- College Board Sign up for the SAT, the SAT subject tests, and find basically any kind of information you could ever want about college.
- The National Center for Fair and Open Testing Not everyone does great on the SAT or ACT. In fact, many students with stellar grades struggle with these standardized tests. On this site, you will find a comprehensive list of every school in the United States that doesn't require the SAT.
- College Prowler This website touts itself as "by students, for students." This is another great resource to look up facts about schools. The more sites you can check out the better. This way, you’ll be able to form your own opinion about whether you want to apply to a school.
- Colleges That Change Lives Exactly what it sounds like! Get the list from author Loren Pope. His outstanding book is now a non-profit.
- NACAC This is the gold standard for objective information about how to choose a college and everything that goes along with attending college (scholarships, financial aid, school visits)
- PhillyGoes2College This site has everything a Philadelphia high school student would want when looking for help with college admissions as it relates to the city of Philadelphia. Remember to look at the "Events" section. There are always great things going on, including free test preparation at the Free Library.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Know Before You Owe Check out the financial "shopping sheet" created by real student feedback. Learn how to read your financial aid award letter.
- FAFSA Pin Site You and one of your parents will need to create a pin to "sign" your FAFSA. Typing in your pin is just like an electronic version of your written signature. Make sure you choose numbers you can remember, and don't share this with anyone.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) This is a must if you are attending any four or two-year school. Use this link only, and be wary of any sites that ask you to pay to fill this out. Remember, it ends in ".gov".
- How Duke Does Aid This fantastic YouTube video is short and sweet. You will understand exactly how a school determines your aid and scholarship package after viewing this video. Every school is different, but this is a great example of the basics.
- Loan Repayment Calculator Scroll to the bottom of this page and enter the total amount of your loans plus the interest rate. This will help you plan for the future as you figure out your monthly payments and how much you will pay in interest over time.
- PA529 Savings Plan It is never too early (or too late) to start saving for college. Parents, students, and family members can all contribute to a savings plan and you can use the money for tuition, books, and housing in college. The best thing about this plan: use your savings for in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities.
- Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) You can link directly to the PHEAA application from FAFSA, but make sure you understand the ins-and-outs of PHEAA. Don't miss out on important state grants.
- College Scholarships You can search by interest area (cheerleading, basketball) and they offer guidance on which schools offer scholarships for that interest area.
- Fastweb Sign up for a Fastweb account to search for and fill out scholarship applications. This is one of the most comprehensive scholarship sites for students.
“Once I graduated from high school I was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”
Lotus, Class of 2015
Photo: Ryan Brandenberg