The guidance students deserve.
We walk alongside students to assist in planning course loads that are appropriately challenging to help students achieve their postsecondary goals, while also encouraging them to maintain a healthy life balance. Our department thoughtfully utilizes a wraparound model of counseling, getting to know our students beginning in 9th grade, helping them make informed decisions about developing a four year plan, and guiding them toward their future goals.
These sites are an excellent way to research and explore the numerous colleges and universities around the country. It’s important for families to realize that not one website has all the information regarding a college/university and the most accurate source will always be the college/university site.
- American College Testing – act.org
- Campus Tours – campustours.com
- Christian College Guide – christiancollegeguide.net
- College Board – collegeboard.org
- College Xpress – collegexpress.com
- College Navigator – nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
- College Prowler – collegeprowler.com/finder/
- Colleges that Change Lives – www.ctcl.org/
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities – www.edonline.com/cq/hbcu/
- NAIA - www.naia.org
- NCAA – ncaa.org
- US News: Best Colleges Rankings – www.usnews.com/education
Scholarships & Grants
Grants and scholarships are the best types of financial aid because they do not need to be repaid. These two types of aid are based either on need or merit. Need-based aid is awarded to students based on your family’s financial situation, while merit-based aide is awarded for strong academic skill or talent.
Loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid. Loans based on financial need provide a lower interest rate and are subsidized by the federal government. Loans not based on need are available, but in most cases have a higher interest rate and payments must be made while the student is attending college.
Always check the financial aid office of the college/university that you are considering for additional grant and scholarship information. We do not recommend using scholarship search organizations that charge a fee. These companies tend to be scams. Researching scholarships will take time and effort, but the result of your efforts may prove to be well worth your hard work.
The following websites are great resources for families looking to receive financial aid through scholarships, loans, and grants.
- Asian Pacific Fund
- College Board – Assists in locating scholarships, internships, grants, and loans that match a student’s education level, talents, and background.
- CSS Profile
- FinAid – This site offers information on all types of financial aid, scholarships, grants and loans.
- Fast Web – This site offers a comprehensive list of scholarships and additional websites.
- Hispanic College Fund
- Scholarships.com – This site offers customized scholarship opportunities after completing a survey.
Applying for Financial Aid
The first step in the financial aid process is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required by most colleges and universities and may be found online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The application is processed by the Federal Department of Education. It is best to complete this form as soon as possible after October 1st of your senior year. If your parents’ tax returns are not finalized by that date, they may use estimates. There is time to file an amendment if there is a large discrepancy between the estimate and actual numbers.
Some private colleges may also request families to complete a CSS Profile, a form from the College Scholarship Service, which is in addition to the FAFSA. This site typically opens on October 1st. It is not free, so be sure to complete the document and make the correct payment well in advance of the due date.
A list of current scholarships can be found on Naviance under “Colleges,” then “Scholarships and Money”.
Please contact your counselor at Minnehaha Academy if you have any questions or need additional information or assistance.
The ACT test is offered at Minnehaha Academy in February. We also have a free ACT online test prep tool through Naviance for Juniors and Seniors.
Applying for Accommodations on College Admissions Tests
Depending on your student’s special learning need(s), he/she may be eligible for accommodations on the following college admission standardized test: College Board Exams (PSAT, SAT, & AP) and ACT Exams (Aspire & ACT).
Both the College Board and ACT have a prescribed process for applying for and receiving accommodations. With both programs, it is incumbent upon the student and parents to initiate the process. The entire process from start to finish can take several weeks so it is a good idea to plan accordingly. The counseling department sends out a letter each year outlining the process. If you would like more information, please contact your counselor.
Test Preparation Websites
The following links will provide you with information on college admissions testing, and point you towards reputable testing preparation websites.
- ACT Test – dates, prep, registration, general information
- College Board – Advanced Placement Exams, PSAT, SAT test-dates, prep, registration, general info.
- Collegeboard SAT Practice and Subject Tests- sat.collegeboard.org
- Educational Testing Service
- Fairtest, Test Optional Schools – www.fairtest.org/university/optional
- SAT Subject Test Schools – www.compassprep.com/admissions_req_subjects.aspx
- Major Test-Free SAT Prep – www.majortests.com/
- Number2.com-Free Test Prep – www.number2.com/