College & Career Center
College/Military Rep Visits
College admissions representatives visit the Career Center each fall and spring to meet with interested students. These visits are a great way for students to talk with representatives and to learn more about a school and/or have specific questions answered. Students should sign up in the Counseling Office to meet with the college representative prior to the visit. A pass will be sent to the student on the day of the college representative’s visit.
Teachers make the final decision to let a student out of class for a visit and students are responsible for making up missed work.
Click here to see a listing of scheduled visits. This list is updated as colleges schedule visits so please check back often.
Colleges listed in the lunchroom do not require prior sign-up or a pass.
We are proud to have many branches of our Military visit us, these visits are held in the commons during all lunch periods. Students interested in the Military are free to stop by and visit with recruiters. Click here to see a list of visiting Military branches. This list is updated frequently so please check back often.
Male students turning 18 must register for the Selective Service to receive any federal college funding. Click here to find out more or to register for the Selective Service.
College Information and Resources
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has a website specifically designed to answer all of your questions about higher education. You can access their site by clicking here www.ohe.state.mn.us
Preparing for College
It's never too early to plan for college. Remember, college preparation means being ready academically and financially. Now's the time to prepare. Click the links below for more information on the following topics:
The following handouts are available by clicking the topic you are interested in.
Choosing a College
There are almost 200 public and private postsecondary institutions in Minnesota. But don't let that number scare you. It just means you have plenty of options.
Start by asking yourself which type of career you want.Then find the programs that can make your dreams a reality. If you are undecided about a career, that's okay. Consider what kind of campus environment you want and begin to narrow down your options. College is a unique time in your life when you expand your cultural, intellectual and social horizons. Enjoy the journey.
As you explore this section, you'll discover helpful links to information on:
- How to choose a college that's just right for you
- Exploring your college options locally and nationally
- How to apply to college
- National Association for College Admission Counseling's: offers tools to help you in your transistion from high school to college. Including advice on college preparation, college search, applying to college, paying for college, succeeding in college and much more.
- Chegg.com: offers scholarship searches, college comparisons, career searches and so much more.
Military Service Academy
The Naval Academy, West Point, Air Force Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy all provide wonderful opportunities for students to receive a free college education and also participate in service to our country. The process for getting into and attending an academy can be tricky. A student must apply to the academy itself and also for a nomination from the Congress member that represents them or a Senator. The nomination is necessary for receiving a slot in the academies. Please see the attached information from Congressman Tom Emmer, Minnesota's Sixth District.
Types of Financial Aid
There are many different types of financial aid. It is important to understand the vocabulary.
- Scholarships and Grants: money that does not have to be repaid. (Note: not all scholarships/grants are created equal. Some are given as a "one-time" gift while others are renewable if students meet certain criteria.)
- Loans: money that can be borrowed by students and/or parents. (Note: not all loans are created equal. Some loans are subsidized by federal or state programs, which can reduce the interest rate and/or defer payments for a length of time. Compare the total costs of each loan.)
- Work-Study: schools may offer work on campus as a type of financial aid. (Note: not all work-study is created equal. A job in the food service may pay the same as assisting in a laboratory, but students should consider ways work on campus could provide career-related experiences.
- Other: students have other opportunities to supplement their educational finances. Participation in the military, ROTC, AmeriCorps and other programs can provide funds or forgiveness of educational loans. (Note: TANSTAFL – There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Many of these "other" sources will provide financial assistance but there are also obligations. It is always important to read the fine print!)
Financial Aid Process
Students planning to enroll in college for fall 2019 can begin filing your FAFSA after October 1. Each college and university has a different deadline so contact the school to find out their exact deadline date.
- Process for Applying for Aid
- FAFSA Website
- Questions to Ask Colleges Regarding Financial Aid
- Reciprocity (For students attending a public college in Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota or South Dakota)
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The federal government awards around $125 billion in student aid every year in the form of grants, loans and work study. All colleges and universities across the United States require that you file the FAFSA if you are applying for a financial aid package. The FAFSA application asks for information about your family’s financial status and considers several other factors in determining your eligibility to receive aid. After you have completed and submitted your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that will inform you of your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution). Your family will be expected to pay this estimated amount for a specific academic year. If the college tuition/cost is more than your EFC, you will have a financial need and should be eligible to receive some type of financial aid. Your information will be given to colleges that you are applying to and after that data has been reviewed, each college will determine the financial aid package that they can offer to you.
Scholarship Search Websites
Career Planning: Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS)
The best resource for locating information on various careers is through the Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS). If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to contact the College and Career Center at -241-34xx-or email@example.com for the school's username and password.
Four Main Components:
- Occupations and Employment – You can search by career cluster or by specific career title to find: general work activities, helpful high school courses, skills and abilities, physical demands, interests, knowledge, hiring practices, wages, employment, and outlook.
- Education and Training – You can find information on: programs of study, Minnesota colleges, colleges throughout the U.S., undergraduate and graduate school sort (by major, degree, location, size, etc.), and financial aid.
- Assessment Tools – There are a variety of assessments available that measure your: interests (IDEAS and O*NET Interest Profiles) skills (SKILLS – matches careers to skills you like/possess), values (O*NET Work Importance Locator), and career preference (Career Cluster Inventory).
- Practice Tests – There are practice tests available for: ACT, AP tests, SAT, SAT Subject tests, PSAT, ASVAB, GED and CLEP.
- MCIS website: www.mncis.intocareers.org
- Student Password: Elks(student lunch account #) Example: Elks12345
- Student Username: ISD 728 student full email address (include @isd728.org)
Letter of Recommendation
Many private colleges and some scholarships require applicants to submit letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors. Some have specific forms to be used and others simply ask for a letter; it's important to determine what each college or scholarshio program requires.
Follow these steps to request a letter of recommendation:
- Obtain any required forms and complete the sections that the applicant is to fill out.
- At least two weeks before any deadlines, ask the teacher or counselor to write a letter of recommendation for you.
- Remember that some people are asked to write many letters and won't be able to do a good job if not given enough time.
**Be aware that letters and forms that are needed to meet early January deadlines must be requested by: December 1 due to winter break.
- Provide the teacher or counselor with the letter of recommendation form and any instructions you may have been given, stamped envelopes addressed to the college(s) or scholarship programs, and a list of the due dates for each one.
NCAA: College Athletic Eligibility
If you intend to participate in NCAA Divisions I or II athletics as a college freshman, you must register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Center prior to graduation. Follow the application directions on the website: web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3. The Eligibility Center will issue a preliminary certification report when you have submitted all of your materials. The chart below shows what your courses must include at a minimum.
Only courses that satisfy the NCAA definition of a core course can be used to calculate your NCAA GPA. No special values are allowed for “+” or “-“ grades. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that NCAA eligibility requirements have been met. For an up-to-date listing of ISD 728 NCAA approved courses by high school, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center website web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3 and use the following codes:
The NCAA Eligibility Center uses this list of courses in establishing the certification status of student-athletes from your school. (If a core course is not listed or you have further questions, please see your guidance counselor.)
After graduation, the Clearinghouse will review your final transcript to make a final certification decision according to NCAA standards.