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How to Prepare

school_financialaid_thmbThe whole idea of going to college can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? When do you apply? How do you choose a college? Our friends at have a great step-by-step list that shows you how and when to prepare.

Ideally, you should begin preparing for college by your junior year in high school. If you are starting later, DON’T WORRY. It’s never too late to begin.

  • Take the PSAT test early in your junior year.
  • Register to take the SAT test late in your junior year or early in your senior year.
  • Meet with your school guidance counselor to talk about your goals.
  • Take the quiz “Are You Ready for College”.
  • Meet with college representatives who come to your school. Your high school guidance counselor should have a list and schedule of those colleges.
  • Attend college fairs and campus tours.
  • Browse the Virginia Education Wizard to help identify your career interests or training programs that interest you.
  • Attend college fairs and campus tours.

Resources for Practitioners

Casey Family Programs

Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation entirely focused on foster care. The organization’s “It’s My Life” series offers a wealth of resources for practitioners. Also, the organization’s “Supporting Success” publication offers valuable insights on how to prepare foster youth for success in higher education.

Federal TRIO Programs

The Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes six outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. TRIO programs include:

A major initiative of The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education
Virginia's Community Colleges
Funded in part by the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation