Getting Into College

It’s never too early to start looking for a good post-secondary school match for your career path.

Take the test

Most colleges and universities require either the ACT or SAT entrance examination. Be sure to ask schools in which you are interested which test they require.

These sites can provide more information on the ACT and SAT:


For help in preparing for the ACT and SAT, Zinch and Schmoop offer a free online test preparation course.

Make a list

Identify the schools to which you want to apply. Contact their admissions office and financial aid office to learn about any special considerations you might need to think about. Create a calendar of deadlines. And submit a complete application!

These sites can help you with the application process and finding the right school for you:

The College Board
a calendar for managing the applications process and FAQs

Mapping Your Future
resources on colleges and financial aid

college and grad school search

create a profile to find potential college matches

create a profile to find potential college matches

College View
set criteria to find potential college matches

Campus Tours
virtual tours of campuses

College Portraits
data on public colleges and universities

information on technical schools including Illinois

Complete the FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the financial aid form that helps the federal government determine how much financial aid you might need. Completing the FAFSA requires having tax and other information available so start early!

These sites offer help in completing the FAFSA and obtaining federal financial aid:

Student Aid on the Web
a guide to federal student aid and the process

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online

FAFSA Forecaster
estimate your financial aid award

apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete your FAFSA online

National Student Loan Data System
a central location for all student grants and loans

For more information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities, visit the Paying for College section of