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College Is
Posted On:
Monday, July 18, 2016

College is:
any training after high school including certificate programs, trade or vocational schools, and traditional community colleges and 4 year universities.

Middle and High School Students :
No matter what grade you're in, it's never too early to begin planning and preparing for college. The sooner you start thinking about what you're interested in doing, the easier your choices will be later.  Learn the steps to college from students who have been there, done that.

·         If you're in middle school, start studying a little harder and exploring your interests.

·         If you're in high school, start raising your grades and preparing for standardized tests. As your interests become clearer, start learning about colleges and careers that will be a good fit.  Working hard now will pay off later. You may have a lot to learn, but you can do it!


Just as high school isn't just an extension of middle school, college isn't just a harder version of high school. There are real reasons why college is an important step in your education, both personally and professionally.

·         MORE JOBS!  The more education you get, the more likely it is that you'll be able to adapt to a wide variety of jobs and careers. According to one estimate, by the year 2028, there will be 19 million more jobs for educated workers than there are qualified people to fill them. Businesses want to hire people who know how to think and solve problems. Projections show that in Michigan 62% of jobs will require a degree or high quality credential by the year 2018!

·         MORE MONEY!  Every bit of education you get after high school increases the chances you'll earn good pay. Most college graduates earn a lot more money during their working years than people who stop their education at high school.

·         MORE CAREERS!  College provides plenty of options for exploring your interests, whether you choose to dive right into a major field of study or try classes in a variety of different subjects. Continuing your education after high school allows you to choose what suits you best!

·         MORE BENEFITS! Education beyond high school gives you a lot of other benefits, including meeting new people, taking part in new opportunities to explore your interests and experiencing success. A college campus offers you a whole new world of ideas and people to explore!

·         MORE FOR YOU!  College is one of the best places to learn about yourself. You'll encounter new ideas and challenges. You'll discover new passions. You'll bond with new friends who might be very different from your friends in high school. College opens doors to your future and offers opportunities for you to grow into your best self.



·      Assist with the application process starting in September. In October, all area high schools will host college application workshops. Help them prepare essays and applications carefully. Follow the instructions, and PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO DEADLINES!

·      Remind your child well before your application deadlines, to ask their counselor and teachers to submit required documents (e.g., transcript, letters of recommendation) to the colleges to which they’re applying.

·      Keep in mind that applying early means that your child is in the FIRST ROUND of enrollment & financial aid decisions.

·      Work with your child on filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) as soon as possible after October 1st. FAFSA is the required first step to almost all aid, including merit based, scholarships, grants, loans and work study.

·      After you submit the FAFSA, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within three days to three weeks. Quickly make any necessary corrections and submit them to the FAFSA processor.

·      Help your student with essays and scholarship opportunities.  Apply to many local scholarships here -

·      Review your college acceptances and compare the colleges’ financial aid offers.

·      When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1.



Oceana College Access Network is a collaborative between local schools, organizations, colleges, and businesses to build a culture within Oceana County focused on post-secondary education awareness, access, and attainment as a means to build and sustain a vibrant local economy and help alleviate poverty. Contact:

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