Not sure where to start?
Want the lowdown on college? Look no further. This site is full of info for first-generation college students - kids who will be the first in their families to go to college.
Whether you’re a freshman or a senior in high school, we’ll help you start planning now. From the SAT to the FAFSA, we’ll guide you through the alphabet soup of college so you can start opening doors for yourself and your family.
Why go to college anyway?
Once you have a college degree, you’ll be on the fast track to the life you want to lead. Each year of college is jam-packed with lessons about the world and yourself as you discover your interests. You’ll dig deep into your favorite subjects. And the knowledge you gain will pay off for years to come.
Consider these facts:
- With a college degree, the odds that you’ll land a job will be twice as good as those of your friends who didn’t go to college.
- A recent study shows that having a bachelor degree makes you less likely to be unemployed during tough economic times.
- You’ll make $20,000 more a year than you would if you’d quit after high school.
- Plus, college graduates are less likely to be overweight and more likely to work out, meaning you’ll be around a lot longer to enjoy your healthy salary.
Best of all, if you’re the first in your family to go to college, you can lead the way so that your kid brother or sister and your future children are ready for success, too. There can be many ways to pay for college, no matter how much your parents make.
So really, you can’t afford not to go.
What does it take to go to college?
Picture yourself in a cap and gown with a college diploma in hand and a bright future ahead of you. Now, it’s time to dig in your heels and work toward it.
Here’s the deal: anyone can go to college, but you’ve got to commit to your goal and plan ahead. Map out the classes you need to pass; take challenging ones and do your best work in them! This will impress colleges and prepare you for success once you get there.
But colleges aren’t just looking for bookworms—they’re also looking for leaders. Getting involved in clubs and organizations can help you find a passion and build your resume.
Hook up with a mentor or talk to a guidance counselor at your school if you ever feel discouraged. Whatever you do, don’t give up! There are a lot of people out there who will lend you a helping hand; you just need to know who to ask.
Don’t let money—or lack of it—stand in your way. Billions of dollars in scholarships are available to help students pay for their educations; each year more than $150 billion is available for college students from the federal government alone!
So, know this: getting into college takes aspiration and perspiration, but definitely not tons of money.
It’s never too early to start planning
By getting a head start on college planning, you’ll make the most of each year of high school. To get into college, you need to take a certain number of classes in different subjects, so start mapping out your schedule as a freshman.
Not sure where to start? Check out our checklists, which are available for each year of high school, to make sure that you’re on the right track.
Get step-by-step advice and tips on planning in our PLAN for College section; then make your way through the other sections as you make your way through the college admissions process and beyond.
Now, get started! There’s a college degree waiting for you!