Steppin’ It Up With College Planning

Planning for college is a towering task. Paying for college can be a monumental challenge. My head hurts! I can hardly imagine any of it makes sense to middle and high school students. Until My Future, My Way: First Steps Toward College came along.

The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid folks have assembled a top-shelf e-Pub booklet to frame the big, scary questions without oversimplifying them. The layout is arranged in a series of prompts, mythbusters, and graphics for the college and vocational school-bound. It tackles the “when should I begin thinking of college?” and “what can a college education do for me?” and “how will I pay for college?” sort of FAQs. And it features a nifty comparison of vocational, technical, and professional career choices as well.

065-300-00008-7The workbook is certainly not designed to replace traditional guidance counseling. The goal here is to get middle schoolers to start asking questions now that will make professional career planning less intimidating. As is often the case when undertaking something new, school kids might not even know what questions to ask. Give them a tailor-made activity book, such as My Future, My Way, and post-high school success will be that much more attainable.

Equipped with a few new life skills, 6th through 9th graders will hopefully be compelled to build a mentorship network. The workbook calls it a “college support team”—the people who can help youngsters get to college. It’s a sensible suggestion that doesn’t get enough airtime amid the all too important talk of money planning, test scores, and scholarships. Charts and checklists are great. Caring, informed people are better. As the booklet rightly points out, “Getting ready for college may seem like a lot to handle, but you don’t have to do it alone!”

Now my head doesn’t hurt as much! All joking aside, it’s nice to see real answers placed in the hands of students. A bit of good guidance is the sure footing needed for those first steps toward college.


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About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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