Follow our Instagram @ghscollegeandcareercentral for updates and be sure to read your counselors' emails and the Friday Bulletin.
Grant High School uses MaiaLearning to help students plan their futures. You can use Maia to discover and explore careers; build academic, college, and career plans; create portfolios that tell your story, and manage the college application process. Access your account by clickinging "Sign in with Google" and using your PPS username and password.
Colleges Visiting Grant
College representative visits are currently happening in-person and via Zoom; be sure to check how your visit is happening. Upcoming visits are listed in Maia as they are scheduled. Upcoming visits are listed in the Friday Bulletin and posted on our Instagram account, but the Maia schedule is considered the most up-to-date resource, as these visits are subject to last-minute changes.
What should I be doing about college?
Check out the planning links on the right side of this page, read EVERY email from your counselors as well as the Friday Bulletin. The College & Career Center has a lending library with books on topics ranging from test prep to college admissions; HBCU resources; directories; career finders and lots more. It's never too early to start thinking about your options, and all grades are welcome at most events and visits.
Video: HOW TO FILE the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid)
Where do I find out about scholarships?
We list scholarships on the College & Career Center website, in the Friday Bulletin, and on our Instagram @ghscollegeandcareercentral. Past and present scholarship opportunities are housed under "Scholarships" on Instagram highlists for easy reference. We encourage you to search for additional scholarships using the following resources:
- Oregon Goes to College
- Oregon Career Information System: You can create an account on CIS using the following information: Guest Username: Generals1 & Guest Password: Blueandgray4ever! (Once you log in, you can create a personalized profile.)
- Going Merry
- Collegexpress - has a downloadable scholarship tracker that can help you to stay organized with your scholarship search
Many more scholarships are out there: check out the resources listed on the right column of this page (scroll to the bottom for mobile browser).
How do I find out more about a college?
The best place to start is by signing up for college reps that visit the College & Career Center, where we also maintain their files with hard copies of brochures, catalogs, and more. Pay attention to the emails from your counselor, which announce College and Gap Year Fairs as well as special opportunities. These are also posted on our Instagram @ghscollegeandcareercentral. While colleges welcome visitors year-round, it is not necessary to visit in person to make a successful college choice. There are several helpful search sites, blogs, and articles about the college search process and visiting colleges on the right side of this page (scroll to the bottom for mobile browser).
Oregon Private Colleges Week Typically held each summer, is a great way to tour a selection of different campuses with minimal cost, especially for rising juniors and seniors. Even if you plan to study elsewhere, it's a great way to find what type of campus feels good to you, get a sense of what questions to ask, tour dorms, and find out what type of resources colleges can offer. There is usually a future admissions fee waiver for these schools if you visit four or more campuses during the week.
Portland Community College hosts many open houses and high school visitation days, as do most area institutions.
How do I get college credit while in High School?
It is not uncommon for college students to need more than 4 years to complete the necessary coursework to obtain their college degree, so any extra credits you earn now can make a big difference in terms of both time and money! Look through the Grant course guide to find out which classes offer college credit and what steps you need to take to ensure you are credited. Options include AP courses as well as dual-credit courses through PCC and Portland State University that you take at GHS. When in doubt contact your counselor.
Be aware that colleges have varying requirements when granting transfer credit. For instance, some colleges won't accept AP credit if your test score isn't a 4 or even 5, while many accept a score of 3 and above. Most colleges cap the number of transfer credits at 12, but not all: information on transfer credits can be found on individual college websites.
CURRENT/COVID19 issues affecting college-bound students:
- College Decision & Search Advice in the wake of Covid19, from the GHS CCC
- How to Write about Covid-related issues using the special 250-word section on the Common App
- The Coronavirus May Change College Admissions Forever, NY Times
- How The Coronavirus Has Upended College Admissions, August 16, NPR, 7-minute listen
- Redesigning College Admissions: Covid19, Access and Equity, Forbes Magazine
- Here's How College Admissions Are Changing This Year, Money Magazine
- How to Ask a College for More Financial Aid, NY Times
- Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19
- Taking a gap year might be the best way to outwit coronavirus, LA Times
- Gap Year Ideas for College Students in the wake of Covid19, NY Times
- What to Know Before You Take a Gap Year From College During Coronavirus, Money Magazine
- A Gap Year? Do it Here a year at home can be as meaningful as doing one abroad, NY Times
Be sure to visit our gap year page for more information.FREE test prep:
Test Prep for purchase:There are a variety of companies and organizations that offer test prep classes and tutoring services, both online and in-person, at a cost to the student/family. Most should be easy to find through a simple internet search.
- Khan Academy: free SAT full-length and section practice tests, questions-of-the-day, and tips and strategies.
- Khan Academy links to your College Board account so it knows your PSAT/SAT scores and can tailor the practice to your needs.
- Khan Academy also offers practice in your school-based subjects.
