Prep Talk Blog > October 2008

A new online resource has recently been launched by the government to encourage high school students to go to college and to help them figure out how to get there. It also helps their parents learn how to be supportive partners throughout the process., the new website, was implemented by the United States Department of Education. It was designed by students, however, so it is colorful and hip – not like most other government-backed websites! The site features several videos and written testimonials of students who overcame hurdles such as peer pressure, lack of funding, or an supportive family and still made it to college. 

The site is divided into two main sections.  The first section is for the high school student and the second one is for the student’s parents and family. The section for students is grouped into several subcategories. One, called “why go,” tells students all the various ways college can improve their lives. The reasons include boosting future earning potential, finding your passion, and creating a legacy of success in your family. Pretty compelling reasons, I’d say!

The next section, “what to do,” is excellent for students who know they are interested in college but don’t know how to get started. This section teaches you the difference between 4-year and vocational schools, explains the importance of entrance exams, provides tips on applying to schools, and helps you creative a personalized, interactive roadmap to college based on your high school grade level.

It’s no secret that college prices are rising, and the hefty price tag may cause many potential college students to think a higher education is out of reach. Not so! The third section, “how to pay,” explains all your payment options for school. These include government aid, scholarships, private loans, grants, work-study programs, and more. The section also provides money management tips and advice on avoiding financial scams in the application process.

Are you motivated to go to college but just can’t get your family to approve or help you?’s section for parents and family of the student is there to help get them on your side. This section explains why helping your child go to college is a gift that will help give them a better life. It explains how parents can help their children in the application process and how to deal with the cost of college expenses.

I love that the government has stepped in to create this resource. Now that the doors of college are open to more students than ever, those who choose not to go will be left behind. They will have less career opportunities and earning potential. I think it is wonderful that the government has made a student-friendly online resource, especially with all the testimonials from real students who overcame hardship and made it to college. It’s also great that the website includes a section for parents, because even if the student is desperate to go to college, an uncooperative parent can put those plans to a stop. Kudos to the Department of Education for putting together this new resource to show students that going to college doesn’t have to just be a dream!

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Don Munce