The value of a good education is inestimable because, like the ripple caused by a stone tossed into the water, its effects are exponential.  Education people have the best chance to earn a decent wage.  They can then better support their own families and contribute to the economic strength of the community in which they live and work.  A strong community can then better support its most vulnerable citizens, from at-risk children to fragile seniors.

Higher education does have a price and finding a way to pay for it can be a daunting challenge.  Helping students, regardless of age, explore educational pathways and achieve their dream of going to school is the purpose and the mission of the Rotary Futures College Resource Center.

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss classes and available activities.

  • Plan which classes to take during high school. Challenge yourself to take more difficult courses.

  • Join clubs and activities in your area of interest. Take leadership positions when possible.

  • Start to build relationships with some of your favorite teachers, counselors and activity advisors who can write recommendations and serve as mentors later.

  • Talk about saving for college with your parents/family.

  • Search for scholarships and colleges using RFCRCs database.

  • Attend a college fair; speak with campus representatives.

  • Select a volunteer organization with which you’d like to become involved.

  • Start to become familiar with standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.

  • Begin to think about a future college choice.

  • Ask your high school counselor about contacting former students for future college advice.

  • Research summer programs in your area of interest. Ask your counselor or teachers whether they know of any opportunities.

  • Explore financial aid options and college planning with your parents/family.

  • Take the most challenging courses you can. Doing so will show an admissions office that you can compete on a college level.

  • Continue to research prospective colleges.

  • Use your Rotary Futures search results to visit prospective colleges’ Web sites.
  • Attend college fairs and speak to campus representatives.

  • Register and take the PSAT; prepare for the SAT/ACT.

  • Visit the RFCRC portable to fill out profile and to search for scholarships.

  • Take leadership roles in clubs, activities and other volunteer and service organizations.

  • Consider which teachers, advisors or counselors you may want to have write your recommendations.
  • Strengthen your relationship by providing a list of activities and accomplishments as a reminder of your work.

  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as you can after January 1.
  • Request applications and brochures from your target colleges.

  • Sign up for college entrance exams – the SAT and/or ACT. Check out the test prep information available through CollegeBoard, ACT and www.fastweb.com.

  • Take honors or advanced classes. More challenging courses show that you are prepared for college coursework.

  • Schedule interviews with prospective colleges. Practice your interview skills before heading in for the actual interview.

  • Set up a budget for college and application costs.

  • Get your applications in order by creating files for target schools. Make a list of application requirements (essays, transcripts, recommendations, etc.) and deadlines for each. Consider creating your own personal timeline or calendar for this process.

  • Request letters of recommendation from recent teachers, advisors and employers. Provide enough time so they can reply. Include a list of activities and accomplishments.

  • Work on college application essays.

  • Seek out jobs, internships and/or volunteer work in your community or through your school. In addition to being a rewarding experience, show an admissions office your commitment to improve your community.