School Comments

School Comments By Len Griffith Each fall we in the high school guidance office begin to field questions from parents and students about career planning, college preparation and the financial aid process. More often than not, these questions come from senior students and their parents. The post-high school planning process, however is really an on-going endeavor that can (and should) be started at the end of a student's middle school career and continue on throughout high school.

We are increasingly finding the Internet to be a great resource for post-high planning with our students. We recognize, however that the web is only as good as the sites you visit. To that end, we have compiled a list of helpful sites that you or your student might want to access for information on career planning, college searches and financial aid information. (For fastest access, you will find links to many of these sites on our VHS Guidance Home Page (www.vermillion.k12.sd.us).

Choices (computer program)

This program is on every computer in the student lab at both middle and high school. All eighth grade students are introduced to the interest inventory and basic occupation search information during their Careers class at VMS. In addition, various classes at the high school utilize the college search, scholarship search components. Students can perform college searches based on programs of study, geographic preferences, cost, extra-curricular activities, size of campus, as well as other parameters. The program itself has links to the Internet for further information. Please encourage your student to utilize this program.

Internet Sites:

www.ed.gov/thinkcollege/early

A great site for middle and high school students alike, it lists the courses students should take in both middle and high school that will best prepare them for college. It also lists different options for students after high school, i.e., technical schools, college/university, military, etc. It has a wonderful page for parents on "Preparing your child for college".

www.myfuture.com

Again, a middle school/high school site that looks at personal finance, options beyond high school, military, career help, etc. Has everything from information about financial aid advice and what to look for in a used car, to hot jobs and how to ace an interview. Students will like this site.

www.review.com

The Princeton Review online is another good site for parents and students in an easy to understand format. Tabs offer information on college search, getting into the college of your choice, financial aid process, ACT/SAT test preparation, career style questionaire and more.

www.collegeispossible.org

This site has a number of links to free scholarship searches, as well as information on preparing for college, choosing the right college and paying for college.

www.fastweb.com

Includes college directories, scholarship searches, college cost calculators, how-tos for college and beyond, college admissions information for home school admissions, recommended college bound coursework, strategies for college entrance exams, etc.

We hope these sites will help you navigate the post-high planning process more successfully.

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