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College & Career Planning

Getting into a college is like approaching any other goal in life that’s important: it takes hard work, commitment and attention to dates and details. The resources on this page are designed to help students navigate their post high school options, with information on college admissions testing, the college application process, choosing a college and possible major, career research, alternative post high school options and more.

College & University Systems Admissions Information

College Admissions Testing


SAT Reasoning

The SAT is one of the Standardized tests required by colleges. It measures three skill categories: critical reading, mathematics and writing. Each section is worth 800 points, with a total of 1600 points. The SAT test has 4 sections, and writing is optional.

SAT Subject(s)

The SAT Subject(s) Test is required by several private colleges.  Check their websites.  It is not required by the UCs, but it is recommended if you are an engineering major. The test measures a student's knowledge in a particular subject area. Each test is worth 800 points. A student can take up to three subject tests in one sitting. The subject areas include languages, history, science, english and mathematics.

List of "Test Optional" Colleges


The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is a standardized test that provides practice for the SAT. Juniors who take the test can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The PSAT has three sections: critical reading, math and writing skills. It is offered once a year in October.

  • About PSAT/NMSQT
  • Test dates for October 2017 is Saturday, October 14. Juniors and Sophomores can sign up in the ASB office during brunch or lunch beginning September 5. Cost is $28. You will be assigned a testing room the day of the test. Assignments will be posted. Bring your student ID.

AP Tests

Advanced-Placement (AP) are considered to be college-level courses students can take while in high school. Students usually take the AP test in their course's subject matter. AP tests are administered in May

Advanced-Placement (AP) are considered to be college-level courses students can take while in high school. Students usually take the AP test in their course's subject matter. AP tests are administered in May and the score ranges from 0 to 5, with 5 as the highest. Three is considered the minimum passing score.

Unlike honors courses, students may earn college credit, depending on their AP test scores and the college's requirements. To find out more about AP tests, please visit the CollegeBoard website.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is occassionally required by colleges for students who are (or have been) enrolled in an English Learner course in high school. In some cases this test is dependent on a student's residency. We recommend that students check out the testing requirements of the colleges that they are interested in.



The ACT is one of the standardized tests required by colleges. It has five categories: english, mathematics, reading, science and an optional writing section. Each section is scored separately and combined together for a composite score. The highest score a student can receive is 36.

Additional College Information

General College Information

  • College Board - SAT information and registration, CSS Profile information (see Financial Aid), a variety of other college resources
  • ACT - ACT online registration and information
  • The Education Conservancy - site dedicated to the return of sanity in the college admission process; a must-read for students and parents
  • Athletic Aid - information for student athletes about the recruiting process
  • NCAA  - National Collegiate Athletic Association site; information about registration for students who are capable of playing NCAA sports in college
  • College Navigator - college search site sponsored by National Center for Educational Statistics
  • The Princeton Review - tips, advice, college search
  • College Quest - the Peterson's site, with tips, advice, college search
  • CollegeSource Onoline - more than 14,000 online college catalogs
  • Best Colleges by Career - has rankings of best school by career
  • The Common Application - online and downloadable Common Application site
  •  - info about fraternities and sororities on college campuses.
  • Khan Academy SAT prep - free online SAT preparation
  • Colleges That Change Lives - information about the colleges featured in the book Colleges That Change Live
  • Common Lounge - A community to help navigate the college application process.

College Information - Specific Colleges

To find specific college websites, try www. (type in the name of the college).edu; in some cases, the name of the college may be abbreviated, but your computer's search engine will find it for you.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

  • Fastweb - a free scholarship search site
  • College Board - information about the CSS Profile student financial aid application for many private colleges; online calculator to determine Expected Family Contribution
  • CollegeData - a great deal of info about what it will actually cost to go to college; provided by a bank, so you will find offers for credit cards, etc., but you can ignore them!
  • FinAid! - comprehensive financial aid information
  • - information about Cal Grants
  • EdFund - information about student loans
  • - Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • MALDEF - Mexican American Legal Defense Fund site; includes information about scholarships for undocumented students
  • - information about the federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) program
  • Ron Brown Scholar Program - minority scholarship information
  • Sallie Mae - information about student loans and financial services for education, link to scholarship search
  • - information about the federal Stafford Loan program
  • - free scholarship search program sponsored by student loan program
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund - scholarship information for Hispanic students

Careers & Jobs

Summer Programs & Time Off

  • AmeriCorps - sponsored by the Corp. for National and Community Service
  • City Year - sponsored by the National Youth Corps
  • Dynamy - information about an internship program
  • - creative ways to take time off
  • Global Service Corps - adventures and volunteer projects abroad to make a better world
  • NOLS - sponsored by the National Outdoor Leadership School, an organization that develops outdoor and leadership skills
  • Outward Bound - expeditions as learning and adventure education
  • SCA - Student Conservation Association - service and internship opportunities in conservation
  • Seamester - academic voyages for high school grads and college students
  • Semester at Sea - voyage opportunities for undergrads
  • Study Abroad - country, college, and course advice for students who wish to study abroad
  • - a companion Web site to the book of the same title
  • Landmark Volunteers - a summer service organization for high school students
  • Where There Be Dragons - learning opportunities through "rugged, creative, and engaging" expeditions off the beaten path
  • YFU - Youth for Understanding International Exchange (opportunities abroad for high school students)


  • Apex Learning  - links with information about online courses

Additional Post High School Options