Thinking Ahead: Useful Resources for Post-High School Plans

October 27th, 2016

Category: News, Postsecondary Success


Graduation Ceremony

It’s that time of year again–high school students all across Delaware are kicking off the fall season with exciting explorations of future and postsecondary plans. Finding the right job or college can be stressful, but there are numerous state and federal resources available for both students and parents that can ease the process.

Getting Started

With post-high school planning, one of the best things to do is to start early and organize what needs to be done. This checklist for 10th-12th graders can help. It details steps along the way, such as asking for help and designing your high school class schedule.

The Delaware Higher Education Office recently put together some video resources about postsecondary opportunities that students might find helpful. One useful video resource explains the value in creating a College Board student account as a first step to choosing where to apply. To help refine the search to particular college preferences, students can use resources like CareerCruising, BigFuture, and The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. College Scorecard is a federal resource that offers reliable data to compare school costs, retention and graduation rates, average salary after attending, and much more. Be sure to check out other great information from this video, in addition to other video resources on topics such as joining the army and becoming a student athlete.

Starting in ninth grade, high school students and their parents can also sign up for the Texting Campaign. In our ever-advancing digital age, there’s no better way to stay up-to-date in the career planning and college application process. After signing up, students receive texts from the Delaware Department of Education’s Higher Education Office and the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, so that students can best be served according to their grade level and career and college preferences. Students are then free to ask any questions, such as those regarding FAFSA, application deadlines, or steps to becoming college-ready.

Continuing the Process

As students begin to find their academic passions and path for professional growth, they’re highly encouraged by their high schools to apply to college. That’s why from October 17-November 18, high schools hold College Application Month (CAM). During this time, every college and university in the state—and even some schools from out-of-state—offer free applications. You can also get involved with CAM by becoming a volunteer: Registering to assist and encourage students as they complete their applications is an integral part of the process. Anyone is welcome to help out; no need to be an expert on the college application process.

While ninth graders can participate in the texting campaign as they begin to consider their post-high school plans, upperclassmen are encouraged to stay engaged with the campaign; whenever you have a question regarding your college applications, text it! It’s important to ask the right questions when considering your future.

Affording Your Future

To supplement the texting anytime and anywhere, students can attend the beneficial events offered in schools throughout the state. Be on the lookout for college fairs, scholarship opportunities, financial aid workshops, and events for FAFSA completion assistance. One great federal resource is The Parent’s Guide to Completing the FAFSA. Get your when, why and how questions answered to successfully receive financial aid.

Besides applying for FAFSA, is there another way college can become more affordable? The answer is yes! Check out the 2016-17 Delaware Scholarship Compendium. This guide features all sorts of scholarships and programs that can be searched by name, area of study, or deadline. All students are encouraged to seek out as many scholarships as possible–it’s definitely worth a shot.

So, there you have it. Delaware is pleased to offer numerous resources to help your college application process and beyond go as smoothly as possible. This is a very exciting time for high school students, filled with great potential and tons of new opportunities. Your future is right around the corner–go get it!

Rachel Pleet