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Useful Links

There are a lot of organizations out there to help you prepare for college. Here are some of the best.

The College Board offers a variety of tools and resources to help you prepare and plan for college. Learn how about your Big Future. Use College MatchMaker to generate a list of colleges that match your preferences. Create and manage your personal list of colleges with My Organizer. Get ready for the SAT by taking an official, free practice test.

College Planning Resources is an online library for use in helping middle school and high school students and their families prepare for college. The library lists Web sites and publications for students and parents to use independently and materials that caring adults can use to advise students.

Step 1 - Find an Adult Who Can Help (and Be a Pain Until You Do!)

The YMCA of the USA, a leader in helping young people fully develop their potential, is the first national outreach partner of KnowHow2GO. YMCAs with college preparation and teen leadership programs will be distributing information on KnowHow2GO. YMCA Black and Hispanic Achiever programs at 165 centers nationwide will be actively participating in KnowHow2GO events and contests.

At College Goal Sunday, you can get free, on-site, professional assistance filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, talk to financial aid professionals about financial aid resources and how to apply, and get information regarding statewide student services, admission requirements and more.

Project GRAD has a 10-year track record of successfully helping at risk students make it through K-12 school systems and graduate from college.

What Kids Can Do, Inc. (WKCD) is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2001 for the purpose of making public the voices and views of adolescents. On its website, WKCD documents young people's lives, learning and work, and their partnerships with adults both in and out of school.

"Realizing the College Dream" is a curriculum guide that supports teachers, counselors and community-based organization staff in their work to increase the expectations of attending college by low-income, first-generation college-going students and their families.

Step 2 - Push Yourself

First in the Family is packed with useful resources and heartfelt stories from students who are the first in their families to go to college. First in the Family guides students through the key issues - from cultural conflict to academic challenges - facing first-generation students.

The ACT student site provides information on many aspects of planning for college, including career planning and financial aid. You can also register for the ACT and find materials to prepare for the test.

Deciding on a College

This article guides aspiring students through resources that will help them make informed decisions about the critical choice of going to college.

Step 3 - Find the Right Fit

A Pocket Guide to Choosing a College, available in English or Spanish.

The ACT student site provides information on many aspects of planning for college, including career planning and financial aid. You can also register for the ACT and find materials to prepare for the test.

Find something you can really get into. Check out the types of jobs that are right for your skills, your attitude, your passions. Dream it. Then see what jobs and resources are out there to make it happen. Do it.

Drive of Your Life is a fun online career exploration game that helps middle and high school students learn more about themselves, higher education and careers. This educational tool lets students answer a series of questions about themselves to learn what careers could interest them and then go on a virtual drive to learn more about each of those careers - all in their own customized car.

Check out their career assessment tool for help finding a career that suits you. You'll also find tips on completing college applications and tools to help you decide among colleges once you've been accepted.

My College Options is a free service that provides students with the opportunity to create a personal online college and career planning profile. Students can match their individual needs, talents, abilities, goals and interests with the offerings of 3,500+ accredited post-secondary institutions across the United States.

Step 4 - Put Your Hands on Some Cash

Learn all about the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, usually the first step in seeking financial aid for higher education.

The Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are the largest source of student aid in America. These programs provide more than $80 billion a year in grants, loans, and work-study assistance. Learn more about and how to apply for this aid.

FSA wants to make sure you don't get scammed in the process of applying for financial aid. Learn about the tactics companies use to convince students like you to buy their services.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators offers a range of resources to help students, parents, and counselors navigate the college aid process.

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