Career and College Planning

Please review the Admissions Fundamentals Slides Below for an overview of the college search, visit, application, and acceptance process.

College Resources One-Stop Shop

Testing Information

PSAT  Results

This video from our Senior Workshop Series has local opportunities and information about Post-Secondary Job Training Options.

Scroll down for sites with information on planning, comparing, visiting, applying, and choosing a college or career.

Penn Manor Counseling Department Recommended Post-Secondary Planning Resources- from searching and visiting, to applying and accepting!

Pre-College Planners and Checklists:

Download the Pre-College Planner and use it to guide you through your college planning and search!

Senior Year Prep Checklist– A shareable one-pager for students and parents to help them prioritize tasks each month from August through next summer.

College-Prep-Checklist–excellent resource to confirm that you are on track!

College Covered is a college planning website with information on getting into college and  paying for it.  They have resources including a planner, quizzes to help find the right fit, essay tips, loan information, FAFSA help and more!

University HQ– A leading independent education organization that provides students with the necessary resources to prepare and plan their career path in their chosen field.

Use the “Greenlight to College Scavenger Hunt” to conduct a college search and compare schools.

ACT Ultimate Guide to Campus Visits is a resource to help you plan college visits.

Sites to get you thinking about the Post-Secondary Education planning process:

My Next Move is a fantastic starting point

The ultimate guide to applying for college: how to complete a college application that stands out!

Career Blog- has some helpful information about choosing a major and more!

College Grazing– This is a great site to start your college planning process and start brainstorming ideas for your future!

College Stats:  Good explanation of self assessment tests to help figure out possible areas of strength, study, etc!

American Education Services:  Education planner has articles, information, and tips on everything associated with the college planning process.

Answers to Common College Admissions Questions

Sites for Searching for and Comparing Schools:

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education:  Information about the 14 PA state universities.

College Scorecard: This is a fantastic site to find schools as well as compare schools. All you have to do is enter in the information for your ideal school (program/degrees, location, size, name) and the schools that match the criteria will pop up!

Peterson’s Guide has college planning, scholarships, resume builder and more.

Community Colleges are a fantastic option for many students.  Check out this source of information about Community Colleges that offer on-campus housing #dormlife.

Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process.  The Princeton Review:  College searches, practice tests available.  U.S. News & World Report:  College rankings and career information.— check college profiles, financial aid info, scholarship tips, college news and more…  Free website that improves college planning for students, families, and educators  CollegeNet:  Two and four year college searches available.

Sites for First Generation and Underrepresented Students:

College Greenlight connects first generation and underrepresented students to caring colleges, generous scholarships, and life-changing counselors and mentors.

Sites to help you conduct a College Visit:

The ultimate guide to conquering campus visits! –  Allows you take college virtual tours in virtual reality.

Sites to help you Write your College Essay:  – check out this website to get tips on writing your college essays.

6 Types of Essays Admissions Officers Are Tired of Reading – Essays are the perfect opportunity for a student to showcase their best self. Help them avoid these overused topics.  GREAT tips for writing application essays, pitfalls to avoid, and sample essays!  Great resource to write your college essay.   “The Art of the Personal Statement,” is available for download here.  It’s a free full-length book, featuring advice and sample essays, each followed by comment and analysis.

Sites to learn about taking a gap year or study abroad:  An excellent site with tons of links to college information, taking a gap year, study abroad, and making the most out of high school CIEE is a nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization that transforms lives and builds bridges between individuals and nations by sponsoring a wide variety of opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

Sites to help you choose a college major: Gives information and future careers that fall within a specific major in college.

Colleges For Specific Careers:


Interested in a career as a:  Hair stylist,  Cosmetologist,  Masseuse,  Esthetician,  Nail care artist,  Salon owner or  Barber?  Check out the link below for schools to check out.

For THEATER MAJORS  online searchable database for about 270 colleges theater programs.   The official website of the Education Theatre Association.

Apprenticeship Opportunities:

The Link Below will take you to the Apprenticeship Application for the Central PA Chapter of Independent Electrical Contractors.

Common Application Resources: 

New: Instructional application videos Just in time for back to school, we’re excited to launch our instructional applications videos for the 2022-2023 year, featuring members of the Common App team! Topics include a full application overview of first-year and transferhow to approach each essay prompt, and the most popular questions we hear about the application process. 

Keep an eye on our YouTube channel for more videos throughout the application season!
View the playlist

Past Common  Application  Essay topics:

The Common App (Application) is an online college application used by over 500 colleges and universities.

Website:  (you can subscribe for updates here). Help Page:

Here are the essay prompts for the Common App next year (this is relevant for current juniors!)

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Here are links to help with career planning:

What Job Should I Have? How to Choose a Career in 8 Steps. Click here for this career guide.

Career Blog has resources to help you with writing a resume and more.

Elwood Staffing can help high school seniors who aren’t college bound or may be questioning what their road to building a career looks like; it is our goal to make students aware of alternative paths as they contemplate their future. They also provide summer employment options for those wanting extra money for college.  Elwood Staffing offers FREE resources and coaching.

FIND YOUR PASSION AND DISCOVER YOUR NEW CAREER IN AGRICULTURE AND FOOD! Not sure which career is right for you? Dive into our career pages to learn about what it takes to succeed in specific agricultural and food careers. Read about job responsibilities, education requirements, job outlook, and more! Discover Ag and Food Careers in PA here.

Current juniors could spend some time this summer working on college essays to distribute the senior year workload which is heavy in the fall, considering their coursework plus college applications. Also, juniors could ask several teachers for letters of recommendation this June to be written over the summer. Teachers get inundated with requests for letters of recommendation in the fall and winter.

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