Get Ready for College - LCHS North

Not sure about college? Apply for the money now and decide later. If you wait, chances are you’ll get less.

Click here for a College Planning Checklist. Beginning in Sophomore year, this printout walks you through what you should do to prepare for college sophomore year, junior year and senior year.



Misconceptions In the College Application Process - Courtesy of the Fair Opportunity Project

The Fair Opportunity Project - Our award-winning resources are here to help you apply to college, and afford it too. Join our mentorship program or read through our all-in-one guide. All 100% free.

Things we hear that, well, just really aren't true about how college works:

This fall, we’ve been virtually meeting with and talking to high school students from all over in our virtual office hours, in our live info sessions and through our mentors. (You can connect to all of these free services on our website, btw.)

We hear lots of questions and mistaken ideas about how college works. Let’s address some of those misconceptions here:

1. Your college list should show how ambitious and how high your aspirations are. Nope. If you only apply to colleges with very low acceptance rates, you may end up with few (or no) options next spring. The best way to build your college application list is with a few aspirational colleges, a few competitive colleges, and a few safe-bet colleges. All of the colleges on your application list should have high graduation rates, low net costs and offer the programs and environment that appeal to you.

Action Steps: Read our Guide. Do some research on College Navigator. Schedule a virtual office hour visit with us!

2. It’s hard to get financial aid so it’s not worth filling out the FAFSA. No, no, no. Let’s rephrase this: if you do not fill out the FAFSA, it WILL be hard to get financial aid. FAFSA—the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—is THE single most important step you can take in getting aid for college. Why? It is the gatekeeper for federal aid and federal subsidized loans, AND also for aid from your college and often from private scholarships. When you don’t complete the FAFSA, you remove yourself from the running for all kinds of other aid. Why would you do that?

Action Step: Google search “college goal + {your state}” and you’ll find a list of in-person and virtual, free opportunities to get free help from a financial aid expert to complete your FAFSA. It’s a FREE form to complete. We can also provide help.

3. Financial aid packages are “you get what you get.” Not true. Colleges base their offers on the family financial information that you provide, and that information can change. What if family income changes because of a lost job? Costly medical care? Colleges WILL work with you if you provide them with the details they need. The “sticker price” or published cost of tuition and fees is almost never what the average college student pays.

Action Step: SwiftStudent provides free financial aid appeal forms that were created with financial aid office advice. These forms are easy to use and provide financial aid offices with the information they need to re-evaluate your financial aid package.


Promoting the publics website

Guide to Michigan's Universities.  

Watch Recordings

If you have any questions, please contact our office.

college enrollment guide

The College Enrollment Guide offers five steps to keep you on track during the college selection and enrollment process.  It also contains helpful links to assist you with important college preparation activities like calculating college costs, applying for scholarships, preparing for college entrance exams, and taking virtual college tours.  

Virtual College Fairs

College Deadline

Check with the college(s) you are interested in attending. You may also want to ask your college about their definition of an application deadline - whether it is the date they receive your FAFSA, or the date your FAFSA is processed.

File the FAFSA form as soon as possible. There are new dates for submission of application (see our link for Financial Aid for College). It is faster and easier to apply online. Many colleges and universities require this form to be filled out and submitted for scholarships and other aid and their deadlines vary. Check the individual college website for their deadline.

On-Line Applications are available on most college websites. The on-line application process is usually less expensive and quicker and some colleges and universities offer incentives to apply online. - New College Profiles and Reviews on Cappex include videos and student reviews as well as tuition, financial aid, and detailed majors for more than 3,000 colleges. All in a very friendly, extremely convenient format! Simply go to and start searching. - your first stop for college, testing, financial aid and scholarship information. It's free, it's easy, and packed with useful information to help guide you on your path to the school of your choice.


For Parents

  • If you are a chill parent, how chill should you be?
  • If you are a bit of an intense parent, when is intense too intense?

Your Teen Magazine‘s free College Admissions Survival Guide - will help you decide how involved you want to be.


Potential College Athlete Guide

In order to play college sports, you must be eligible through the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) or the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics).  We advise all potential college athletes to aim for NCAA Division 1 Eligibility, so they can accept all offers.  Here are the steps to help you through the process of initial eligibility.  


  • Talk with your coach about your interest in playing college sports.
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your plans.  
  • Check the NCAA Division 1 minimum eligibility requirements.
  • Count your Core high school classes taken.
  • Schedule your classes to meet NCAA Division 1 eligibility requirements.
  •  Schedule your classes to meet eligibility requirements.
  • Calculate your Core GPA.  Retake classes to raise your core GPA (if needed).
  • Decide which college you will sign up to play with.
  • Complete an online application to the college of your choice.
  • Create a Parchment account to view and send your transcripts.
  • Register with or
  • Request your ACT or SAT scores be sent directly to NCAA or NAIA.
  • Request your transcripts be sent to NCAA or NAIA.




JLV College Counseling - College admissions and scholarship advice and information.  Provides tips on college search, college visits, college applications, financial aid, and scholarships.  All from a College Admissions Professional.   

Know how to go - a website dedicated to helping students prepare for college.  Lots of Resources.

Powerscore - This site shows SAT and ACT averages for a great many public, private and competitive schools. It also has free SAT help, SAT and ACT practice tests, and lots of info! Maybe the most interesting is a link (on the right) to a list of colleges that don’t require standardized test scores for admission!

College Apps - Has profile information for colleges by name, by state – you can see what your chances of getting in to a given school are, or look at a comparison of schools. Tons of “how to choose” and “how to get there” information!

The Common Application - Nearly 700 colleges participate in this program, fill out one application and apply to multiple schools.  You can dive deeper into each college and university to learn more about what each offers.

College Data - Includes a “college chances” tool and an “admissions tracker” – both good ways to see how you stack up against the current competition! Lots of other tools as well. Plus, this website allows you to create your own page to save relevant info!

Fair Opportunity Project - This is a wonderful resource for students and parents.  Check it out!

Table of Contents

  • Section I: The College Application
  • Chapter 1: College Application Timeline
  • Chapter 2: Starting Your College Search
  • Chapter 3: Standardized Tests
  • Chapter 4: Creating a College List
  • Chapter 5: Organizing the College Application
  • Chapter 6: Letters of Recommendation
  • Chapter 7: The Application
  • Chapter 8: The College Essay
  • Chapter 9: Optional Interview
  • Chapter 10: Update Letter
  • Chapter 11: Post Submission
  • Section II: Affording College
  • Chapter 12: Financial Aid
  • Chapter 13: Scholarships
  • Section III: Before College Applications
  • Chapter 14: Timeline Before College Applications
  • Chapter 15: Picking High School Courses
  • Chapter 16: Taking Initiative and Starting Projects
  • Chapter 17: Summer Experiences
  • Section IV: Essays that Worked: From Common App to Supplements
  • Chapter 18: Experience Essays
  • Chapter 19: Reflection Essays
  • Chapter 20: Strict Prompt Essays
  • Chapter 21: Short Response
  • Section V: Feedback and Additional Tools