College Preparation & Planning

Visit the SBISD Website:

Tour the college or university of your choice - without leaving home!

Virtual High School Tours @

Am I taking the right classes?

Do you know if you're on the right path to college or career? Find out with a few helpful tips.

What can I do to get prepared and ahead for college and career?

Whether you are in middle school or high school, there is so much you can do to get ahead and be prepared.

Don't Leave it Up to Chance

Don't miss the opportunity to learn everything you know about paying for college and applying for the FAFSA.

Does a degree equal higher pay?

Career exploration is vital when making decisions regarding your future. Now is the time to look at what you love to do, what you're passionate about, and how you can make a living. There's alot to think about!

Monday, March 31, 2014

The SAT REDESIGN - What you need to know.

The College Board announced major changes to the SAT which are scheduled to take place in 2016. The redesigned SAT will focus on the knowledge and skills important for college and career readiness and  success.

SAT Revisions:

* Relevant words in context

* Command of evidence

* Optional essay analyzing a source

* Math focused on three key areas

* Problems grounded in real-world contexts 
* Analysis in science and social studies
* Founding documents and great global conversation
* No penalty for wrong answers
* The point scale will return to 1,600.

Learn more about the revised SAT.

General Information About Federal Student Financial Aid

Help students and parents prepare for college or career school. 

In order to be effective in advising students about financial aid, most school counselors, college access professionals, and other mentors want at least a basic understanding of aid and the application process. Parents are no different. Browse the pages below to find some general information, tips, and featured resources.(Department of Ed Website)

Preparing for College

It's never too early—or too late—for your students to explore options for college or career school. You can walk through some key steps in preparing for college and provide resources that can help them manage their money along the way.

Types of Aid and Eligibility

Help your students learn where financial aid comes from and what types of financial aid are available, including grants, loans, and work-study. Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria for federal student aid.


To apply for federal student aid, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSASM. Help your students understand that completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and gives them access to the largest source of college financial aid. Also get updates about the FAFSA and find FAFSA completion data.

Loan Repayment Basics

Get tips and resources to use in enhancing your students' understanding of federal student loan repaymentoptions.

Paying for College - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

From CFPB SiteFrom start to finish, we can help you make informed financial decisions about paying for college.  
  • Apply for college
  • Find financial aid
  • Attend college
  • Graduate

We're building a tool that will let you compare financial aid offers so you can see how all those numbers impact your payments down the road.

Understanding college finance

Choose a loan

Three steps that can help you get the right loan for you.

Manage your college money

Practical advice on how to make sure you're getting the best deal.

Repay student debt

Paying off student debt can be confusing. We'll walk you through how to optimize paying off your student loans, even if you're behind.

ACT Report of College and Career Readiness

Each year, ACT provides an analysis of the college and career readiness of US high school graduates based on ACT® college readiness assessment results from the high school graduating class.

ACT expands on this important research with an in-depth look at the academic readiness of African American students. Key report findings include:

  • Nearly all African American students (86%) report that they aspire to earn a post secondary degree.
  • 62% of African American students met none of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.
  • Only 10% of African American students met at least three of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.
  • After high school, 63% of African American students immediately enroll in some form of post secondary education. However, only 62% of African American students who complete their first year of post secondary education persist into the second year.
This report shines a light on the need to improve college and career readiness for African American students while also addressing policies to assist these students with the challenges they may face.

The ACT Team 

HCY Le Tendre Scholarship

Scholarship Opportunity
The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth provides scholarship assistance to students who are homeless or have experienced homelessness during their K-12 school attendance, and who have demonstrated average or higher than average achievement. Applicants may be high school seniors, students enrolled in a GED or other alternative education program, or recent graduates/GED recipients.
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is a federally funded information and technical assistance center at SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). NCHE hosts the Homeless Education Listserv to help administrators, educators, advocates, and service providers share information and ideas on meeting the educational needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The ideas on this listserv do not reflect the views of NCHE, SERVE, or UNCG.  ALL LOBBYING ACTIVITIES ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. 

