Prepare for College

Preparing for college can be exciting and a bit scary; especially if you are a first generation college student! No worries, this page has most of the information you will need to get started! Just remember the high school counseling office also has many great resources you should utilize. ANY of your teachers would be happy to give advice and help you prepare for the next step in your education!

Updated 6/2021

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Federal & State Financial Aid

Local Scholarships & Grants

  • Information coming soon

Statewide/National Scholarships and Grants

  • Information coming soon

Community Colleges

Oregon Promise - Going to a four year university may not be the best choice for you. Attending a local community college and then transferring to a four year university may be an easier transition and save you lots of money! For instance the Oregon Promise will cover all your tuitions for the first two years of community college if you meet requirements of the program. *Once you declare a major it is important that you start talking with the university you intend to transfer to right away so you know what courses you need to take at the community college. You don't want to waste time/money taking courses that won't transfer!

Central Oregon Community College:

Portland Community College:

Clackamas Community College:

Mt. Hood Community College:

Columbia Gorge Community College:

Blue Mountain Community College:

Oregon Public Universities

Portland State University:

Oregon State University:

Western Oregon University:

Eastern Oregon University:

Southern Oregon University:

University of Oregon:

Oregon Institute of Science and Technology:

Tips for Preparing for College

Every Year in High School:

  • Work hard and take challenging courses. (Especially core class: math, science, language arts, social studies)

  • Participate in extracurricular activities. (Clubs, sports)

  • Get Involved in your community! (internships, volunteer work!)

  • Start thinking about college now! What do you want/like to do? Is college right for you?

Ninth Grade

  • Start thinking about Advanced Placement Courses

  • Explore career opportunities

  • Track your accomplishments including awards, volunteer work, academic achievements, ect. Keep this list updated!

Tenth Grade

  • Meet with school counselors and teacher mentors to discuss colleges and admission requirements

  • Use your summer wisely. Find volunteer opportunities, Universities often have internship programs for high school students over the summer (some are paid!!)

  • Start researching college majors. Keep thinking about what direction you want to take your career.

  • Start preparing for the PSAT/NMSQT

Eleventh Grade

  • Start attending college fairs starting in August

  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT (Fall)

  • Take the SAT, SAT Subject Test and the ACT (Spring) **check with the colleges you want to attend to see what is required

Summer Before Twelfth Grade

  • Apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (early Fall) *DO THIS AS SOON AS THE APPLICATION OPENS

  • Narrow down the list of colleges you are considering attending. If you can, visit the schools that interest you.

  • Contact colleges to request information and applications for admission. Ask about financial aid, admission requirements, and deadlines.

Twelfth Grade

  • Work hard all the way to graduation—second-semester grades can affect scholarship eligibility.

  • As soon as possible after its Oct. 1 release, complete and submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)

  • If you haven’t done so already, register for and take such exams as the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, or ACT

  • Apply to the colleges you have chosen. Prepare your applications carefully. Follow the instructions, and PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO DEADLINES!

  • Well before your college application deadlines, ask your counselor and teachers to submit the required documents (e.g., transcript, letters of recommendation) to the colleges to which you’re applying.

  • Visit colleges that have invited you to enroll.

  • Review your college acceptances and compare the colleges’ financial aid offers. Contact a school’s financial aid office if you have questions about the aid that school has offered you. In fact, getting to know your financial aid staff early is a good idea no matter what—they can tell you about deadlines, paperwork you might need to submit, and other aid for which you might wish to apply. When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1.


“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho