Post High School Planning
- College Planning
- College Application Info
- Financial Aid
- Olympic College Running Start Program
The pursuit of higher education is an exciting chapter in a student's life, filled with new experiences and opportunities for personal growth. However, the process of college and university selection often begins earlier than expected, frequently during freshman year. Here at Kingston High School, we are committed to guiding our students throughout this process, aiding them as they explore post-secondary education options that best align with their interests, skills, and aspirations.
To simplify the complexity of the college search, we offer various resources designed to assist students on this important journey. These tools provide valuable insights, from understanding college admission standards in Washington, to exploring community colleges, technical schools, and four-year colleges and universities in our state.
A step-by-step timeline for college planning from junior high school year to graduation.
Understanding Washington State's college admission process and requirements is crucial for successful higher education planning and applications.
Washington State's diverse Community and Technical Schools offer tailored courses, affordable education, and paths to various careers.
Washington State's diverse four-year colleges offer unique opportunities to align academic pursuits with career goals.
Every campus visit is an opportunity to gather valuable information and determine if it aligns with your expectations and aspirations.
Ask the right questions during campus visits to gather information and make an informed college decision.
At Kingston High School, students are guided through the college application process with the dedicated support of their School Counselor and the Future Readiness Center team. This guidance begins even before the students' senior year, allowing ample time for thorough college planning.
During the senior year, the role of the Counselor becomes more prominent as they work closely with students on various aspects of the college application process. To ensure clarity and to address any uncertainties, the school provides resources that cover the most commonly asked questions related to college applications. This streamlined process aims to equip students with the knowledge and support they need for a successful transition to higher education.
Letters of Recommendation
KHS School Profile
School Report - Counselors submit a school report (primarily for schools on the Common Application) to confirm your good standing and do not need additional information from you.
GPA - listed on your transcript. WA State uses UNWEIGHTED GPAs.
At Kingston High School, we recognize that figuring out how to fund your higher education can be a daunting task. However, with numerous financial aid options available, our goal is to simplify this journey for you. The role of financial aid in your college application process is pivotal, and we are committed to being by your side throughout. Here, you will find a comprehensive collection of resources and information aimed at jumpstarting your financial aid journey.
Choosing Between FAFSA and WASFA
As an aspiring college student, one of the primary dilemmas you may face is whether to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid). Both are designed to evaluate your financial aid eligibility, but they come with distinct differences.
The FAFSA is a federal form designed to determine your qualification for federal student aid, such as loans, grants, and work-study programs. In contrast, the WASFA is a state-specific application intended for students ineligible for federal aid due to their immigration status but meet certain eligibility standards set by the state of Washington.
We suggest using this free, confidential online questionnaire that will direct you towards the suitable application for your situation.
Remember, our devoted counseling team at Kingston High School is always available to assist you in deciphering these intricate processes. Whether it's about choosing the right financial aid application, understanding different aid types, or decoding the lingo, we're here for you.
Higher education is an investment in your future, and financial aid can make this investment more achievable. Allow us to help you access the resources necessary to attain your academic aspirations.
Student education grants are financial awards given to students to help pay for an education. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be repaid. This funding can help students cover a variety of expenses associated with their education, including tuition, books, room and board, and transportation.
There are many types of education grants available, including:
Federal Grants: In the United States, the federal government provides several grant programs, including the Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and grants for military families, such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.
State Grants: Varying in requirements and award amounts, are available to resident students across the U.S., such as Washington State's Need Grant Program, managed by the Washington Student Achievement Council, which provides financial aid to eligible students demonstrating financial need. Prospective students are advised to investigate their state's offerings for available financial resources.
Institutional Grants: These grants are provided by the colleges and universities themselves. They can be based on a variety of factors, including financial need, academic merit, athletic talent, and more.
Private and Nonprofit Grants: There are many organizations and private entities that provide grants for education. These can be based on a variety of factors, including the student's field of study, personal background, or demonstrated need.
To apply for many of these grants, students often need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the United States. Other grants may have their own application processes.