NAEHCY LeTendre Scholarship Applications Accepted Now through June 16, 2014

Complete scholarship information can be found at :

Scholarship is posted in Naviance Scholarship site.

2,000 "No Essay" College ScholarshipTM

Super easy. Anyone can win. Scholarships don't get any easier than this. Simply login or register for a free account using the form to the right and you could be the next winner! How it works The $2,000 "No Essay" Scholarship is open to all students and those planning on enrolling within 12 months. The monthly winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly and announced on the "No Essay" Facebook page. One entry per person, but you can come back each month to try again. 

 NEXT DEADLINE:March 31st at 11:00 p.m. EST

Career Colleges and Schools of Texas: HS Scholarships

Open to 10 Seniors at Each High School in Texas

The Career Colleges & Schools of Texas (CCST) are financing 1,000 scholarships for high school students in Texas. Scholarship specifications and requirements include:

- One, $1,000 scholarship per graduate for up to ten seniors at each Texas high school
- The scholarship is accepted at many of CCST's member career schools.
- The selection of students who are awarded is at the sole discretion of the high school counselor.
- School counselors should only award scholarships to 2014 graduates.
- Selected students have the ability to choose which career school they wish to attend from this list:  schools participating in the CCST scholarship program

CCST gives high school counselors the chance to decide which seniors receive the scholarships because CCST knows that educators have insight into the unique need of their students. Also, because not every young adult can or wants to attend a four-year college, the CCST career colleges and schools offer a broad range of programs to help students advance in most every field. For more information about the scholarship opportunity, visit the CCST Scholarship
 Website or view the Scholarship Flyer

The CCST website also features an online searchable directory of more than 125 career schools in Texas including detailed information about class schedules, programs offered and degrees available. Graduating seniors can use this tool to find a program that fits their interests and strengths.

Create. Submit. Win. - Scholarship Opportunity

The College Internship Program (CIP) in conjunction with Matters of Community (MOC) is awarding five $1,000 scholarships to individuals to attend Summer@CIP, a two week Summer Program for young adults with Asperger's, ADHD, and other Learning Differences. Get a taste of independence while residing on a highly-rated college campus!

Learn more about Summer@CIP!

Cougar STEM Summer Camp - REGISTER TODAY

Do you want to cultivate your child's interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)? The Cougar STEM Camp is an affordable four-week camp where children entering 5th, 6th, or 7th grades get out of their desks and into the action. With activities created by educators with 60+ years of experience teaching math and science, your child will be excited to explore real-world STEM topics. 
Monday, June 9, 2014 - Wednesday, July 2, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Daily 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - Friday, August 1, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Daily
Extended day options available (7:30 AM - 9 AM and 4 PM - 5:30 PM) 

The Dream Expo @ RICE

Dream Expo Overview & Description
May 10, 2014

Rice University  

The Dream Expo event seeks to inspire adolescents to be functional in today's job market. 

All participants of the event will have an opportunity to visit interactive and informational booths and attend career related seminars. Some of the varied seminars and breakout sessions will be titled:
  • Pathway to the Dream
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  •  Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management Information System

Students from Middle School and High School are invited to participate !

Event Agenda 
  • 9 :00 - 9:30AM:   Student Check-in
  • 9:30 - 10 AM: Welcome  
  • 10:00 - 1:15 P.M

Students will circle the expo by visiting booths  and will rotate through seminars and classes.

About the Student Apprentice
The Student Apprentice is a nonprofit organization committed to providing an extraordinary program for educating future business leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and scholars. The program serves as a platform for promoting independent thinking, critical thinkers, collaboration and camaraderie. 

Students within the program have the opportunity to participate in hosting informational and networking mixers, seminars, expos, and symposiums. All events will provide students with a chance to improve and enhance their academic knowledge. 

The events will always consist of students showcasing projects that educate others or solve a real community issue. Each project will require students to utilize their reading, writing, math, science, and technological skills. 

Students within the organization will also receive training, awards, accolades and scholarships that directly contribute to their present and future academic and professional success.

