Resources for parents of high school students interested in college

There are numerous online resources to help with college planning, admissions, testing, and financing. Those listed here are some that you and your child will want to be familiar with.

Oregon Career Information System (CIS) is a great place to start postsecondary planning. It provides comprehensive national college and university information as well as information about all postsecondary programs and career schools in Oregon. Most high schools in Oregon have CIS available to their students and families. Ask the school counselor, librarian, or career center staff about how you can access it. (CIS is a password protected site.)

Mapping Your Future is a college planning website developed as a public service by a group of loan guarantor organizations.

The U.S. Department of Education lists resources for education beyond high school for students and parents in its student gateway Web site.

The American Council on Education's Web site guides you to books, Web sites, and other resources that admissions and financial aid professionals consider most helpful.

A project run by the George Washington University's Graduate School of Education and Human Development "How to Choose a College: Guide for the Student with a Disability" offers a step-by-step approach to the college search and decision-making process for your special needs student.

American Indian College Fund and National Endowment for Financial Education's "Developing Your Vision While Attending College" is available for downloading. Four books are available: "Making the Decision to Attend College," "Paying for a College Education," "Managing Your Money," and "Choosing Your Path."

The College Board has designed a Web site for parents that includes information to help plan, find, apply, and pay for college.

Peterson's publishes a College Planner Web site for parents that provides guidance to help your student plan, prepare for the SAT or ACT, find the right school or program, and figure out ways to pay for it.

Paying for College Links

The federal government portal to financial aid online provides a source for free resources on financial aid.

Within this portal, you can find "Funding Your Education" a comprehensive publication on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education.

This portal also links you to the most important single site for applying for financial aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including details and the online application.

The Federal Trade Commission provides information about scholarship and financial aid scams.

Many scholarships for Oregon students are administered by the Office of Student Access and Completion. Its Web site lists all of the awards it administers and includes its online application and instructions for applying for awards.

Used by many colleges and universities to award nonfederal aid, the CSS Profile is online. The financial aid offices of the schools your student is applying to will inform you if this form, in addition to the FAFSA, is required for those applying for financial aid.

The American Council on Education's Web site provides an excellent summary of basic facts about college prices and student aid.

The Oregon 529 College Savings Network is a set of qualified college savings plans established and administered by the State of Oregon to help families and individuals save for higher education expenses.

National Association of State Treasurers also have a Web site that links to all state’s and provides addition information about College Savings Plans.

Sallie Mae, America's leading provider of student loans, provides a parent Web site to help you plan. The site includes interactive calculators to help families project future college prices and their expected family contribution.

A public service Web site of Mark Kantrowitz, a noted financial aid and college planning author, "The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid" includes a parents' section with step-by-step guidance.

Other Links

Oregon Community Colleges -
Oregon's private career schools -
U.S. News and World Report's best college rankings -

Test preparation resources
The ACT -
The College Board Tests (SAT, PSAT, and AP exams) -

College athletics
National Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Division I, II, and III) Eligibility Center -

College application
The Common Application (used by almost 300 colleges) -
Also, check individual school Web sites for application forms and instructions.