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Post-High School Planning

Four-Year College or University

These institutions can either be public (state funded) or private (not state funded), offering academic instruction within a typical school setting.

  • Universities typically offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees within a variety of program offerings. These are typically sizable campuses with diverse
  • Colleges typically feature a smaller student population, more intimate campuses, and fewer program offerings. Colleges typically include private institutions and community, vocational, and technical specializations.

Types of Colleges:

College Tours & High School Visits

  • Review “college visits” in Naviance to learn when college representatives are coming to your school.
  • Ask about student life, majors, honors programs, and study abroad opportunities.
  • Do internships or research opportunities exist for undergraduate students?
  • What percentage of students are employed in the field they chose to study?
  • How many students graduate with debt?

College Admission Process:

Before you submit:

After you submit:

Community College

Community colleges, sometimes referred to as junior colleges, are two-year degree earning institutions that also offer certificates in specialized fields. Community colleges offer the first two years (freshman & sophomore) college years for students to then graduate with their associates degree and/or continue to a four-year college completing the remainder of their degree (junior & senior years). Community college offers an affordable pathway to degree earning opportunities including guaranteed admissions to VA state colleges.

Virginia's Community Colleges

Northern Virginia Community College is a public community college that has six campuses and four centers in Northern Virginia. It is the second largest multi-campus community college in the United States and the largest educational institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Richard Bland Community College is a public junior college associated with the College of William and Mary and located in Prince George County, Virginia.


FAFSA Hands-on-Help Workshops

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for financial aid for college is now open for current seniors, class of 2023. College and Career Counselors at your high school are hosting FAFSA Hands-on-Help Sessions and information is being shared with families. Locate and contact your college and career counselor in the first blue tab found below for more questions




Collaborative Schools Attending

November 30, 2022

5-7 p.m. Gar-Field High School

Potomac High School

Freedom High School

January 12, 2023

5-8 p.m. Independence Nontraditional School

March 16, 2023

5-8 p.m. Independence Nontraditional School

College & Career Counselors

High School Name Email


Laura Kostrezebski 

Brentsville District

Amy Kerns 


Leah Byrd 

Forest Park

Geulia Boddie 
Angela Jenkins 


Taija Harris 


Virginia Clemo 


Ruth Rodriguez 

Independence Nontraditional

Lynn Morrow 

Osbourn Park

Courtney Jaeger 


Laura Valentino 


Shallene Austin 

Unity Reed

Marcus Lawrence 


Yusef Muhammad 

College Entrance Testing

College & Scholarship Transcript Requests

Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Financial aid is money available to help cover the costs of college and career schools. This includes grants (free money), work-study (job on campus), loans (repayment required- consider interest accrued), and scholarships (free money).
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — Government application to assess student aid. All students qualify for loans; however, some students qualify for grants. The FAFSA may also be needed to qualify for “needs-based” scholarships for proof of need.
  • Virginia Alternative State Aid (VASA) — This is a free application available to Virginians who are nonimmigrants, without documentation, have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status or are otherwise ineligible to file the FAFSA and would like to be considered for state financial aid. The VASA application provides access only to state and to some institutional financial aid programs. The VASA application does not provide access to federal student aid.
  • College Board's CSS Profile — An online application that collects information used by hundreds of colleges, universities, professional schools, and scholarship programs to award financial aid from sources outside of the federal government. After you submit your application, the College Board sends it to the colleges and scholarship programs you have chosen. Application has a cost and offers additional measurements for aid qualifications in disbursement of institution funds. If you qualified for a fee waiver for testing, that waiver can be used for this aid application.


Federal Student Aid—An Office of the U.S. Department of Education

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Paying for College is Easier Than You Think!—Virginia Education Wizard


College-Bound Student Athlete

First-Generation College Student

First-Generation College Student

Being a first-generation student means that your parents did not complete a 4-year college degree regardless of other family members' level of education. Some colleges use a different definition, so be sure to ask your admission counselor to learn more. If your parents completed a 4-year college degree at an international university, contact admissions to inquire what your status may be to learn more.


College Disability Services

College Disability Services

The transition to college for students with disabilities to post-secondary education steps and resources are critical. The student must initiate the accommodation process at the college level.


Applying to College Abroad

Applying to College Abroad

Attending a college abroad is when a student chooses to live in a country other than their country of origin. The student moves to that country for the purpose of attending college. Deadlines, fees, and restrictions differ among countries along with the application process and application platforms. Abroad countries may have limits to the number of colleges you are allowed to apply. Be sure to review the testing guidelines, application requirements, and choose your major prior to applying. Finally, documentation is needed; this often includes a visa, passport, letter of admission, proof of language proficiency, and proof of financial support for living in the associated country.


Immigrant Student Resources

Immigrant Student Resources

An immigrant student is someone who’s country of origin is not where they currently live.