Getting Into College

Getting Into College

College might be the perfect option if you’re looking at a professional career like nursing, teaching, counseling or becoming a lawyer.  Colleges come in all shapes and sizes: local community colleges, giant public universities, or small private colleges.  You need to find out which one may work for you and which one you can afford.  The great news is that there are a lot of scholarships and financial aid available – you have to know where to look and you have to get ready to write lots essays and fill out applications!

Here are some helpful tips!

Get good grades and be active in school

  • ​Having  good grades is really important.  A high GPA is one of the top things colleges look at, both for get ting into college and for getting scholarships and financial aid.  Colleges also like to see that you’re involved in many activities.

Study for and take the standardized tests  

  • You will need to take the ACT or the SAT before you apply to colleges.  Start studying early and don’t wait until the last test date because you may want to take it again.  You can find more information at  The ACT and SAT tests costs money but you can get the cost waived so talk to your school counselor about how to take the test for free.

Talk to your school counselor 

  • ​Your school counselor can be a great resource and help to decide what colleges best fit what you are looking for.  

Visit the colleges that interest you

  • ​If you need help arranging the visit, talk to your caseworker or foster parent.  Talk with the students who attend.  

Apply to more than one school

  • ​When you’re figuring out which colleges to apply to, you should include both dream schools (colleges that will be hard to get into but that you would love attending) and safety schools (schools you have a great shot of getting into).

You can find a list of all Nebraska’s universities, colleges and schools here. Or click here to find a list of community colleges and tribal colleges

Research Your Options

Figure out what scholarships and financial aid you may be eligible for.  Here are some resources that might help:

​​Apply early and fill out your Financial Aid Information -  College applications and financial aid applications can take a lot of time so make sure you start applying early.  You will have to fill out a financial aid application for each school you’re applying to (but you only have to fill out one FAFSA form).  When you get accepted, the school will send you a letter letting you know what combination of grants and locals the school can offer you.  The amount of money depends on lots of things – your need, the costs of the school, the amount of funding available – so every school’s offer will be different.