Preparing for Future College Attendance
My Future, My Way
Are you thinking about attending college or a career school after you graduate from high school? Start here to learn how to prepare for and pay for your education beyond high school. Start asking questions now. Talk to your teachers, your parents, your older siblings, or to other mentors. After all, it’s YOUR future.
Begin to discover your college and financial aid options today!
College can help you turn your passions and interests into a career.
Why students go to college:
A survey of U.S. students and recruiters
- A quarter of employers that require degrees for entry-level jobs accept credentials in place of a degree
- Recruiters and students agree there is a soft skills gap
- Institutions need to invest in business models to support lifelong learning
Student and employer perceptions around the value of college degrees are evolving. Sixty-two percent of students surveyed enrolled in college to improve their job prospects but only 39 percent believe they will be very prepared for the workplace when they graduate.
Empowering Lifelong Learning
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- There’s a confidence gap between students and employer regarding workforce preparedness
- Gen Z students do not know how to translate skills they learn to the workplace
- Degrees and credentials are not mutually exclusive
- A quarter of students enroll in college because they are expected to do so
- 45% of students believe workers should pursue additional education or credentials more than once a year
- 95% of college students think that credentials on top of college degrees will make them more specialized
- Degrees indicate candidates have foundational skills and are looking for professional positions
- Recruiters value soft skills, like communication and accountability
- Lifelong learning is essential regardless of industry or position level
College Preparation Checklists
Why go to college? A higher education introduces students to new people and new experiences and usually leads to a higher salary and lower chance of unemployment. This checklist 🔗 will tell you how to get ready for college—and how the government will help you pay for it.
How to use the checklist
Q: Who should use the checklist?
A: Students of all ages who haven’t attended college, and parents of students in elementary and secondary school.
Q: What is the checklist?
A: A to-do list, starting with elementary school, to help students prepare academically and financially for education beyond high school. Each section is split into subsections for students and parents, explaining what to do and which publications or websites might be useful to them.
Q: When should a student or parent refer to the checklist?
A: At the beginning of every school year, and then more frequently as college approaches. (Or, in the case of an adult student returning to school, as soon as possible!)
Saving for College
How America Saves for College
Introduced in 2009, How America Saves for College is Sallie Mae’s national study conducted by Ipsos that surveys American parents with children under the age of 18 about how they are preparing financially for college. The 2018 study is the seventh in the series.
This primary research captures data on parents’ saving-for-college behaviors and habits, their attitudes and feelings about saving, planning, and paying for college, and how much they have saved.
Coverdell Education Savings Account
Qualified Tuition Programs (QTP)
A QTP/529 plan is established by a state or school so that you can either prepay or save up to pay education-related expenses. Once you’re in college or career school and you withdraw money from your account to pay your education expenses, the money you withdraw will not be taxed. Learn more about state 529 plans 🔗. To find out whether the college you plan to attend participates in a QTP, ask the financial aid or admissions staff.
Individual Development Accounts (IDA)
Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs, are matched savings accounts that change the financial futures of qualifying Oregonians with lower incomes.
Participants enroll through one of the many partners located in all corners of the state, set a goal and begin saving. Once the participant’s goal is reached and all parts of the savings plan are completed, every dollar saved by a participant is matched by the Initiative, typically three dollars for every one dollar saved. Initiative participants may benefit from matched funds to help them purchase a home, fulfill an educational goal, develop and launch a small business, restore a home to habitable condition, or purchase equipment to support employment.
Oregon residents twelve years of age and older who have low incomes and modest net worth may be eligible for the program. Residents work with a local partner to define and reach their goals.
If you’re applying to college or graduate school, you may need to take certain tests.
Many U.S. colleges require that undergraduate and graduate students submit standardized test scores as part of their application packages. Standardized tests provide a consistent way for a college to evaluate you and sometimes even help you choose the right courses.
For information about which tests you should take, talk to your high school or college academic counselor, or to the admissions offices at the colleges you are interested in attending. In the meantime, here’s a summary 🔗 of most standardized tests.
Differences Between Credentials and Certifications. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://acfn.org/the-difference-between-credentials-and-certifications/
Certificates, Credentials & Degrees – Do You Know the Difference?. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://www.aastweb.org/blog/certificates-and-credentials/