Understand the best college options and how to get there.

Steps leading to columned building

Taste college in high school.

There are many ways to earn college credits in high school – dual credit, dual enrollment, AP, IB. Make sure you understand the difference and how those credits will transfer toward your final degree program.

Icon: diploma with award ribbon

Ace college admission tests.

You’ve worked for years to have the grades and extracurriculars for your top-choice school. Make sure your scores are as awesome as you are with preparation materials.

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Compare schools.

Tools like College Scorecard and Compare College TX help you compare colleges based on things like cost and graduation rate. They'll help you find affordable options and make sure you invest wisely.

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Already time to apply?

If you've already done your research and are ready to start your applications, head to our Applying to College page. It will provide you more specific tools and next steps.

Important Dates and Deadlines

JUN
2

GRADES 11 &12

June SAT test date

JUN
9

GRADES 11 & 12

June ACT test date

AUG

GRADE 10

Sign up for a PSAT prep class

OCT
01

GRADE 12

Common applications open. Start applying to college!

All Resources for College Planning

Early High School

Maximize Winter Break at Any Age
BLOG

Ahhh, winter break! Time to rest and relax. It’s also a great opportunity to zero in on your future. For students with their eyes set on college, take the most of your winter break with these tips

Trees covered in snow
Career Clusters and Endorsements
BLOG

What are the differences between Career Clusters and Endorsements, and how do they hang together?
This is the second in a series of posts on high school endorsements.

Icon of lightbulb surrounded by smaller icons of calculators, beakers, atoms and graphs
When and Why to Take the TSIA
BLOG

The Texas Success Initiative Assessments (TSIA) are part of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) program designed to help a student's college or university determine if the student is ready for college-level coursework in reading, writing, and mathematics. Let us explain when and why to take the exam!

Woman's hands working at laptop
Resources to Share: National Merit Scholarship
BLOG

The fall is PSAT season, which means students have questions about the National Merit Scholarship. Often, students don’t fully understand why the PSAT is important, except as a practice for the SAT. We've created simple graphs that can help you guide your students.

Text - help students understand the national merit scholarship
TASFA: Help Texas Residents Access Financial Aid
FINANCE

Undocumented and DACA-status students are often confused or frightened about how to seek financial aid. In today’s climate, students may have a particularly hard time seeking this sort of help from authority figures. As a Texas educator, you can assure students that in-state financial aid is available to all students who reside here, not just citizens.

Texas Flag labeled Texas Application for State Financial Aid
ACT vs SAT
BLOG

Students often ask themselves, do I take the SAT or the ACT? We do recommend that students take full length practice tests of both, or even take both tests (both offer fee waivers!) - but included here is a chart detailing the similarities and differences between the two major college exams.

Text logos for SAT and ACT
MiddleGalaxy
JOBS AND CAREERS

Lead a space voyage in this web and mobile game exploring the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for a variety of careers.

Swirling galaxies with MiddleGalaxy logo
Share Your Road
JOBS AND CAREERS

Discover opportunities you never knew existed! Texans share their career journeys. Explore their stories and get inspired.

Screenshot of career profile showing education, skills and tasks
Adventures in Education
FINANCES

Access financial aid information, money management tools, and scholarship opportunities as students prepare to pay for college.

Screenshot of AIE homepage: colorful blocks with images of students and classrooms
Compare College TX
COLLEGE PLANNING

Compare College TX enables you to compare Texas public two- and four-year universities by cost, graduation rate, and more.

Icon of diploma with price tag, reading the average annual tuition and fees for a college varies substantially
GenTX
COLLEGE PLANNING

Gain access to a collection of resources that help you and your student begin preparing for college in high school – including admissions, financial aid, and more.

GenTX homepage with announcement for May 4 Decision day
College for All Texans
COLLEGE PLANNING | FINANCES

Find out your options on how to pay for college education costs. Understand tuition and fees, financial aid, and scholarships and loans.

Homepage with options for students, military and adult learners
Texas GEAR UP
COLLEGE PLANNING

High school students plan for college and career with resources provided by Texas GEAR UP. Interactive games and tools set them on the path to future success.

Screenshot of gearup homepage: a pug in space with headline the one thing you can't go to college without
BigFuture
COLLEGE PLANNING

Learn what colleges offer your major, where you can get in, how much schools cost, and more with this College Board resource.

Web screenshot: Young girl smiling. Options to find a college, pay for college or make a plan
Texas Career Check
JOBS AND CAREERS

Learn about hundreds of careers with this career search for high school students. Explore salaries, popularity, and more. 