For more information, contact:
Emanuel Jimenez- College- Community

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Bonnie J. Dunbar STEM Academy at teachHOUSTON

Summer Opportunity for Middle School Students - The Bonnie J. Dunbar STEM Academy
Two, One-Week Sessions to be Held in July

Bonnie J. DunbarThe Bonnie J. Dunbar STEM Academy at teachHOUSTON is designed for students entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grades who have an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The Academy curriculum incorporates STEM Design Projects and engaging hands-on lessons that encourage innovative thinking.

Facts about the STEM Academy

  • Supports middle school students who have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and introduces them to college life
  • Taught by award-winning faculty at the University of Houston
  • Students must be entering 6th, 7th, or 8th grade in the fall of 2014


STEM Design Challenge 1: July 14-18, 2014
STEM Design Challenge 2: July 21-25, 2014
Students may select to attend one or both weeks.


Bonnie J. Dunbar STEM Academy (10 am – 3 pm): $350.00/week
 (includes lunches, activities, an academy shirt and faculty instruction)
Pre-Academy Activities (8 am – 10 am): $50.00/week
Post-Academy Activities (3 pm – 5 pm): $50.00/week

Application Deadline

April 25, 2014


Feel free to contact us at or 713.743.3993.

Application and More Information

STEM Summer Camp Opportunity - ExxonMobil @ U of H

Budding scientists and engineers interested in sharpening their skills alongside professionals and a former astronaut are encouraged to apply for the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program.

This unique experience supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation includes mentoring from Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jrthe first African-American to walk in space and camp founder. “From building models of bridges to designing robots and creating spacesuits, students see first-hand engineering, science, technology and math come alive through real-world applications,” said Harris, president, The Harris Foundation.

Throughout the camp, students live on campus and participate in interactive, inquiry-based classes taught by university faculty, secondary teachers and other professionals. Campers also have the opportunity to explore local museums, nature centers and ecosystems − discovering science at work in their communities.

Students also hear from local professionals about rewarding career options in STEM fields, which will continue to see growth in the need for skilled workers. Science and engineering jobs are projected to expand at more than double the rate of the entire U.S. labor force through 2018, according to a recent STEMconnector® report.

Campus Purpose: Promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and supports historically underserved and underrepresented students with limited opportunities. Students attend the camp free of charge. 

• Students must be entering 6th, 7th, or 8th grade in the fall of 2014
• Dates: June 15-27, 2014
Application Deadline: April 4, 2014 



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Create. Enter. Inspire. Win.

Navigate Your Future Art Contest

Show us how NAVIANCE is helping you to navigate your future!

We're looking for original, creative colorful artwork, which will illustrate the benefits of Naviance, our new web based program college and career planning tool. We want you to create original artwork about how NAVIANCE is helping you NAVIGATE YOUR FUTURE! Remember to include a background that supports your idea. Your design could be seen all over the Spring Branch ISD, so make sure people from every grade level will be able to understand it. Read more >>


Monday, March 10, 2014

The 8 Steps to College INFOGRAPHIC

Finding Your Best COLLEGE FIT


Links of Interest:

Checklist for your COLLEGE CAMPUS VISIT

How to Make the Most of Your Trip

Visiting a college campus helps you get a sense of what a college — and life at that college — is like. This can help you decide whether the college is right for you.
When planning your campus visits, make sure to allow time to explore each college. While you’re there, talk to as many people as possible. These can include college admission staff, professors and students. Below are some other things you can do while visiting. Note that some activities, such as meeting with an admission officer or staying overnight in a dorm, might need to be set up in advance.

Gather Information

Find out what you need to do to apply and see if the college’s class and major offerings are what you want:

  • Take part in a group information session at the admission office.
  • Interview with an admission officer.
  • Pick up financial aid forms.
  • Sit in on a class that interests you. If classes aren’t in session, just see what the classrooms are like.
  • Meet a professor who teaches a subject that interests you.
  • Talk to students about what they think of their classes and professors.
  • Get the names of the people you meet and their business cards so you can contact them later if you have questions.

