Questions about College
-- What's This?
Most people in high school have questions about their future.
This brochure includes common questions and some suggested
resources for answering them. If you are a relative or a
mentor, we hope this information can help you guide the students
you influence. If you're a student, remember this brochure
is just a start. Although it has a lot of information
about applying for college admission and financial aid, it also
has information that can help people looking for technical
training--and keep in mind that community colleges offer career
What are the options after high school?
Work, college, or military? Career training at a
community college or a private career school? College at a
two-year or a private career school? College at a two-year
or a four-year or plan on both? Work for a year and then
attend college? Each option has its advantages and
Some education or technical training after high school is
necessary to land most jobs that pay enough to support a single
person living alone, let alone a family. What type of
training and education best suits each person--now and
later--requires some research, thought, and discussion with
school counselors, teachers, employers, faith counselors,
mentors, and others who care about the person making these
decisions. See the
Resources list to explore options.
What are the types of postsecondary training
Private career schools, community colleges, and four-year
colleges offer varied options for people. For more
information, see both "Maryland Colleges" and "Choosing a
School." To compare programs by degree, use the listings
on the Maryland Higher Education Commission Web site (www.MDgo4it.org).
You can also check The Student Guide to Higher Education
& Financial Aid in Maryland, available in pdf format on
the Web and in print at your local library or school counseling
Finding a Mentor/Being a Mentor
Mentors help shape a decision-making, and decisions shape a
life. Many successful people have had mentors at every
stage of their lives. Students can find mentors in their
school, family, community, faith community, and place of
employment. For tips on finding a mentor, go
Live to Work...
People are happier if they like the work they do.
Finding work that's a good match a person isn't always easy,
though. It can take time to learn what we like and where
our skills are a good fit. Identifying long-term goals can
help keep short-term challenges in perspective.
...Work to Live
Most of us have to work to support ourselves financially.
Many students have never seen a full household budget, including
rent or mortgage, groceries, clothing, laundry, health care,
utilities (electricity, heat, phone, water, cable),
transportation (public transit or automobile costs),
entertainment, and savings for retirement, emergencies,
vacation, and long-term goals like buying a car or house.
A sample budget can be found at the Maryland Business Roundtable
for Education site
www.BeWhatIWantToBe.com. Try making your own budget.
You can check salaries for different careers at the Bureau of
Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
The Internet has lots of
free information not all of it accurate. Here are some
Other College Information
The Maryland College Student Transfer Guide
is online at
For community to 4-year college transfer equivalents,
go to http://ARTweb.USMD.edu
For student athletes:
For international students:
If you want to train for a craft or trade career,
check community college programs, as well as private career
schools. Program lists and related information can be
Financial Aid Information
Look here for Student Financial Assistance pages to learn
about State student financial aid programs.
Questions? Contact the Maryland Higher Education
Commission (MHEC) Office of Student Financial Assistance at
(410)260-4565 or, outside 410, 1-800-974-1024 and TTY:
The gateway to State & Federal student aid is the completion
of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the FAFSA) at
www.FAFSA.ed.gov If you
have never completed a web-based FAFSA visit the FAFSA demo
Remember that the FAFSA is FREE!
Some sites charge you to fil it--this is unnecessary.
Help for the FAFSA is also available through College Goal
www.Go2Goal.org for a list of sites and dates.
The FAFSA4Caster can help students estimate their
federal aid; look for it at
Many colleges and scholarship programs require the CSS/Financial
https://ProfileOnline.CollegeBoard.com See the
scholarship search at
Many of the following sites have information for both
students and their parents or guardians:
much of Maryland)
www.ACT.org (and has a parent
(Native American Fund)
www.NACACnet.org counseling & testing websites
My major not offered in MD? The Academic
Common Market or Legislative Scholarships programs might
help with out-of-state costs; for details, check
Check with the financial aid office of every college to which
you apply--each has its own forms and deadlines!
Next Page Choosing a College