Screenshot of Texas Career Check webpage: young boy in wheelchair, tabs labeled explore careers and explore education
Your Bright Future
COLLEGE PLANNING | JOBS AND CAREERS

Use the resources on this site to help students explore careers. Your Bright Future is the Texas Workforce Commission hub for informing high school students about labor market Information.

Screenshot of homepage: Woman reaching to the sky, tabs for job seekers, employers, workforce partners and families
Roadtrip Nation
JOBS AND CAREERS

Students travel across the nation to talk to their heroes and job crushes and understand college and career decisions along the way.

Texas Roadtrip homepage: Texas sky with label high school is a time to explore, create, and make mistakes
Khan Academy SAT Prep
COLLEGE PLANNING

Prepare students for the SAT with lessons and practice tests from this official partner of the College Board.

Screenshot: Homepage titled official SAT practice with button to start practicing

Late High School

College Costs: Four Tips for Four Types
BLOG

As college acceptances and financial aid award letters start rolling in for high school seniors, families are beginning to count the cost of these postsecondary options. The cost of attendance for each college includes four main types of expenses. Understanding these types of expenses, some direct and some indirect, will help families decide whether a college is a financial fit and find ways to cut costs.

Leader Fellow Jenifer Price
Maximize Winter Break at Any Age
BLOG

Ahhh, winter break! Time to rest and relax. It’s also a great opportunity to zero in on your future. For students with their eyes set on college, take the most of your winter break with these tips

Trees covered in snow
Starting the Conversation: Financial Aid Award Letters
BLOG

As we leave 2018 FAFSA priority deadlines behind us, students are checking their portals and mailboxes for their financial aid award letters. As they gear up to make big decisions about their financial and educational future, here are a series of helpful terms and questions to help guide students through their award letters.

Icons: wrapped present for gift aid, paper on clip board for loans, hand holding dollars for work study
Career Clusters and Endorsements
BLOG

What are the differences between Career Clusters and Endorsements, and how do they hang together?
This is the second in a series of posts on high school endorsements.

Icon of lightbulb surrounded by smaller icons of calculators, beakers, atoms and graphs
The Basics: Scholarship Applications
BLOG

Starting the scholarship process can be overwhelming for students! Here, we’ve organized our tips into four simple steps to get students started on their application process, with downloadable resources for students, parents, and educators.

Image of George Washington from the dollar bill winking. Headline: Get money.
When and Why to Take the TSIA
BLOG

The Texas Success Initiative Assessments (TSIA) are part of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) program designed to help a student's college or university determine if the student is ready for college-level coursework in reading, writing, and mathematics. Let us explain when and why to take the exam!

Woman's hands working at laptop
Resources to Share: National Merit Scholarship
BLOG

The fall is PSAT season, which means students have questions about the National Merit Scholarship. Often, students don’t fully understand why the PSAT is important, except as a practice for the SAT. We've created simple graphs that can help you guide your students.

Text - help students understand the national merit scholarship
Access Additional College Scholarship Funds with CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
BLOG

In October, many college counselors and advisers are heads-down focused on helping students with FAFSA and TASFA applications. However, did you know students and families may qualify for additional financial aid through the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE application? This application is used by 300+ colleges and scholarship providers and, like the SAT, is administered by the College Board.

Text: CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
Navigating the Many College Application Systems
BLOG

The various college application systems each have unique characteristics that that can make it hard for even the most seasoned counselor to quickly and easily remember specific details. Fortunately, Texas OnCourse has put together a one page resource you can hang in your classroom to make it easy to remember.

Text: Apply Texas, Common App, Coalition App, Universal App
TASFA: Help Texas Residents Access Financial Aid
FINANCE

Undocumented and DACA-status students are often confused or frightened about how to seek financial aid. In today’s climate, students may have a particularly hard time seeking this sort of help from authority figures. As a Texas educator, you can assure students that in-state financial aid is available to all students who reside here, not just citizens.

Texas Flag labeled Texas Application for State Financial Aid
ACT vs SAT
BLOG

Students often ask themselves, do I take the SAT or the ACT? We do recommend that students take full length practice tests of both, or even take both tests (both offer fee waivers!) - but included here is a chart detailing the similarities and differences between the two major college exams.

Text logos for SAT and ACT
Common App: 3 Things to Know
BLOG

While the Common App makes it easier to apply to many colleges, including most Ivy League schools and many private colleges across the nation, that doesn’t make the college application process simple. Here are 3 top tips for students as well as for counselors, parents and guardians using the Common App.

