Helpful Links

See our list of scholarships here

Freshman:

  1. Check with your school counselor to make sure your courses fit the program you wish to follow through high school and develop a Four Year Academic and Career Education Plan.
  2. Attend Fall College Night.
  3. If you plan on attending a four-year university in the State of Florida after graduation, remember that you will need to complete two credits of the same foreign language during your high school years.
  4. Become familiar with guidance office resources.
  5. Visit the website of the postsecondary institute that you are interested in attending and plan your high school studies with that college’s admission requirements in mind.
  6. Begin researching your career choices and the educational requirements of your career interests.
  7. Whether you are considering attending a four-year university, Sarasota County Technical Institute (SCTI), or State College of Florida, learn about the scholarship opportunities that may be available to you. Be sure you investigate the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program at www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org.  If you have questions regarding this or other scholarship programs, see your school counselor.
  8. Develop good study habits.
  9. Participate in a varied program of extracurricular activities.

 

Sophomore:

  1. All sophomores will take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test). However, only junior year scores are eligible for the National Merit Scholarship competition, the sophomore testing gives a student a good idea of what to expect from the SAT, helps to identify strengths and weaknesses, and helps counselors and teachers advise students.
  2. Attend Fall College Night.
  3. Check with your school counselor to make sure your courses fit the program you wish to follow through high school – college prep, tech prep, or vocational.
  4. Work with your school counselor and the career advisor in order to continue with planning for work, a technical program, or college.
  5. Continue learning more about the college and career exploration internet sites available.
  6. Make sure to revise and update your Four Year postsecondary plan.
  7. Review your progress towards meeting the eligibility criteria for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program at www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org

 

Junior:

  1. Take the PSAT.
  2. Attend Fall College Night.
  3. If you are considering entering a branch of the military or would like additional assistance with career planning, take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) when it is offered at your school. The school counselor will be able to give you the date that the ASVAB will be administered at your school.
  4. Attend meetings with college representatives at your high school and plan follow-up campus visits to the colleges in which you are most interested.
  5. Talk with your counselor about the advisability of SAT/ACT preparation courses.
  6. In the spring, take the SAT Reasoning Test and/or ACT college entrance exams.
  7. Students please note a change in school policy:  AP, SAT and/or ACT scores are not included on high school transcripts. When you register to take a college entrance exam, make sure to identify the post- secondary institutions that you would like to receive copies of your test scores. You will be able to identify up to four at no charge, and any requests beyond this number will result in a minimal fee. The testing organizations (College Board and/or ACT) will send the test results directly to the schools that you have identified.  
  8. If your prospective colleges require SAT Subject Tests, work with your counselor in planning the best time to complete these tests.
  9. Review your progress towards meeting the eligibility criteria for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

 

Senior:

  1. Take the SAT and/or ACT in the Fall if you have not yet done so or if you want to retake the tests.
  2. If you need to present SAT Subject Tests scores and have not yet taken these tests, do so in the Fall. When registering to take your college entrance exams, make sure to identify the post -secondary institutions that you would like to receive copies of your test scores. Remember, these test scores are not included on high school transcripts. A score report must be sent to at least one school in Florida for Bright Futures to retrieve the scores.    
  3. Attend Fall College Night.
  4. Attend meetings with college representatives at your high school and plan to follow up with campus visits to the colleges in which you are most interested.
  5. Plan on attending one of the advertised Financial Aid Seminars throughout the school district. These financial aid seminars will assist with your college planning.
  6. Apply to colleges as early as possible. You are encouraged to have your applications completed by Thanksgiving.
  7. If you will be applying for financial aid, be prepared to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1.  
  8. Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) state scholarship database (including the application for Bright Futures) is available to make application October 1 through graduation. Log on to the internet and go to the home page of the OSFA: www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/osfahomepg.htm.
  9. Review your progress towards meeting the eligibility criteria for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
  10. If you participated in an Advanced Placement program, make sure to review prospective colleges’ policies regarding awarding AP credit.
  11. Be sure you meet all deadlines established by your college.
  12. If you are considering entering a branch of the military and didn’t take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) during your junior year, you should consider taking the ASVAB when it is offered at your school.
  13. Develop a resume whether you are planning to request recommendation letters for college admissions or for full-time employment.
  14. Schedule an appointment to meet with your school counselor to ensure you are meeting all graduation requirements as possible.

https://www.collegeboard.org/

Students may access a tremendous amount of information from the ACT and College Board websites. Students may also register for these tests on each of these websites as well as obtain information on test preparation.

www.collegeboard.com

Register for the SAT, practice for the SAT online, search for scholarships and career information and apply to selected colleges. Check out the SAT question of the day!

www.act.org

Register for the ACT, request additional score reports, seek testing strategies, sample ACT questions, and use the college planning forum.

http://www.fairopportunityproject.com/

Beginning October 1, the families of seniors can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Air at www.fafsa.ed.gov

Through this site the FAFSA information can be submitted directly to the Department of Education’s Central Processing System.

In addition to the FAFSA, the CSS Profile is required by some colleges, usually the highly selective private institutions. The Profile is available online at profileonline.collegeboard.com/index/jsp

The U.S. Department of Education provides several sources of information. Cash for College is a publication produced by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The booklet may be downloaded at www.nasfaa.org/SubHomes/Cashforcollege/index2.html

The following sites are helpful in researching colleges:

www.usnews.com provides a college search/comparison tool as well as permitting students to search out scholarship and financial aid opportunities. A career component is also included on the site.

www.mycollegeguide.org provides access to the common application. It also provides a college and scholarship search along with several articles related to college admission.

www.collegeview.com includes a free online search service as well as several other features.

www.collegeboard.com permits you to register for the SAT. This valuable site includes links to college, financial aid and scholarship sites, as well as explores careers. Be sure to check out the SAT question of the day!

www.act.org permits students to register for the ACT as well as link to serveral sites that will facilitate the college/career exploration process.

www.embark.com will assist students with locating information about choosing a major/career, internships and interviews with people from a range of college majors and career areas.

www.universities.com links with over 3000 colleges. Wow!

www.nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cool College Opportunities online links you to over 9000 colleges and universities, which allows students to search for a school by name, location, program, degree offerings, or a combination of criteria.

www.famu.edu

Florida A & M University, Tallahassee

www.fau.edu

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton

www.fgcu.edu

Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers

www.fsu.edu

Florida State University, Tallahassee

www.ucf.edu

University of Central Florida, Orlando

www.ufl.edu

University of Florida, Gainesville

www.unf.edu

University of North Florida, Jacksonville

www.usf.edu

University of South Florida, Tampa

www.uwf.edu

University of West Florida, Pensacola

Local Postsecondary Institutions

www.suncoast.edu

Suncoast Technical College

www.usfsm.edu

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, now a comprehensive, four-year university for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master's degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit.

www.ringling.edu

Ringling College of Art and Design

www.ncf.edu

New College

www.scf.edu

State College of Florida

www.facts.org

The Bright Futures official web site is at www.FloridaStudentFinancialAid.org/ssfad/bf/

For Florida state scholarships (including Bright Futures) and financial aid programs, applicants must apply online. The application is available beginning in December of the senior year at www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org