Explore the Campus

Get a feel for student life and see if this college is a place where you will do well:

  • Take a campus tour.
  • Talk to current students about life on campus and the college.
  • Check out the freshmen dorms and stay overnight with a student, if possible.
  • Visit the dining hall, fitness center, library, career center, bookstore and other campus facilities.
  • Talk to the coaches of sports that you may want to play.
  • Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.

Check Out Campus Media

Tune in to learn what’s happening on campus and what’s on students’ minds:

  • Listen to the college radio station.
  • Read the student newspaper.
  • Read other student publications, such as department newsletters, alternative newspapers and literary reviews.
  • Scan bulletin boards to see what daily student life is like.
  • Go to the career center and learn what services it offers.
  • Browse the school’s website and any campus blogs.

Questions to Ask During Your Visit

Here are some questions you may want to ask your tour guide or students you meet on campus:

  • What are the best reasons to go to this college?
  • What’s it like to go from high school to college?
  • What do you do in your free time? On the weekends?
  • What do you love about this college?
  • What do you wish you could change about this college?
  • Why did you choose this college?
  • What is it like to live here?
Adapted from Campus Visits and College Interviews by Zola Dincin Schneider.

Planning Your College Visit

Visiting a college campus is one of the most exciting steps in choosing a college. If possible, it’s best to visit colleges before your applications are due. That way, you can be confident you'd be happy at any of the colleges you’re applying to. It’s also best to go is when the college is in session. That way, you’ll get to see it when classes are meeting and day-to-day activities are taking place. Plan your visit in advance and make sure classes will be in session.

Visit the BIG FUTURE website for more information on planning your college visit.

Below are some guidelines on when to visit.

Plan your visit well ahead of time, so you can make sure that you see what you need to see and meet with the people who can tell you what you need to know.

Mondays through Thursdays are ideal for visits since campuses are generally in full swing. Visiting on a Friday may not be as practical, as students, faculty and staff might be busy with social activities starting Friday afternoon. High school holidays that fall on Mondays are often great opportunities for making college visits. Many colleges are in session on these days — and you won’t be missing any of your high school classes.

The late summer and early September before senior year are convenient times to visit, since many colleges begin their fall semester as early as mid-August. The spring of junior year is a good time if you’ve already researched colleges.

Spring break is also good if you play fall sports or are considering applying under early action or early decision plans, which usually have application deadlines in November of senior year. It may be more useful for seniors to wait until the fall through winter to make their visits.

That timing can help seniors narrow college lists.

Many colleges invite their accepted candidates to spend a few days on campus before the May 1 reply date to encourage them to enroll. This is a good opportunity to make some in-depth comparisons between the colleges that have accepted you. However, if you're planning to wait to visit colleges until after you've received acceptances, keep in mind that you may have only a few weeks to visit and make your decision.

Most colleges don't mail acceptance letters before April, and the standard reply date is May 1.

Check specific dates with each college so you don't arrive when the campus is deserted. Call the college or look on the college’s website for the academic calendar to find out when breaks, reading periods and exam periods are scheduled.

Colleges are not in session during:
  • Thanksgiving weekend
  • Christmas week
  • Winter and spring breaks
  • Summer, unless there is a summer session
College classes don’t meet during:
  • Reading period
  • Exam weeks
  • Saturdays and Sundays

The admission office may be closed to visitors at certain times. For example, admission officers may be too busy to meet with you in May and April — that’s when they’re reviewing applications. Check with the college. Adapted from Campus Visits and College Interviews by Zola Dincin Schneider.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

HCC Foundation accepting scholarship applications until June 13

A wide variety of scholarships are available to HCC students through the HCC Foundation. All scholarships require that the student be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours at HCC; many require enrollment in 9 or 12 credit hours. Applicants will be considered for every scholarship for which they appear eligible.

The scholarship application for 2014-2015 is available until 2 p.m. on June 13, 2014. No applications will be accepted after the deadline and no exceptions will be made. Scholarships are awarded based upon various criteria.

