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I Can Succeed

College Budgets & Borrowing
When finalizing your financial aid, it's important to borrow responsibly. Research all your options and make an informed decision. Learn more.


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Materials Library

Use these downloads to help you plan, apply, pay for and succeed in high school and college.

On this page you will find resources for:

High School Success

Freshman Transition Guide
Beginning your high school carer is an exciting time. For many reasons, your freshman year is one of the most important years you'll experience. Why is freshman year so important you might ask? Download this guide to find out.

High School Course Planner
Planning your courses through high school will help ensure that you meet high school graduation AND college admission requirements.

Activity Resume Builder 
A list of your activities is useful for scholarship and admission applications. You can also add jobs, volunteer positions, skills and achievements.

 Career Planning

Career and College Planning Guide for Sophomores and Juniors 
Simplify the planning process using this comprehensive guide that contains information on career planning, academic preparation, college selection and financial aid.

Discover Your Interests 
Understanding your abilities, interests and values will help you find a direction for college and career. 

Is the Job Right for You? 
Researching careers that interest you is the first step to discovering if they really are the right fit. Download this guide for assistance in your career planning and research.

Making Informed Decisions 
Your college plan should be influenced by a your career pathway and the potential salary you will earn after graduation. Use this worksheet to determine a your college borrowing budget.

Earn As You Learn - Exploring Careers in the Building Trades Resource Guide
There are many career opportunities that don't require a college degree. Career Planning should include exploring career opportunities through registered apprenticeships.

 College Planning


College Checklist 
Keeping track of and comparing colleges can be difficult, keep notes with this easy-to-use worksheet.

Career and College Planning Guide for Sophomores and Juniors 
Simplify the planning process using this comprehensive guide that contains information on career planning, academic preparation, college selection and financial aid.

Freshman/Sophomore Countdown to College Calendar 
Stay on track in high school using Freshman/Sophomore calendars of monthly to do's for each grade level.

Junior/Senior Countdown to College Calendar 
Stay on track in high school using Junior/Senior calendars of monthly to do's for each grade level.

Spanish Countdown to College Calendar 
Stay on track in high school using these calendars of monthly to do's for each grade level.

Iowa Postsecondary Institutions 
Learn more about a variety of Iowa postsecondary institutions with this chart, which includes school costs, deadlines and contact information.

Make the Most of College Visits 
Take advantage of every moment you're on campus with our list of questions to ask and things to observe on a college visit.

College Success

Pack for College 
Packing for college takes more planning than you may think, use this information on getting ready for your home-away-from-home.

How to Succeed in College 
Prepare for college life by examining all aspects of your schedule: academic, social, financial and career prep.

Financial Aid

How to Pay for College: A Guide to the Financial Aid Process 
The more you know about financial aid, the better prepared you'll be to make informed decisions. This guide covers a variety of topics such as applying for scholarships, understanding the financial aid process and filing forms.

Applying for Financial Aid

Why File the FAFSA?
Many forms of financial aid require the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.) Review this sheet to review the many reasons why the FAFSA should be completed and find the answers to questions for parents who may question the use of their information on the student's application.

What To Bring to file the FAFSA for academic year 2023-2024 (Fall 2023, Spring 2024 & Summer 2024)
Find out what information and documents you need to fill out your FAFSA completely and accurately. You'll need this information for yourself and for your parents or guardians.

FSA ID Guide and Cheat Sheet 
When setting up an FSA ID there are a lot of things to consider. This guide outlines who needs an FSA ID, how to set one up, and will help you keep track of usernames, passwords, backup codes, and all those challenge questions.

Completing the CSS Profile
The CSS/Financial Aid Profile is an application distributed by the College Board allowing students to apply for financial aid. It is primarily designed to give institutions a closer look into the finances of a student and family. It is much more detailed than the FAFSA. This sheet goes over the detailed information needed to complete the CSS Profile.

Scholarships: Money for College 
Discover how you can make the most of scholarship opportunities.

Additional Financial Aid Resources

Realities of College Aid 
This handy sheet provides a timeline for the financial aid process and discusses the realities of financial aid for college.

Prepare to Pay for College 
It's important for students and parents to start talking early about paying for college. Get the conversation started using this list of topics and questions.

Compare College Costs 
Before you choose a college, use this worksheet to compare the expenses and financial aid packages to determine which school will offer the best overall value.

Financial Aid Types 
Explore your grant, scholarship and work-study options with this easy-to-use chart.

Student Loans

Federal Loan Programs 
Understand your options with this detailed look at the Federal Loan Programs.

Student Loan Facts 
Student loans can make college a reality, but don't make the decision to borrow lightly. Know all the facts and be sure to ask the right questions by using this helpful information sheet.

PLUS Loan vs. Private Loans  
There are many things to consider when taking out student loans, especially for parents. Review all options before making your decision.

Mastering the Private Loan Path 
If you have determined you need a supplemental private student loan for college expenses, there are many options available to you. This worksheet will help you make good decisions regarding student loan debt.

Comparing Parent Loans
There are many decisions and considerations to make when borrowing to cover college costs. If you are considering a parent loan, make sure to compare options before accepting the first loan offered to you.

Steps to Paying for College - Understanding Loans
Students and families should explore and exhaust all sources of student financial aid before borrowing. If borrowing, there are steps and loans to consider.






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