College Financial Aid Video

A video put out by the University of Alaska "Financial Aid for College" is available in our Soldotna and Homer office. This is a 37 minute video which can be viewed in our office or checked out. More information on financing a college education can be found by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Step 1: Why go?

Do you know why you should be thinking about education after High School?

The answer is that education pays off. The more education you have, the more options you will have. People who graduate from college earn more money than those who don't go to college - as much as $1 million more during their lives. College graduates also have more career options and move to higher job levels more easily. So, increase your options by considering higher education.

But why should you think about college now, if you don't have to apply until you are in the 12th grade?

The answer is simple. When you apply to college, the admission officers look at everything you did in high school. Then they decide whether they think you can handle college work. In deciding whom to admit, colleges look at:

  • The high school courses you took, grades, and class rank.
  • College entrance exam scores like the SAT and ACT.
  • Your extracurricular activities (clubs, civic organizations, community service, jobs).
  • The quality of the essay you send with application.
  • Your teacher recommendations

So your planning must start now!

Use this website for help and as a guide.

  • It will help you every step of the way, from now until you get into college.
  • Look at the specific tasks you need to do each year. Check them off as you go.
  • The steps may seem hard, but if you take them one at a time, you will make it to college. While this web site can help you, it's not your only resource.
  • Involve your parents, and other family members in the process so they can help you achieve your personal goals.
  • Talk to everyone - Talk to teachers, counselors and adults you trust. Don't be shy. Seek help when you need it.
  • DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE COST! One last note: If you are worried about how much college will cost, remember there are scholarships and financial aid available. So don't be scared away by the costs

Step 2: How to get to college

1. Take High School Courses at a college preparatory level.

Did you know that high schools offer courses at different levels - honor, college preparatory, business, and vocational? The college preparatory courses are the ones most colleges require. If you don't take these, you may limit your college opportunities. Even if you're not sure you want to attend college, these courses will keep your options open and prepare you for both college and work. Meet with your advisor to plan your schedule. Keep in mind that the courses listed below are the minimum requirements for most four-year colleges.

High School Course Work


4 yrs

With some College prep English.


3-4 yrs

Including Algebra I & II and Geometry.


3-4 yrs

Usually, Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics & 2 lab courses.

Social Studies

3 yrs

For example: World History, U.S. History, and Government.

Foreign Language

2 yrs

Of the same language (many schools require three years).


3 yrs

Courses of your choice - select courses that will enhance your skills.

Electives that will help you include computer science, fine arts, typing, and especially honors and advanced placement courses if they are offered. Also, check with your advisor about taking college level courses at KPC.

2. Have a monthly planning schedule in place.

Junior Year
September Sign up to take the PSAT/NMSQT.
Check for scholarships or internships offered to Juniors.
October Take the PSAT/NMSQT.
November Start searching for colleges.
December Check your PSAT/NMSQT scores online.
January Register online for the spring SAT tests.
Check for scholarships or internships offered to Juniors.
February Continue to look for potential colleges.
March Line up a summer job for more college money.
April Study for the May SAT.
May Take the SAT.
Check for scholarships or internships offered to Juniors.
June-Aug Work at a job, internship or do course work to help you prepare for college. Narrow down your list of colleges and/or go visit college campuses to see what they have to offer you.

Senior Year
IMPORTANT: Check for scholarships, student aid, grants and loans all year long. Many opportunities come along at different times and throughout the entire school year, so check back often with your advisor.
August Check with Counselor about test requirements.
Pick up SAT/ACT exam applications, complete and file (mail or online).

Meet with counselor about plans for post-secondary training.
Check for scholarships and grants.
Look into student loans (if needed).


Request college applications.
Get recommendations from teachers, counselors or community members at least 2 weeks prior to scholarship deadlines.
Continue to get recommendations and check into scholarships, grants and loans.


SAT/ACT tests.
Narrow list to 2-3 schools.
Request college applications.


SAT/ACT tests.
Complete and mail college applications.
Parents: organize your taxes.


Pick up and complete FAFSA.
Have school send 7th semester transcripts to colleges.
The last SAT that can be used for admissions purposes is given this month.


Check for any Local Scholarship Applications.
Apply for an Alaska State Student Loan.
Parents: get information about loans.

March Colleges will notify about acceptance.
Some colleges will send a financial aid offer to the student and family.
April Colleges will notify about acceptance.
Colleges will send a financial aid offer to the student and family.
Make decisions about which college to attend, respond to colleges with yes or no.
May Concentrate on graduation!
Send final transcript to colleges after grade have been processed.
Get a summer job!

Step 7: Career Information

Do you know what you want to do for a future career?

Some of us do, others are not sure. If you would like to take a couple of different tests to help you make a decision as to what might be some good careers, try the 2 test links on the left side of this window. They will take you to a couple of different websites with some good tests. They will help you decide what you have a natural aptitude for.

The Princton Review Career Quiz

MAPP - Motivational Assessment of Personal Potential

Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS)
For logging in (case sensitive):
Username: kenaiconnect
Password: akcis02

State of Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Step 3: PSAT, SAT & ACT

Why do I want to take the PSAT/NMSQT

PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test™. It also gives you a chance to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs. The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are: to receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study, to see how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college, and to prepare for the SAT.

Why do I want to take the ACT?

The ACT test assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.

The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay.

*Some colleges have a preferred test for enterance into their programs. Check with the colleges you are applying to and find out what they prefer or require.

Why do I want to take the SAT?

"The SAT scores help colleges better understand how your skills compare with other college-bound students."

The SAT is a test that is broken into two parts.

The Reasoning Test and the Subject Tests. (See info below)

The Reasoning Test measures skills such as: critical thinking, writing, and mathmatical reasoning. These are important skills that students need to have to take college-level courses.

*Some colleges have a preferred test for enterance into their programs. Check with the colleges you are applying to and find out what they prefer or require.

Upcoming SAT Test Dates: (Please contact your advisor for locations)

Click Here for current test dates and fees.

About the SAT Reasoning Test

The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills you'll need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well you analyze and solve problems—skills you learned in school that you'll need in college. The SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200—800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice and the essay.

It is administered seven times a year. The SAT includes several different question types, including: a student-produced essay, multiple-choice questions, and student-produced responses (grid-ins).

The SAT is comprised of 10 total testing sections. The first section is always a 25-minute essay and last section is always a 10-minute multiple-choice writing section. Sections two through seven are 25-minute sections. Sections eight and nine are 20-minute sections.

About the SAT Subject Tests:

Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as your ability to apply that knowledge.

Students take the Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects like English, history, mathematics, science, and language.

Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admissions, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Used in combination with other background information (your high school record, scores from other tests like the SAT Reasoning Test, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a dependable measure of your academic achievement and are a good predictor of future performance.

Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admissions or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.

Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas: English History and Social Studies Mathematics Science Languages. All Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice tests. However, some of these tests have unique formats.

SAT Test - Special consideration for Homeschoolers...

Home-schooled students should consider taking one or more Subject Tests.

By taking Subject Tests, your child can demonstrate their academic strengths to colleges.

Some colleges require home-schoolers to take one or more Subject Tests for admission or placement.

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