For details on available scholarships and how to apply, visit

Major Choices: Online tool helps your students decide how future careers affect loan repayment

How much should a student borrow to finance a degree? While college graduates typically earn more than high school graduates, not all college graduates earn the same. Students often struggle with finding the right balance between following their hearts into lesser paying careers on the one hand, and building a stable financial future on the other.
To help address this issue, TG is pleased to provide Major Choices, an online calculator that students can use to get an estimate of median debt-to-income ratios for particular majors at many public college and proprietary institutions within Texas. This ratio can help students estimate the amount of their first year earnings that will go toward student loan payments.
The calculator can be viewed from any type of electronic device, including mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers; provides pop-up help in understanding postsecondary education terminology; and includes links to essential information specific to a student's needs, including:
  • Scholarship searches tailored to a chosen major
  • Institutional net price calculators
  • Money management tips and student loan repayment options
The online calculator allows students the opportunity to compare information for different majors at the same institution, or compare the same major at different schools. With more than 400 majors listed, students can see how their decisions about college may affect their ability to repay student loans based on potential income during the first year after graduation.
The calculator was created as a companion tool to Balancing Passion and Practicality: The Role of Debt and Major on Students' Financial Outcomes

It's never too soon for students to think about how they will repay their debts, given their likely salaries. Armed with this knowledge, students can make academic decisions that allow them to pursue their passions without ignoring financial realities.

Students and parents can find the online calculator and other college planning resources at

College Greenlight and Cappex Join to Present Scholarship Marathon

The Scholarship Marathon is a free virtual event that runs all day at It starts at 9am, and is a chance for students from all over the country to win raffles, prizes, and money for college just for applying to scholarships!

How it works: Registration will be available very soon. You'll fill out some simple info, and if you don't already have a College Greenlight profile you can complete one with your registration. Then on the 22nd you can join us online anytime from 9 to 9 (am to pm) to upload proof of your completed scholarship applications, enter raffles and giveaways, get one-on-one scholarship help from our team, and even win a $1,000 scholarship from us just for participating!

For Your Young Leaders!

2014 Summit Scholarship Application for Young Leaders

Are you ready to share your voice in Washington, DC? Are you a GradNation champion? Are you interested in helping your peers graduate and meeting people who are trying to do the same?  Do you have a personal story that would inspire our participants?   Do you want to energize people about great ideas from around the country?

Join our Building a GradNation Summit (April 27-29) and represent the power of youth!  Young leaders have played many meaningful roles at our convenings and we are excited to offer attendance scholarships (including meals, transportation and hotel) to those ages 13 to 25. This year, we are recruiting youth participants that are interested in speaking, reporting, and guiding others at our Summit.
Application involves two easy steps.
  1. Complete the short application by March 1st. (REQUIRED)
  2. Visit and share your story. (OPTIONAL BUT STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)
This application is intended for young leaders who have an interest in our mission and who would like to attend the Summit. Please read the application thoroughly before completing.
Application Guidelines:
  1. Applications must be received by March 1
  2. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  3. All decisions are the sole discretion of America's Promise Alliance.
  4. Filling out this application is not a guarantee that America's Promise Alliance will pay for you to attend the Summit. However, all young leaders are welcome to register for and attend the Summit at their own expense.
Questions? Please contact Cody Oliver at
CLICK HERE to get started. (Received this late but you may know of a student who is willing to work on this.)

There's Something Special About Being First...

...especially being the first in your family to attend and graduate from college.
I'm First is an online community for first-generation college students-and their supporters. Hear inspiring stories and share your own, discover colleges that care about first-gen students, find answers to your questions about college, and receive guidance on the road to and through college.
I'm First Scholarship opportunity if first generation to goto college and attending:

Hardin-Simmons University (2006)
Rice University (2013)
Southern Methodist University (2009)
Texas Christian University (2011)
Texas State University (2010)*
University of Houston (2009)

Scholarship on Naviance Scholarship Site

Invite your first generation students to sign up at