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Here you will  find information about life beyond high school including: the college admissions process; writing college application essays; applying to colleges; choosing a college that’s right for you; cutting the cost of college; getting oriented once you’re there; college alternatives; taking a gap year; and more!

General Information 

  • College Board
    The College Board official website has information for students and parents about standardized testing, financial aid opportunities, selecting a major, career planning, and much more.
  • Federal Student Aid
    Find information, from FAFSA to loans & types of aid, to resources about aid for parents, adult students, or study abroad. Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.
  • Financial Aid Toolkit
    This comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education consolidates financial aid resources & content into a searchable online database.
  • Newton South High School
    NSHS’s website features links to college and career counseling, information about standardized tests and college visits, a downloadable college planning guide and much more. 
  • Newton North High School
    NNHS’s website features links to college and career counseling, links to a college planning guide, testing information and much more.

The Application Process

We’ve put together a selection of books to help you prepare for the college application and admissions process, including talking about finances; preparing while in high school; and understanding the whole system.

Writing Your Application Essay

A critical part of the college application process is the admissions essay.  These resources showcase many different ways to approach the essay-writing process.

Choosing a School

Before deciding which college to attend, you need to make decisions about which schools to even consider, and to which colleges to apply.  The books below can help with that decision-making process!

Financial Aid and Scholarships

There are many ways to find help financing college, and all of those avenues can be overwhelming!  The resources below can help with navigating the entire financial aid process, as well as introduce you to various resources and scholarship possibilities.

Getting Oriented

So you got in…now what?! Below are some books to help you with adjusting to college life – whether living in a dorm; choosing a major; balancing your classes; navigating friendships; and much more.

Check out Active Minds, a non-profit organization that advocates for college students to speak openly about mental health, and to encourage seeking help when needed.

Career Development

What comes after college?  Hopefully it’s finding a job you love in a field in which you are interested!  The resources shared here can help you as you begin the interview process, look for internships, or explore beyond the field in which you majored.

College Alternatives and More

There are many opportunities available if you choose not to go directly to college, or not to go to college at all.  Whether you choose to work right away, travel, volunteer, join a gap year program, study online, or any other option, we have resources to help you.


Military and Civil Service

If you have ever considered joining the United States military – whether it be the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard – below are some books and online resources to help with your decision.

Here you can find out more about the eligibility requirements for joining the military in the United States.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Massachusetts’ civil service examinations, check out this link.

Vocational Schools and Online Options

Four-year private colleges and universities aren’t the only educational option available!  Did you know that Massachusetts has 15 community colleges?  You can find out more about each of them through the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges

Check out Coursera, where you can learn a variety of different skills with courses, certificates, and degrees, all online from world-class universities and companies.If you’d like to learn more about vocational education opportunities, check out this websiteHere you can find more information specific to Massachusetts.  In addition, you can read more about finding apprenticeships here.

Travel and Volunteer Opportunities

If you have the travel bug, there are many options for travel both pre and post-college.  You can teach English abroad before college — visit TEFL.org for more information on how to teach English as a foreign language before having a degree. 

Other options include hands-on volunteer work with the Peace Corps, taking a gap year with City Year, or connecting with students around the world in Global Citizen Academy

Working Right Out of High School

We all know there are many different paths to success before, during, and after high school.  KidsHealth has a great website that helps teens decide what they want to do after high school. If you’d like to work right away, you can get information about real estate licensing in Massachusetts, or check out STEM internships here in Massachusetts for high school students.