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Exploring your
college options

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Looking for help?

Plan

Explore college options, choose the right fit for you, and find out how to prepare.

Learn more

Apply

Find out how to navigate the college application and admissions process.

Learn more

Pay

There are many forms of financial support available for you to attend college. Find out what you need to do to apply!

Learn more

Xello

Xello can help you search more than 3,500 schools that can prepare you for your career of choice.

Find a college

Plan

It’s important to be thoughtful about what type of college will be the best fit for you based on your career goals and personality. Colleges come in all shapes and sizes (two year, four year, public, private, small, large, urban, rural), and you will want to pay attention to required tasks and timelines along the way. You can even get started early by earning college credits while still in high school with Running Start, College in the High School, and CTE College Credit.

Websites to visit

Ready. Set. Grad.
For parents and guardians
Community college info
Clark College Running Start

What you need to know and do

  • Ensure your High School and Beyond Plan aligns with your college goals.
  • Four-year universities have specific entrance requirements, and selective colleges may have even more, so be sure they are in your plan!
  • Pay attention to test dates for the PSAT, SAT and ACT.
  • VPS offers PSAT for all 11th graders and SAT for all 12th graders. Register for the ACT.

  • Talk to your counselor about opportunities to earn college credit while in high school.

Downloadable resources

All About College
Getting ready for college
Dual Credit Opportunities
CTE College Articulation
Skyview student studying

Apply

There are many steps and deadlines when applying for college, and resources to help you stay on track along the way. Every school is different, so be sure to check the deadlines and requirements for admission at your schools of interest.

What you need to know and do

  • Find out deadlines and process for each of the schools you are looking and track your steps through the process.
  • Gather necessary documentation (transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays).
  • Apply to at least 3-5 schools so you have options to choose from (for example, a dream school, target school and safety school).
  • Admissions advisers from local colleges provide information sessions and application events in your school’s career center. Make sure to take advantage of those opportunities.

Downloadable resources

Applying for college
Student worksheets
Tracking college applications template
Username and passwords worksheet

Pay

Paying for college can seem out of reach, but there are many forms of financial support available (grants, scholarships and loans) that can make paying for school reasonable. Washington state provides an extensive financial commitment of support for all students attending in-state colleges.

Websites to visit

Apply for FAFSA
Apply for WASFA
Scholarship Junkies
WashBoard scholarship search
Student crunching numbers!

What you need to know and do

  • Financial aid application (FAFSA or WASFA) needs to be completed by all students and opens Oct. 1 of every year.
  • College Bound scholarship is available for eligible students in seventh and eighth grades, and promises full tuition paid at over 67 schools in Washington. To find out detailed information about the College Bound Scholarship, review this video tutorial: All About College Bound Scholarship

  • Washington College Grant, which provides money for college based on family income, is now available to nearly every student in the state.

  • There are millions of scholarships available from other private and public organizations. It is worth your time to research and apply for these!
  • Take the “Quick Guide to Financial Aid” self-directed learning module to learn about the different types of financial aid available in Washington State and how to apply for them.

  • Use the Washington Financial Aid Calculator tool to estimate how much financial aid you might be eligible to receive.

Downloadable resources

Paying for college
Washington College Grant
College Bound information
¿Qué es la Beca College Bound?

Latest ideas

Scholarships 101

Searching for scholarships may feel like a job and seniors should treat it as such! It takes time, good research skills and organization to score

Check out all ideas
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