Class of 2020 Action Plan

Class of 2020 Action Plan

Before and throughout senior year: Plan ahead
  • Think about what you want to do and where you want to go.
  • Research jobs, visit colleges, and make lists.
Fall: Apply
  • Apply early for financial aid. Applications open October 1.
  • Start college applications, take tests, and identify deadlines.
Winter: Consider your options
  • Submit college applications, and look into colleges with open enrollment.
  • It's not too late to apply for financial aid.
Spring: Choose your path
  • You still have time to plan your next steps and apply for aid.
  • Consider apprenticeship programs.

Not the class of 2020? 

No problem! The resources below can help all prospective students, with information on exploring careers, applying for financial aid, and more. 

It's never too early to plan ahead. It's never too late to change your future.

Resources

Researching & Planning

Planning your path

Planning your path

Planning ahead increases options and reduces stress. 

Career exploration

Career exploration

The type and level of education you might need varies depending on the job or career you're interested in.

Community and technical colleges

Community and technical colleges

Washington state community and technical colleges offer a wide variety of programs. Students can train to enter into a job directly, complete the first two years of a bachelor's degree and then transfer, or pursue applied bachelor's degrees for specific career fields. 

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship

Looking to step right into a good-paying job? In an apprenticeship, you can earn money while learning a trade.

  • Find an Apprenticeship Program: Search for an apprenticeship program by county and occupation, by name, or by employer on the LNI website.
  • Apprenticeship Consultants: Consultants located throughout the state can provide you with information about apprenticeship programs in your area.
  • Beginning in 2020-21, the new Washington College Grant will provide financial aid to cover costs associated with select approved apprenticeship programs. Stay tuned for more information.

Getting Financial Aid

Applying for aid

Applying for aid

There are affordable college and career training opportunities for everyone. The first, best step is to apply for financial aid

State financial aid programs

State financial aid programs

Learn more about Washington’s state financial aid programs.

Private scholarships

Private scholarships

Private scholarship deadlines occur year-round, and many are available regardless of income.

  • theWashboard.org scholarship search tool: Unique to Washington students, this website allows you to create a profile and then be matched with the scholarship opportunities that fit you. It is spam-free and will never sell your information.
  • Many colleges provide aid in the form of institutional scholarships or grants. Talk to the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend for more information.

Applying to Colleges

Colleges in Washington

Colleges in Washington

Consider size, location, programs available—any or all of these might influence what college or career training program is the best option for you and your circumstances.

  • Colleges in Washington: Explore two- and four-year colleges and vocational-technical schools. Keep in mind, to receive state financial aid, you'll need to attend an eligible institution.
  • Campus Visits: In-person campus visits can help you decide if a college is a good fit for you. Ask questions, look into scheduled tours, and see if you can sit in on a class or two. 

Four-year colleges

Four-year colleges

Every school is different. Keep track of each college’s requirements, and make sure you meet deadlines for applications and related materials.

  • Start working on application essays early. Senior year is a busy time!
  • Gather application materials, including forms, test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
  • Most four-year colleges have regular decision due dates sometime between January 1 and March 1 of each year. Some schools accept early decision applications in the fall.
  • Many four-year colleges require that applicants take an SAT or ACT test. Fall of senior year is the last opportunity to take (or retake) these tests for regular admission at most colleges.
  • Ensure standardized test scores are sent to any schools that you apply to.
  • File your FAFSA or WASFA early to maximize your financial aid opportunities. Some financial aid programs are first-come, first-served. 

Community and technical colleges

Community and technical colleges

Community and technical colleges are typically open to anyone who has a high school diploma or GED. Students can train to enter into a job directly, complete the first two years of a bachelor's degree and then transfer, or pursue applied bachelor's degrees for specific career fields. 

  • Visit your local community or technical college. Ask about certificate and degree options for careers you're interested in.
  • Check in with the admissions and financial aid offices. Make sure you know what the school's enrollment process and deadlines are.
  • File your FAFSA or WASFA early to maximize your financial aid opportunities. Some financial aid programs are first-come, first-served. 

Choosing a Path

Picking a track

Picking a track
  • Many four-year colleges have a May 1 deadline for students to accept or reject offers of admission. Make sure you meet the deadlines of any colleges where you've applied.
  • Visit your local community or technical college. Ask about certificate and degree options for careers you're interested in.
  • Consider apprenticeship programs: In an apprenticeship, you can earn money while learning a trade.
  • Compare financial aid packages from schools and programs where you’re accepted. Understand the different types of financial aid. Different types of aid have different requirements, and some need to be paid back. Remember, you don’t have to accept all the aid that is offered—loan debt is optional.

Finalizing paperwork

Finalizing paperwork

Confirm that the college or program you plan to attend has everything they need. 

  • Do any necessary paperwork and make sure your file is complete.
  • Submit any required deposits. 
  • Double-check your FAFSA status. You may need to update your tax information or provide additional documentation. If you filed a WASFA, check with the financial aid office to make sure they don't need any additional information.