College and Career
College and Career Planning: Where Do I Start?
You can always start by accessing the Seattle Public Schools Career and College Readiness Webpage.
Then, follow the steps below to explore your options and make the most of your time in high school!
In Washington we don’t have a GPS we have a High School and Beyond Plan.
Step 1: Take an personality or career interest survey and determine your interests, strengths and weaknesses.
- 16 Personalities – Find out your strengths, weaknesses and personality type.
- Personality Quiz
- Princeton Review Career Quiz
Step 2: Research what kind of further education, training, or apprenticeship it takes to fulfill that career.
- Career Exploration
- Washington Careers – Information on WA state, careers planning and job demographics.
- City of Seattle Teen Job Exploration – Do you want to be an activist, a nurse, work with your hands or at a zoo? Check these links for what interest you.
- Federal Internships – USA Jobs lists federal jobs for graduates as well as internships.
- A Better Way to Plan your Career – An article on how to develop your career plan.
Step 3: Take your results and research colleges and apprenticeships that will support your new career goals.
College Planning Timeline and Worksheet
Post High School Worksheet – Print this out and figure out what you need and whats next.
When you register for a college entrance exam (the SAT or ACT- should be spring of Junior year), there are also free career exploration and college search tools you can use. If you use a fee waiver, you can also use ACT prep for free, and you practice for the SAT for free with a Khan Academy account.
Parents we know you want to help too! First, have your student apply to scholarships as early as 5th grade. 2nd, check out these resources to help you plan for supporting your student.
- CollegeBoard For Parents
- College Board por Padres
- ACT Profile Tools and Articles
- Articles for Parents
- Pre-College Checklist in English/Espanol
- College Prep Kit in English and Espanol
Applying to College and Apprenticeships
Step 1: Pick at least 5 colleges or apprenticeship programs and fill out your admissions applications by the deadline.
- Send your SAT or ACT scores, your transcripts and recommendations.
- Add your counselors email address to the application in order for school profile, class rank and weighted g.p.a. to be added to your application.
- Parents, it is recommended that you allow your student to navigate this process so they can practice for when they arrive on campus for the college/apprenticeship programs.
- If you would like your counselor to also upload a recommendation be sure to give them a copy of your brag sheet and resume if you have one.
- Don’t wait until the application deadline! The longer you wait the less likely your counselor or teacher may be to complete the recommendation on time.
- Planeacion Universitaria
- College Admissions Guide – Espanol
- Preparacion para la Universidad
Step 2: Fill out your FAFSA or WAFSA(if you are undocumented) send the information to all the programs you are applying to, it’s free.Go to the Financial Aid Webpages and complete any additional required documents that are school specific. They have deadlines as well. So be sure to track it all and get everything in on time.
Step 3: Continue to/start applying to scholarships!
Step 4: Review your Acceptance letters and your financial aid offers and make your decision.
Step 5: Notify your colleges/programs of your decision either yes or no! Your no could move someone on the wait-list into school!
College Planning Guides
- Arabic – العربية
- English – English
- Spanish – Español
- Chinese – 中文
- Fastweb Summer Planning Guide
- College E-Tours
- Ten Steps to College with the Greens – A PBS Video Series
To order your transcript visit the Counseling Secretary. Orders can take up to three days. Be sure to include an addressed postage paid envelope if you need the transcript mailed. When you apply to colleges using online tools such as SENDEdu and the Common App, your counselor will upload a digital version of your transcript. If you graduated more than 2 years before you will need to go downtown and pay the transcript fee.
Paying for College
Fill out your FAFSA, even if you think that you won’t qualify. Merit and local school based scholarships and grants require that your FAFSA/WAFSA be completed. Watch the video below for more information. Financial Aid is made up of parts, Scholarships, Grants, Parent Loans, Student Loans, Work Study, etc. Filing your FAFSA does not guarantee money but is a report schools use to determine how much your family can afford to pay for college. The WASFA works similarly, but is only for the state of Washington. Your parent and your students income must be reported.
Don’t wait to start searching for scholarships until senior year. Students can start apply for scholarships as early as 5th grade!
- Twitter – Sealth Counseling Twitter page with links to local and national scholarship, study tips, and more. SPS Scholarship Bulletin – See the counseling office and twitter for monthly updates.
- Fast Web – Find scholarships that fit you.
- WASHBoard – Scholarship Search
- FAFSA Bulletin – Espanol
- – Paying for college as an undocumented student
- Paying for College – Information on scholarships, grants, and financial aid.
- FinAid – Finding scholarships and paying for college