In the pursuit of higher education, financial constraints often pose significant challenges for many students. To overcome these hurdles, a vast array of financial aid options have been established, among which student loans play a pivotal role. Unlike scholarships and grants, student loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid, typically with interest. They are specifically designed to help students manage education-related expenses such as tuition, books, room and board, and other school fees.
There are several key players in the student loan market, each offering unique options to cater to the diverse needs of students. Sallie Mae, the leading U.S. provider of student loans (www.salliemae.com), has been instrumental in assisting millions of Americans in achieving their dream of a higher education. Another critical player is the Federal Stafford Loans program, which is widely available to nearly all students, irrespective of credit history. This program offers both subsidized and unsubsidized loans based on a student's financial need (www.staffordloan.com).
Moreover, the Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low-interest loans specifically designed for students in need (www.ed.gov/programs/fpl/index.html). There's also a provision for parents with good credit histories to support their children's education through the Federal Parent PLUS Loans (www.parentplusloan.com/plus-loans). Companies like NextStudent (www.nextstudent.com) have stepped up to simplify the process of college funding, making the pursuit of education a less daunting task.
Scholarships, another significant source of financial aid, have separate information portals online. For example, scholarship details can be found on various platforms, including the KHS Scholarship Tab. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), accessible at www.fafsa.ed.gov, is another crucial resource for students, with institutions like Olympic College offering free assistance with the application.
Specific programs, such as the College Bound Scholarship program, require students to complete the FAFSA during their senior year for eligibility. Also worth noting is the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), which allows out-of-state students from participating western U.S. states to pay only 1.5 times the in-state tuition, thus making education more affordable (www.wiche.edu/sep/wue).
To ensure students are well-informed and avoid potential scams, resources like studentaid.ed.gov and ftc.gov provide valuable insights into different types of financial aid. Additionally, the CSS/Financial Aid Profile, utilized by over 400 colleges and scholarship programs, assists in determining need-based aid (student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile).
As the prospect of higher education draws nearer, one of the major considerations might be how to pay for your college education. At the Kingston High School Counseling Center, we have put together an all-encompassing guide to clarify the scholarship opportunities that await you.
A scholarship is a financial award given to students to support their undergraduate studies. The best part? Scholarships do not need to be repaid. They are awarded based on several factors such as academic excellence, athletic prowess, leadership qualities, community service, artistic abilities, and other unique interests.
Local Scholarships: KHS Opportunities
At Kingston High School, we are privileged to have a community that prioritizes education. Our local patrons have set up numerous scholarships exclusively for KHS students. The eligibility criteria for these scholarships vary, including factors like academic performance, financial need, prospective major, and participation in specific school activities. Information about these scholarships can be found here.
Statewide Scholarships: College Bound Scholarship and TheWashBoard.org
As students in Washington State, you have access to several statewide scholarship options:
The College Bound Scholarship is a pledge from the state to provide financial aid to eligible students. It collaborates with other state aid to cover average tuition (at equivalent public colleges), certain fees, and a modest book allowance.
TheWashBoard.org is a free, online scholarship platform solely for Washington residents, connecting students with scholarship providers throughout the state.
National scholarships are accessible to all students across the country. While these scholarships are highly competitive due to a larger pool of applicants, they often offer substantial financial aid. Notable ones include the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. An exhaustive search engine like Scholarships.com can be an invaluable tool to uncover these opportunities.
Commencing with Scholarship Applications
Scholarship applications typically require a personal essay, letters of recommendation, and proof of your qualifications (such as academic transcripts or a resume). When letters of recommendation are required, the KHS Counseling Center provides a Letter of Recommendation Request Form for your convenience.
A crucial factor in successful scholarship applications is starting early. This enables you to apply for as many scholarships as you can. Always be mindful of deadlines, establish a checklist for each application, and ensure your applications are accurate and complete before submission.
While the scholarship application process may appear daunting, remember that every scholarship, regardless of its size, helps decrease your overall educational expenses. The KHS Counseling Center is dedicated to guiding you through this process and we are open to any queries you might have.
