College Planning Resources
Applying to College
There are a handful of online platforms students will use to apply to college:
- ApplyTexas. Apply Texas allows students to apply to various public and private universities and junior colleges in Texas using one application. This site also provides information about application deadlines and fees.
- The Common Application. Common App serves over 700 colleges via one application.
- School-specific/individual applications. Some colleges, like University of Alabama, maintain their own online application.
- The Coalition Application. Students can start using the Coalition platform as a toolbox for their academic record & resume, then use it later to apply to certain colleges.
- The Universal Application. A handful of more selective schools use the Universal Application, a tool similar to the Common App.
Automatic & Assured Admissions
Of course Texas has the top 10% rule, but many colleges offer assured admissions for students who meet set academic criteria (typically a combination of rank or GPA and test scores). This chart outlines several Texas public institutions and their assured admissions criteria by quartile.
FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is available online every year beginning October 1st. By completing the FAFSA, students may be eligible for grants, work-study, and/or loans. The FAFSA4caster can be used to estimate your eligibility for federal student aid using past tax information. For more information about financial aid, check out FinAid.
Scholarships - Scholarships can take some work to find, then more work to apply. Here's where to look:
- The college/university you're applying to; information will be posted on their financial aid page
- Naviance - look at the scholarship match or scholarship list
- The VHS Counseling Services page for local scholarships
- Search engines like Fastweb and Scholly, or websites like Redkite or StudentScholarships.org
- College for All Texans is one of the most comprehensive resources for students and parents. It includes links and information about preparing for, applying to, and paying for college or technical school.
- Try Mapping Your Future for financial aid, school searches, and career-planning information
- Get Schooled has college prep tools, college tour resources, and information about application essays for current high school students.
- And of course, use Naviance for college search tools, scholarship searches, and the ability to save information to your account.