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Preparing for College

How to Prepare for College

The path toward career training can seem scary, but it doesn't have to be! Whether you’re thinking of attending trade school, community college, or a four-year university, there are many ways you can prepare.

But don’t worry! We’ve laid out some tips to help you get ahead.

Financial Education

With many schools offering financial aid to those who qualify, financial education for students before college or trade school is important. There are many different costs associated with school, like tuition, room & board, and textbooks.

Students can apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to lower their costs. FAFSA provides financial relief in the form of federal scholarships, grants, and loans.

Did you know that four years of college can cost you over $125,000? In comparison, trade school costs an average of $33,000. Students gain valuable skills at a trade school and graduate with less debt.

Most colleges and trade schools also offer their own scholarships and loan opportunities! Learning about the costs of education and how financial aid works will help you build your budget.

Gaining Experience

‘Shadowing’ a professional in the field is one of the best ways to gain hands-on experience in careers that interest you. This will give you a better idea of the day-to-day tasks involved in these roles. It can also help you narrow down what you like and dislike about these careers.

Volunteering is another great way to get your hands on some real-life experience. Reach out to local nonprofit organizations in your community that work within your chosen field and find out how you can get involved.


Along with real-life experience, networking skills are essential to success, no matter what your ideal career may be. Networking can be as simple as meeting new people and sharing information and ideas.

In addition, shadowing and volunteering are both great networking practices that will help you connect with like-minded people and create meaningful relationships.

Balance Your Schedule

Higher education brings with it a higher amount of responsibility and self-discipline. College courses can be scheduled at various times and days. This means that many students arrange their courses so they can work part-time or even full-time while attending school.

It is important to stay organized and make sure you are getting your work done in a timely manner. Use calendars, planners, and other organizational tools to schedule specific time to complete your coursework.

Go Ahead and Apply!

With these new helpful tips, you are now ready to apply to any college of your choosing and soar to new heights! Interested in connecting with one of our partner schools in your area to learn more about the programs they offer?

Learn more about the opportunities available in our program guide.