College Planning Guide for High School Students

Ready for the Next Chapter

“Thank you!” That’s what your future self will likely say to you for taking the initiative and time to learn about applying to college now. After all, the process — researching schools, doing applications, figuring out how to pay for school — is hardly quick and simple.

In fact,“Project: Get Into College” may come to feel like a part-time job at times. Even reading this guide, which lays out some of the basics of what you’ll need to know and do, may seem like … a lot. That’s why you’ll probably want to break down the process into manageable chunks, including reading this guide. Our recommendation: skim it first, bookmark it, and then come back as questions come up.

If you’re prepping for college with a little help from Mom and Dad, ask them to check out our College Planning Guide for Parents!

Basic Prep for Juniors and Seniors

Check out some helpful tips for getting the most out of high school and making smart choices — before you even start applying to colleges.

What to Know When You’re Applying

Where should you go to college? How many schools should you apply to? Do you really need to apply early action? We’ll answer all these questions and more. And if you’re not already burned out on tests, try taking our Quiz: What College Should I Go to?

Questions about paying for college? Speak with a specialist.

Know your options and break down your financial aid package with someone who gets it.

Schedule a call today — there’s no cost or commitment, just solid advice.

Figuring Out How to Pay for College

If college is in your future, you’ll need to take a good look at your finances. These resources will help you get a better understanding of how you’ll pay for college, starting with the basics.

What you need to know about student loans, grants, and scholarships.

Depending on where your school is, you have different options when it comes to getting the money you need to pay for school. Here are some resources to help.

Select your state to get started:

Filling Out the FAFSA

Learn everything you need to know about the FAFSA — for starters, what it stands for and when you need to fill it out. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out our FAFSA hub page for even more on the topic.

Making Your College Decision

A lot goes into making your choice on a school. These articles can help you navigate the next steps once your applications are sent and your offer letters start rolling in.

Get Started With a Private Student Loan

If you’ve exhausted all federal student aid options, no-fee private student loans from SoFi can help you pay for school. The online application process is easy, and you can see rates and terms in just minutes. Repayment plans are flexible, so you can find an option that works for your financial plan and budget.

Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

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