in your community. If you worked, they want to know about that, too, especially if you were in a leadership or supervisory role. { You think you can t afford it. More than half of all college students receive some type of financial aid to help pay for college. While you and your family must share some responsibility to pay for college, financial aid can help cover collegerelated expenses. { You think you might not qualify for scholarships or aid. There are different types of funding awarded for different reasons. Many private scholarships are based on grades, test scores, or class rank. On the other hand, federal financial aid, like most state financial aid programs, is based on family size and income. { You need help with applications and paperwork. Free assistance is available to help you fill out the college admissions and financial aid paperwork.

3 Getting started STEP 1 First, talk to your high school counselor and your parents. Let them know you plan to attend college and would appreciate their assistance. STEP 2 It s okay if you don t know what college you want to attend or haven t decided on your major. To help narrow down your list of college possibilities, think about your future career and find out which colleges have programs that most closely match your career goals. STEP 3 Research the colleges you think you want to attend. Consider class sizes and availability, campus size and setting, and the student population. Cost is a factor in college selection, but it shouldn t be the only factor. Use the Internet to explore colleges. Try to visit at least two campuses more, if you have time. Talk with students who are currently enrolled and with those who have graduated, if possible. STEP 4 Make sure you find out the admissions criteria and what financial aid is available for each school. Remember that the admission and financial aid processes are separate. They have different applications and deadlines. ASK FOR HELP. Talk to your parents and counselor. MAKE A LIST OF COLLEGES. Think about career goals. RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS. Ask about class sizes, campus size, cost, etc. If possible, try to visit the campus. FIND OUT HOW TO APPLY. Learn more about the admissions and financial aid processes.

4 Adventures In Education Getting help Your high school counselor and teachers can explain how to get into college and answer some of your questions. Tell them you plan to attend college, and ask them to share their experiences. The toll-free Texas Financial Aid Information Center can answer questions about financial aid and general college admissions. Bilingual representatives are available for students and parents who are more comfortable speaking in Spanish. Several websites offer helpful information about financial aid, college admissions, college and major selection, careers, and many other questions you may have as you start your college exploration and decision making process

5 Reasons to go to college { Prepare for an exciting career in a field that you ve chosen. { Make more money. On average, a person with a bachelor s degree will earn more than a person with a high school diploma. Over a lifetime, it could be over a million dollars more. 1 { Have more options in the job market, lifestyle, and where you live. { Set an example for siblings, relatives, children, and members of your community. { Be in a position to help those you love. The more you learn, the more you earn. Professional Degree ($1,735/wk) $90,220/yr Doctoral Degree ($1,624/wk) $84,448/yr Master s Degree ($1,300/wk) $67,600/yr Bachelor s Degree ($1,066/wk) $55,432/yr Associate Degree ($785/wk) $40,820/yr High School Diploma ($652/wk) $33,904/yr No High School Diploma ($471/wk) $24,492/yr Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, 2012

6 About TG TG promotes educational access and success so that students can realize their college and career dreams. As a nonprofit corporation, TG offers resources to help students and families plan and prepare for college, learn the basics of money management, and repay their federal student loans. For more information about TG, visit To learn more about college and career planning, visit TG s Adventures In Education (AIE ) at To request permission to reproduce any of the information provided, please call TG Communications at (800) , ext Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation

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