KHS Scholarships: Scholarships specifically for KHS students. Information can be obtained from the Counseling Center.
TheWashBoard.org: A free online scholarship platform for Washington residents, linking students with scholarship providers across the state.
College Bound Scholarship: A state-level scholarship program for eligible students in Washington, offering financial aid for college.
Scholarships.com: This is a comprehensive search engine for nationwide scholarships.
Fastweb: Another reputable online database for national scholarships.
Cappex: An online resource offering information on colleges and scholarships.
Local Scholarship Application: The Local Scholarship application, due by April 30th, is a critical document for seniors, making them eligible for a multitude of local scholarships. Filling out and submitting this application to their counselor can unlock potential funding for their future education.
Letter of Recommendation Request Form: Available through the KHS Counseling Center, this form helps you to request letters of recommendation, often required for scholarship applications.
Are you ready to take a significant stride towards your academic future? The Running Start program at Olympic College offers a unique opportunity for you to excel academically, push boundaries, and leap into the future.
About the Running Start Program
Running Start is a distinctive program designed for academically advanced students. This program enables eligible juniors and seniors to enroll in college-level courses at Olympic College while completing their high school requirements.
In the 2020-2021 academic year, more than 1,100 students participated in Running Start at Olympic College. An overwhelming majority, approximately 95%, opted for academic prep or transfer classes. Remarkably, at least 15% earned an associate degree and high school diploma concurrently. Many students thrive in the college environment, often exceeding their own academic expectations.
To be eligible for the Running Start program, you must:
- Be under the age of 21 at the beginning of the school year.
- Be classified as a junior or senior in Washington.
- Not have received a high school diploma or earned the credits for a diploma (excluding a GED) at the start of the school year.
- Have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or above.
GPA Appeal Process
Students who do not meet the cumulative 2.5 GPA requirement may submit a letter of appeal requesting an exception due to extenuating circumstances. The appeal should be emailed to RSAdmissions@olympic.edu.
What Does the Program Cover?
The Running Start program covers up to 15 credits tuition-free, based on a student's combined high school and Olympic College schedule. Courses numbered 100 level or above are included.
Students are expected to pay for:
- Tuition and fees for credits exceeding the approved classes between high school and Olympic College.
- Mandatory college fees.
- Additional class fees, such as online classes.
- Books and transportation.
- Courses numbered below 100.
- Summer quarter classes, if enrolling.
Why Choose Running Start?
Running Start offers a fantastic opportunity for motivated students to get a head start on their college education while saving on tuition costs. Not only does it provide the experience of a college environment, but it also enables students to challenge themselves academically.
Interested in learning more? You can visit the official Olympic College Running Start program webpage here for more detailed information. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to your school counselor to guide you through the process and help answer any questions you may have.
Running Start at Olympic College is not just a program - it's a leap towards your bright future. Don't miss out on this extraordinary opportunity, KHS students. Be bold, take the leap, and start running!
Military service post-high school offers educational benefits, skill development, job security, personal growth, and travel opportunities.
As the high school journey nears its end, the question of "What's next?" looms large for many students. Traditional pathways such as university education, vocational training, or directly joining the workforce are often considered. However, another potentially rewarding option that merits serious consideration is joining the military. Military service presents a host of benefits including educational opportunities, skill development, job security, personal growth, and unique travel experiences.
Unmatched Educational Opportunities
Joining the military doesn't mean putting your education on hold. In fact, it could open doors to further educational opportunities you might not have considered. The U.S. Military offers educational assistance programs like the G.I. Bill, which can substantially cover college tuition costs, housing, and books. The Military Tuition Assistance Program also caters to active-duty service members looking to continue their education. By availing these programs, you can pursue higher education without amassing a significant student debt.
Developing Skills for Life
Beyond the battlefield, the military provides extensive training in a broad range of fields, equipping service members with both technical and soft skills. The military imparts discipline, leadership, teamwork, resilience, and problem-solving skills - traits that are not only valuable in the military but are highly sought after in civilian life as well.
