SOS College Resources

Education USA

Education USA is a site set up by the US Department of State. It appears to be more oriented toward international students, but provides some basic college information that could be useful for people who are the first in their family applying to college. There is a student section with links and information on the college application process. There is also an extensive FAQ section.

Education USA's "Student" Page

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*A Note to Users: Reposts*

The SOS College Team has recently decided to go back into our archive and repost previous links that we find to be beneficial to our users. The focus will be on links that are over a year old. Only links that are investigated, found to be still active and useful will be reposted. This effort is to ensure ease of access to resources we have already recommended, but are buried deep within the archive. Any reposts will be identified with the Repost tag (will appear as “Posted in Repost“).

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Resources for parents of college-bound students

College Parents of America is a membership organization that provides good advice and insight into college preparation and college success strategies for families.  Go here:

This one’s a link to over 40 other links useful for parents. It includes links on financial aid/scholarships, where to find cheap textbooks, career advice, and discount deals for students.  The Scholarship Lady was interviewed for one of their articles.

This site offers a wealth of articles from college parents who share their experiences with other parents. It also contains short videos to watch, a blog, and a “pick of the month” link to an e-book course on money management.

College Parenting is a free magazine that parents can subscribe to. They can pull up an e-version of the magazine to flip through, and the site contains several links to campus life information and scholarships.

This is another site, geared toward parents, that offers online, specialized guides on specific universities.

A section of is designed specifically for parents. It provides links to scholarship sites and offers a free e-newsletter to parents.

This is a mental health guide for parents to refer to while their student is in college. Parents can quickly find a doctor located near their student and may join an online discussion forum regarding college health and wellness.

This one is a section of the U.S. Department of Education site designed just for parents. It includes access to an archive of “Education News Parents Can Use,” videos dating back to 2002. In addition, the site gives links to financial aid/scholarship sites, FAQs, and tips for parents.

***Thanks to the Scholarship Street Blog for collecting these resources.***

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This site allows visitors to search for schools and careers and also contains articles and references.

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Nelnet-Education Planning and Financing

This site provides information on financing for college, general information on the college application process, and general career tips.

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SummerTIME is a summer bridge program for underrepresented college-bound students from LA Unified School District high schools.  Run out of USC’s Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, the program helps students develop their writing and “college knowledge” to ensure a successful first year.

Writing essays in college can be one of the most demanding tasks first-year students will face.   This program offers an excellent opportunity to gear up for the kinds of writing tasks college will require.

Application deadline: May 15
Program Duration: July 6-July 30th, 2010

(Since the program is offered annually, please check website for updated deadlines.)

Requirements: Personal statement, transcript, and one letter of recommendation.

Please reply to this post with news of similar programs in other parts of the country.

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College Summit

For more than a decade, has worked with more than 35,000 students and 1200 counselors to lay out planning courses for low-income students with the potential to excel in college. The following is a list of tools used to help school districts increase enrollment rates:

  • introducing a post secondary planning course for all seniors.
    – Tools: Comprehensive curriculum that guides students through every stage of planning; and a web site for students to manage their college application materials.
  • Providing teachers and counselors with professional development to lead the course.
    – Tools: summer Educators’ Institutes to equip educators to lead the course, plan lessons, and build a college culture in the classroom; plus on-site technical assistance throughout the school year from College Summit staff.
  • Training peer leaders to forge a college going culture.
    – Tools: immersion summer Workshops for each school’s influential rising seniors, where they complete their entire college application and are equipped to return to school senior year to motivate their classmates.
  • Using data to manage college enrollment progress.
    – Tools: College Application Scorecards that enable administrators to assess progress and identify improvement strategies; plus annual College Enrollment Reports.
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America’s Promise Alliance

America’s Promise Alliance is a useful website to involve parents looking to help their kids and gives different ways to lessen the gap of children who are not apt to go to college.

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Be The Perfect College Applicant

At this website, find out how to be the perfect college applicant. Colleges look for a student with a challenging curriculum and those who can succeed in the difficult classes. Out of school experience and extra-curriculur involvement makes you a more well-rounded candidate and shows your dedication to activities beyond the classroom. In addition to a strong resume, be sure to have teachers write recommendations to bring character and life to your application.

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Tip Sheets

Brag Sheet

  • A brag sheet should be filled out by a student at the beginning of senior year. This is something that can be given to teachers you would like to ask for letters of recommendation. It is also an easy way to organize your activities and achievements throughout high school.


  • For students looking at schools in California, this offers a comprehensive list of community college, California state schools, UC schools and private schools. It clearly lists all the costs and entrance requirements for each type of school.

College Information Cheat Sheet

  • This is a great sheet for all college questions you might have. It answers questions about admissions requirements, the best way to apply, and and financial aid questions.

Commonly Asked Questions about Financial Aid

  • This is a great guide to figuring out financial aid.

High School College Preparatory Checklist

  • This lists what students should be doing each year, beginning with freshman year, in order to prepare for college.

Private Colleges and Universities

  • For those interested in private schools, this gives a great overview of how the process differs, the steps necessary to apply, and opportunities for financial aid.
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