Text: Our top tips for the Common Application
Best Practices: FAFSA Resources
BLOG

Among young people who did not finish college, nearly seven in 10 have no idea what FAFSA is, according to a 2011 survey. This not only undercuts their ability to pay for, and complete, college. It also makes them vulnerable to scamming and other malicious acts.

Text: The good, the bad and the ugly
THECB Student Loans
FINANCIAL AID

Since 1965, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has provided low-interest student loans in Texas to Texas residents who are eligible to pay in-state tuition. Because THECB does not sell its loans, all loans are serviced at THECB until they are paid in full.

Screenshot of THECB homepage: Man in grad cap, 60x30TX logo
Share Your Road
JOBS AND CAREERS

Discover opportunities you never knew existed! Texans share their career journeys. Explore their stories and get inspired.

Screenshot of career profile showing education, skills and tasks
Adventures in Education
FINANCES

Access financial aid information, money management tools, and scholarship opportunities as students prepare to pay for college.

Screenshot of AIE homepage: colorful blocks with images of students and classrooms
Federal Student Aid
FINANCES

Understand exactly how FAFSA funds are distributed and benefit students with this tool from the US Department of Education.

Screenshot: Federal Student Aid Homepage with images of users diverse in age, race and gender
Compare College TX
COLLEGE PLANNING

Compare College TX enables you to compare Texas public two- and four-year universities by cost, graduation rate, and more.

Icon of diploma with price tag, reading the average annual tuition and fees for a college varies substantially
GenTX
COLLEGE PLANNING

Gain access to a collection of resources that help you and your student begin preparing for college in high school – including admissions, financial aid, and more.

GenTX homepage with announcement for May 4 Decision day
College for All Texans
COLLEGE PLANNING | FINANCES

Find out your options on how to pay for college education costs. Understand tuition and fees, financial aid, and scholarships and loans.

Homepage with options for students, military and adult learners
College Scorecard
COLLEGE PLANNING | FINANCES

Compare colleges and universities based on information such as average cost, graduation rate, and salary after graduation.

Web screenshot: Search for colleges by programs, location, size, name
Texas GEAR UP
COLLEGE PLANNING

High school students plan for college and career with resources provided by Texas GEAR UP. Interactive games and tools set them on the path to future success.

Screenshot of gearup homepage: a pug in space with headline the one thing you can't go to college without
BigFuture
COLLEGE PLANNING

Learn what colleges offer your major, where you can get in, how much schools cost, and more with this College Board resource.

Web screenshot: Young girl smiling. Options to find a college, pay for college or make a plan
Texas Career Check
JOBS AND CAREERS

Learn about hundreds of careers with this career search for high school students. Explore salaries, popularity, and more. 

Screenshot of Texas Career Check webpage: young boy in wheelchair, tabs labeled explore careers and explore education
Your Bright Future
COLLEGE PLANNING | JOBS AND CAREERS

Use the resources on this site to help students explore careers. Your Bright Future is the Texas Workforce Commission hub for informing high school students about labor market Information.

Screenshot of homepage: Woman reaching to the sky, tabs for job seekers, employers, workforce partners and families
Roadtrip Nation
JOBS AND CAREERS

Students travel across the nation to talk to their heroes and job crushes and understand college and career decisions along the way.

Texas Roadtrip homepage: Texas sky with label high school is a time to explore, create, and make mistakes
Khan Academy SAT Prep
COLLEGE PLANNING

Prepare students for the SAT with lessons and practice tests from this official partner of the College Board.

Screenshot: Homepage titled official SAT practice with button to start practicing
Texas Genuine
JOBS AND CAREERS | COLLEGE PLANNING

Texas Genuine enables students to explore future careers and take an assessment to understand their skills and interests. Students can use that information to explore college programs.

Screenshot of homepage with buttons to watch a video on a career assessment, and to take the assessment
My Next Move
COLLEGE PLANNING | JOBS AND CAREERS

In this resource from the US Department of Labor, explore the skills, education, and even the personality traits necessary for various careers.

Screenshot: My Next Move Homepage. Buttons to search for careers, browse careers by energy or share interests
Common App Ready
APPLYING TO COLLEGE

The Common Application provides this resource full of college essay writing tips, guidance on college recommendations, understanding application fees, fee waivers, and more.

Screenshot: Image of woman working at computer with buttons plan ahead, explore colleges, and virtual counselor