Job Security and Extensive Benefits
In today's uncertain economic climate, the military provides job security that is hard to come by. Along with a steady paycheck, military service comes with comprehensive healthcare, housing allowances, food allowances, and retirement plans. These benefits offer financial stability and long-term security.
Serving a Larger Purpose
For many, the desire to serve their country and contribute to a cause larger than themselves drives them to join the military. This service instills a unique sense of purpose and discipline, fostering personal growth and maturity. The sense of camaraderie in the military can contribute significantly to personal and professional development.
Broadening Horizons through Travel
Military service often provides opportunities to travel, both domestically and internationally. This exposure to different cultures and environments can broaden your worldview, providing unique experiences and memories.
Weighing the Commitment and Risks
While the benefits of joining the military after high school are considerable, it's crucial to acknowledge the commitment and potential risks involved. Military service demands resilience, discipline, and a readiness to face challenging circumstances. Therefore, it's essential to seek advice from military personnel, recruiters, and counselors before making this significant decision.
Ultimately, military service offers a compelling alternative path for post-high school planning. Providing unique opportunities for growth and development, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling choice for those ready to take on the challenge.
he Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) presents a compelling alternative for post-high school planning, merging the worlds of education and military service. The ROTC is a college-based program that trains future officers for the U.S. Military, across all branches—Army, Navy, and Air Force. Offering significant scholarship opportunities, the ROTC provides a pathway to affordable higher education while preparing students for a future military career. Cadets are equipped with valuable leadership skills, discipline, physical fitness, and ethics—traits beneficial in both military and civilian careers.
The ROTC balances military training with a traditional college experience, allowing cadets to engage in typical college activities while preparing for their future roles. Upon graduation, cadets receive a commission as officers in their respective military branches, unlocking a wide array of career opportunities. If you're considering the ROTC as a post-high school path, it's advisable to reach out to your school counselor who can provide further guidance and help navigate this unique and rewarding pathway.
Apprenticeships offer practical training, steady income, mentorship, low debt, and lead to internationally recognized certifications.
Navigating the maze of options available after high school can be daunting. While many consider traditional routes such as university education, there's a powerful, yet often overlooked pathway: apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are formalized, structured training programs that blend on-the-job training (OJT) and related technical instruction to provide both practical and technical training.
Structure of Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships generally require between 2,000 to 8,000 work hours to complete, depending on the complexity and nature of the trade. For each year of apprenticeship (approximately 2,000 hours), about 144 hours are dedicated to apprenticeship-related training. This structure ensures a balanced, comprehensive understanding of the chosen field.
Earning and Learning Simultaneously
One of the most appealing aspects of apprenticeships is the "earn while you learn" model. Apprentices receive a living wage throughout the training process, with periodic raises reflecting their increased experience and commitment. This model allows apprentices to build a secure financial foundation while developing industry-specific skills.
Mentorship and Guidance
Apprentices have the unique opportunity to learn directly from experienced professionals in their field of interest. These mentors provide guidance, share practical insights, and help apprentices build a robust professional network - a priceless asset for career growth.
Pathway to Internationally Recognized Careers
Upon completion of an apprenticeship, individuals earn a trade certification that is recognized internationally. This certification attests to their proficiency and can open doors to rewarding careers both domestically and globally.
Lower Educational Debt
Unlike traditional education pathways, apprenticeships can significantly reduce, or even eliminate, the burden of educational debt. The combination of paid work and often included tuition assistance for related coursework allows apprentices to gain qualifications without substantial financial strain.
If you have further questions about apprenticeships, don't hesitate to reach out to your local resources. At Kingston High School, you can contact College & Career Counselor, Marja Bjarnson, in Blue Pod Office 233B..
In conclusion, apprenticeships offer a robust and valuable pathway for post-high school career planning. They provide theoretical learning, practical experience, a steady income, mentorship, and lead to internationally recognized trade certifications. For many, apprenticeships can indeed be the stepping stone to a fulfilling and successful career.