Many careers in today's job market require a college education. Planning ahead and learning what to expect from college can help make the experience successful. In this section, you will find a wealth of resources to help you and your teen navigate the college admissions process from the beginning of high school through the start of college. In addition to these resources, be sure to consult with the guidance counselor or college center at your teen's school.

Preparing During High School

NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) is a professional organization that offers a variety of student resources, including a college planning timeline to help students and families make the most of high school.

New Visions is an NYC-based program aimed at creating and maintaining high school cultures that support going on to college. Their website has comprehensive guides that offer detailed information about each step in the college planning and scholarship application process.

NYC Department of Education website features helpful links and resources for high school students and parents seeking information about college.

NYC Public Libraries have print resources, such as college handbooks and guides to financial aid at most branches. In particular, the Mid-Manhattan branch has an Education Collection where students will find college guides, information about vocational programs, test prep guides, and information about financial aid.

College Advising Services

Carebridge Life Resources, NYU's employee assistance program, offers web-based articles and links to websites and resources to assist you and your family with the college search process. Other college-related supports include financing an education, becoming an empty-nester, and more. College specialists are available for consultation on their 24/7 phone line.

Independent Educational Consultants Association (ICEA), a non-profit professional organization representing full-time educational advisors, offers an on-line, searchable directory of educational consultants who are available to assist students and their families with the full range of issues related to school selection and application.

For Student Athletes

The NCAA has information about eligibility to compete as a student athlete at the college level.

National Admissions Tests

The SAT is a reasoning test accepted by most college admissions offices. You can get more information, register for a test, and see sample questions on the website of the test maker, College Board. The website also has information about the SAT Subject Tests (formerly called SAT II) and the college admissions process, including information about scholarships and financial aid.

The ACT is a subject test that is used as part of the college admissions process at many schools. The test maker's website gives information about the test, lets students register for the test, and has test prep materials. The site also includes information about college planning and financial aid.

Finding the Right School

College Navigator from National Center for Education Statistics (run by the U.S. government) has information about thousands of colleges and universities in the U.S. You can search by location, size, cost, test scores, and more. You can also do side-by-side comparisons of schools. The "Preparing for Your Eduation" section gives information and advice for students and parents about what to do during high school to get ready for college.

Peterson's has helped young people looking to go to college for many years. Their website features searchable information about a wide range of programs from 4-year colleges and online degrees to culinary schools and career colleges. The site also has information about finding and applying for scholarships.

US News and World Report ranks colleges and universities each year. You can purchase the report at most bookstores or you can view it online. Their website also features a college search and a student center with articles and information about current issues in college education.

Finances and Scholarships

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Most colleges and universities have a deadline by which the FAFSA must be completed, so be sure to check with the schools your teen is applying to for specific due dates.

New York State Higher Education Corporation, commonly referred to as HESC, helps families in New York pay for college. They award a number of scholarships and grants, including the TAP(Tuition Assistance Program). HESC can also help with federal assistance.

College Board has a parent section with information about different ways to pay for college, including scholarships and financial aid. The website also has information about other aspects of the college admissions process for parents and students.

FinAid describes different types of financial support available for college students. The site offers tools to help you estimate college costs as well as an "Ask the Aid Advisor" section where you can get answers to your financial aid questions.

New Visions is an NYC-based program aimed at creating and maintaining high school cultures that support going on to college. Their annual publication about scholarships is available on the website.

Scholarship Searches can be done on many different website. The NYU financial aid website has a list of reputable scholarship search websites which anybody can use to find state, local, and national scholarships.

Making the Transition to College

Family Education has a wealth of information and support for parents with college-bound children. Topics include paying for college, dealing with roommates, choosing a major, studying abroad, and more.

Kids Health has tips on how to handle stress, nutrition and fitness when starting college.

NYU Child Study Center has several helpful articles for parents with information about what to expect during your child's first year of college and signs that may indicate difficulty adjusting to college. They also have an article about Helicopter Parenting (PDF).

Print Resources

CollegeBoard, maker of the SAT, has a host of books to help with test prep and the college admissions process. Visit The College Board Store for more information.

Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope. Penguin Group (2006)

Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different by Donald Asher. Ten Speed Press (2007)

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger. Harper Collins Publishers (2003)

The Smart Student's Guide to Healthy Living: How to Survive Stress, Late Nights, and the College Cafeteria by M.J. Smith and Fred Smith. New Harbinger Publications (2006)