- Daily SAT practice App: look for it in iTunes or Google Pay
- College Board: Free SAT Practice Tests
- 4Tests.com: Short online SAT and ACT practice tests:
- Princeton Review: free SAT practice tests online
- Note: Princeton Review also offers classes, books, and tutoring for purchase
- Kaplan Test Prep: free SAT online boot camps, virtual practice events, and practice tests
- Note: Kaplan also offers classes and books for purchase
- Kaplan Test Prep: free ACT practice tests
- Note: Kaplan also offers classes and books for purchase
- Powerscore: printable SAT & ACT practice tests to print
- Union Test Prep: free ACT study guides, flashcards, and practice tests
PPS College Search Guide
Options include Community Colleges, 2-& 4-year colleges + universities, HBCUs, Military Colleges, NCAA student-athlete opportunities, and more.
College Decision and Search Advice in the wake of COVID-19, advice from the College & Career Center
6 Things You Didn’t Know About Demonstrated Interest (from a Former Admissions Counselor)
Fact-Checking College Admissions, Forbes Magazine: myth-busting and common sense advice about applying to college. A great first read as you embark on your college admissions journey. Written by Brennan Barnard-a trusted journalist to follow for all things college.
Detailed information from the U.S.Dept. of Education on all U.S. schools, including "net price" as well as 4-year graduation and retention rates; an essential college search resource.
College Board is more than just tests. It's a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success. Essential AP resources! Link test scores to the free, personalized, Khan Academy test prep; research schools and financial aid + major search, career finder, and more.
U.S. News College Information
Great resources aside from college rankings, which aren't as reliable as they have you believe.
The College Search blog
News and opinions regarding school choice, admissions, financial aid, liberal arts educations, and so much more from Colleges That Change Lives.
Best Colleges: The Student's Guide to College Planning
This guide provides an overview of college planning fundamentals to help craft a custom college plan, including a handy college planning checklist you can use throughout high school.
National Listing of LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities with a searchable database.
HBCU CONNECT Browse the 100+ Historically Black Colleges and Universities sorted by state, size, tuition, conference, and ranking. Postgraduate networking and social, lots of helpful links.
Indigenous Student College Guide Native college students who were serving as summer interns at the College Board felt that it was important to share the knowledge that they acquired in their own college journeys with high school students. Special section for Juniors.
Oregon Goes to College Essential free resource that helps students and their families prepare for education after high school, step-by-step.
Resources for undocumented students in English and in Spanish. Checklists for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.
Download the "It's a Plan" app that sends timely reminders and important notifications to your device.
Khan Academy Free SAT/ACT Test Prep tailored to you.
College Essay Guy is a comprehensive website students should start exploring as Juniors - Seniors, don't fret, just start now! Hours of inspiration, prompts, ideas, and more about one of the most fraught aspects of the college application process. You can access a lot of great advice before entering your info or optioning into paid services.
Parents: When filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) your income is based on your tax returns from two years prior to your child starting college! For instance, a student entering in the fall of 2021 would have their estimated family contribution based upon 2019 tax filing information. Read Maximizing Your Aid Eligibility for more information and check with a financial advisor since the rules regarding federal financial aid are always changing and could do so again in the wake of Covid19.
Financial Aid Tip Sheet & Understanding Merit Aid from the College & Career Center
(Figuring out the real tuition vs. sticker price; some "expensive" schools could actually cost you less.
ECMC/The College Place Oregon "Paying for College" presentation in English, and in Spanish, held live in September 2020 for GHS students and guardians. Watch first and then do this related, free minicourse.
Watch this talk about scholarships! (created for an HBCU fair but applicable to all students)
Scholarship & financial aid database: national, state, and local awards/sort the entries based upon an individual’s characteristics.
Set up an account: click on "Single Sign-On" in the upper right-hand corner
- choose school district: PPS
- sign in with Guest Username: Generals1 and Guest Password: Blueandgray4ever!
- then click on "Explore Resources"
Look for the blue box and Create my own Portfolio >Then Find Scholarships: Education tab > Financial Aid Sort.
Use star to save lists and favorites. Find these later in the My Portfolio tab.
SCHOLARSHIPS via Oregon Goes to College
Oregon Community Foundation Scholarships
WUE: Western Undergraduate Exchange Nonresident tuition discounts at 160 2- & 4-year schools in 16 Western States & Territories
scholarships360.org Quickly see which scholarships are a match for your profile, academic and extracurricular interests, and future career plans! Updated continuously. Not for profit.
Student Loan Calculator or Parent Debt Calculator - Figure out how much your family can really afford to borrow. Have this conversation before you apply to schools.
Financial Aid recommended reading:
Student Debt is Transforming the American Family
Tips on Spending the Money in College Savings Accounts (529s)
The 'Indirect' Costs at College Can Involve Nasty Surprises
Tips for Decoding Financial Aid Offers
Financial Aid Award Letter Comparison Spreadsheet download and personalize to compare your acceptance packages
Admissions recommended reading:
Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be
An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, download from the library or available in paperback
How to Survive the College Admissions Madness
An abbreviated version of the book above
College Advice I Wish I'd Taken
Useful for high school students too
When a Friend Chooses a College Be Happy or Be Quiet
This advice is useful if a student decides not to pursue college as well
Seniors: How to Stay Admitted
A great guide for navigating the months from "I'm in!" until you arrive on campus, from the Tulane Admission blog, by Jeff Schiffman