EXPLORING COLLEGE FOR FRESHMEN & SOPHOMORES
Now that you’re in high school, it’s time to think about your future. What kind of career do you want to pursue? What type of education will get you there? Let’s get started! GETTING STARTED ASK FOR HELP Ask an adult you know to help you stay on track to college. This could be a parent, family friend, youth group leader, or anyone who knows you well. It’s especially important that you get to know your school counselor! Your counselor knows better than anyone what you need to do to make college a reality.
? WHAT DO WE MEAN BY COLLEGE College can mean any type of education beyond high school, including: COMMUNITY COLLEGES (2-YEAR) Schools that offer certificates, diplomas, associate degrees and programs for those planning to transfer to a 4-year school. COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES (4-YEAR) Schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. Many also award master’s and doctoral degrees. CAREER SCHOOLS (TRADE SCHOOLS) Schools that award diplomas and certificates for specific trades, such as healthcare, cosmetology, skilled trades, and technology. A few offer associate and bachelor’s degrees.
Apprenticeships and the military are also options.
TAKE COURSES THAT WILL ENSURE ADMISSION TO COLLEGE Take these classes if you plan to attend a 4-year college . 4 YEARS OF ENGLISH , with focus on reading and writing. 4 YEARS OF MATH , including algebra I, algebra II, geometry, and an additional algebra-related course. 3 YEARS OF SOCIAL SCIENCES , including American and/or world history; one additional course in history, American government and/or geography; and a third course from any social science discipline. 3 YEARS OF NATURAL SCIENCES , including biology, chemistry, physics, or earth sciences. One course must include a lab. 2-4 YEARS OF WORLD LANGUAGE , which must be the same language. Community colleges typically require a high school diploma and a placement test. Interested in playing college sports? Find course requirements at ncaa.org , naia.org , and njcaa.org. IMPROVE YOUR STUDY SKILLS Colleges will review your high school grade point average (GPA) when you apply for admission, so get the best grades possible. • Use a planner or homework app to record assignments. • Take notes and review them often. • Ask questions if you don’t understand the subject. • Find a place to study where there are no distractions. • Ask your teacher how to improve your grades.
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT Follow these steps to explore career and college options. THINK ABOUT YOUR INTERESTS AND SKILLS Check the activities and classes you enjoy to identify possible career paths.
WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU ENJOY?
WHAT CLASSES DO YOU ENJOY?
Being creative with hairstyles Being outdoors Building things Cooking or baking
Ag Art Business Computer Science
Helping people Leading groups Playing Sports Repairing bikes or cars Taking things apart to see how they work Working with computers Writing Other:
Math Music P.E. Science World Language Other:
FIND CAREERS THAT MATCH YOUR INTERESTS AND SKILLS Find links to the following sites at eqf.org/explore_careers : • My Next Move – Take the O*NET Interest Profiler to be matched with career options, or search for careers and wages. • “Now, Next, Later” Career Ladders – Learn about career paths in specific career clusters in Nebraska.
CREATE A CAREER PLAN 1. Go to MyNextMove.org to search for a career of interest. 2. Click on the career to learn about the job and the skills and traits needed to be successful. 3. Fill in the blanks below.
MY CAREER PLAN
Job Title: Job Requirements: Knowledge: Skills: Abilities:
THIS CAREER DIAGRAM shows six major career fields. There are a variety of jobs to pursue in each field. To learn more, visit NebraskaCareerConnections.org . Ask your counselor for the code to access the site. L T
Personality: Technology: Education:
Find additional career descriptions at bls.gov/k12/ .
GET A REALITY CHECK Complete the Reality Check activity at EducationQuest.org to find out how much it will cost to support yourself after college – and if the career you want will pay enough to cover your expenses.
ACADÉMICAS ESENCIALES RESEARCH COLLEGES THAT MATCH YOUR CAREER INTERESTS • Go to College Profiles at EducationQuest.org to find details about colleges in Nebraska and across the country. Another good resource is
bigfuture.collegeboard.org . • Explore college campuses.
RECORD YOUR RESULTS:
D – Attend events or camps at area colleges. – Stop at colleges when traveling with your family. – Participate in group campus visits organized by your school. – Take a virtual campus tour via a college website.
Expected annual salary:
Estimated monthly expenses:
PAYING FOR COLLEGE It’s time to learn about ways to pay for college. Follow these steps: LEARN HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO ATTEND COLLEGE Go to College Profiles at EducationQuest.org to find colleges from across Nebraska and the country and the cost to attend. Select your top college choice and list the cost below. Tuition & Fees: Books & Supplies: Room & Board (living expenses): 1 LEARN ABOUT FINANCIAL AID When you’re a senior you will apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The results will determine how much financial aid you’re eligible to receive based on your family’s income and assets. Following are the types of financial aid you may receive: Scholarships: Money awarded to students by private donors or colleges that is not repaid. Grants: Money awarded to students who show financial need. Grants are not repaid. Work-Study: Money earned from a college-based job to help pay expenses and is also based on financial need. Student Loans: Money you borrow that must be repaid once you are out of college. 2
AVERAGE COSTS TO ATTEND COLLEGE IN NEBRASKA FOR ONE YEAR
Two-year community college
Four-year public college
Four-year private college*
Tuition & Fees
$3,300 - $3,750
$7,800 - $9,800
$21,000 - $39,500 $17,000 - $18,500
Books & Supplies $1,500 - $1,700
$1,000 - $1,400
$1,000 - $1,400
$2,000 - $2,850
Room & Board $7,000 - $8,500
$8,000 - $12,000
$7,800 - $10,900
No campus housing
*Don’t rule out a private college because of cost – financial aid may offset much of the cost.
POSITION YOURSELF TO EARN SCHOLARSHIPS While there aren’t many scholarships you can apply for now, there are things you can do to earn scholarships later. • Do well in school. Academic scholarships are based on a variety of criteria, including your high school GPA, ACT score, and class rank. • Get involved in extracurricular activities. Many scholarships are based on involvement in school clubs, community service, music, drama, art, or sports. – To increase your scholarship chances even more, take on leadership roles! CREATE AN ACTIVITIES RESUME Track your activities, honors, and part-time jobs using Activities Resume at EducationQuest.org . Update your resume throughout high school so it’s readily available when it’s time to apply for college admission and scholarships.
SAVE! You can stash away a lot of money over the next three to four years to help pay for college. • Save a portion of money you receive for birthdays and holidays. • Get a part-time job and save part of your earnings. • Ask your parents about setting up a college savings plan . Learn about the Nebraska Educational Saving Trust 529 Plan at NEST529.com .
EDUCATIONQUEST CAN HELP YOU START YOUR JOURNEY TO COLLEGE. We’re a nonprofit organization that provides FREE services and programs for Nebraska students and families including: • College-prep information and tools at EducationQuest.org • One-on-one help at college planning offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, and Scottsbluff • Outreach services for community agency clients • Statewide efforts such as college fairs, financial aid programs, and Apply2College campaign • Look2College and KnowHow2GO programs for younger students
We also provide need-based scholarships for students referred by colleges or community agencies, and award College Access Grants to Nebraska high schools.
FOR FREE HELP WITH COLLEGE PLANNING, CONTACT THE LOCATION NEAREST YOU.
OMAHA Rockbrook Village
LINCOLN 1300 O St. 402.475.5222
KEARNEY 2706 Second Ave. 308.234.6310
SCOTTSBLUFF 1601 E 27th St. 308.708.7199
11031 Elm St. 402.391.4033
Materials and resources are available in Spanish. Materiales y recursos disponibles en español.
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