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College and Career Resources

There are thousands of resources available to help guide students in their post high school career. Below are several that have been reviewed and recommended by HCPSS counselors.

College Admission Testing

The SAT and the ACT are the primary standardized tests used by colleges and universities. The SAT is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test created and administered by the College Board. The ACT is multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test administered by ACT, Inc. Many companies, including those listed below, provide resources to assist students in preparing for these exams.

Note: Not all colleges and universities require the ACT or SAT. maintains the list of colleges that do not require those tests for admission.

  • Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is world-class SAT prep that is effective, personalized to each student, and 100% free.
  • Compass Education Group provides test preparation, videos, resources and more related to standardized testing.
  • The Princeton Review provides tutoring, test preparation and admission resources for students.
  • C2 provides tutoring, test preparation and admission resources for students.
  • The Answer provides in-person and virtual standardized test preparation.
  • ScoreMore Prep provides in person and virtual standardized test preparation.

Writing Your College Essay

Many institutions require an essay or personal statement as part of their application. Here are several helpful resources to consult as you begin writing your college essay.

Additionally, starting Fall 2023, all HCPSS students attending HCC to earn their English 12 credit will be offered application AND essay support sessions through HCPSS’ Office of Dual Enrollment.

College Athletics

A wide range of athletic activities are available at the collegiate level. Students can participate in intramural, club, and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports. NCAA sports tend to be more competitive than those at the other two levels. They are divided into three divisions (Divisions I, II, and III), based on the size of the institution, the level of competition, and the funding of the athletic program. Visit to understand the steps that need to be taken to be eligible to participate in NCAA-level athletics. Additional information about the three NCAA divisions is available online.

Note:In January 2023, NCAA Divisions I and II adopted legislation to remove standardized test scores from initial-eligibility requirements for students who initially enroll full time in an NCAA member school on or after August 1, 2023. Questions and answers have been developed to assist in understanding this new legislation and ensuring awareness regarding COVID-19 policies that may apply to students who initially enroll full time in the 2023-24 academic year and beyond.

Additional College Preparation Resources

Coalition for College Event Recordings: The Coalition for College is a college application platform that partners with over 150 colleges to provide access to postsecondary education. This site has over 30 recordings related to college admission ranging from financial aid, testing, first generation and more. Many of the recordings are translated into Spanish.

On the Admission Beat Podcast, veteran dean of admissions Lee Coffin from Dartmouth College provides high school juniors, seniors, and parents, as well as their counselors and other mentors, with “news you can use” at each step on the pathway to college. With a welcoming, reassuring perspective and an approach intended to build confidence in prospective applicants, Dean Coffin offers credible information, insights, and guidance—from the earliest days of the college search, to applications, decision-making, and arrival on campus.

TeenLife offers free resources for counselors and students on post secondary education.

The Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC) Counselor Resource Committee provides a list of recommended blogs about college admissions. The blogs cover a range of topics designed to provide students insights into the college admissions process.

Diversity Fly-In & Program List: These overnight or multi-day events, often known as ‘fly-in programs,’ let you experience campus up close, so you can get to know the students and faculty who bring the college to life. For prospective students, fly-ins and diversity visit programs typically occur in the spring of junior year or fall of senior year before you submit your college applications. There are also fly-in and visit programs created to help admitted students decide where to enroll in the spring of senior year.

Disability Services in College

Education Matters: Postsecondary Disability Services: A fact sheet prepared by the Maryland Department of Disabilities, Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Maryland Disability and Higher Education Network on accessing disability services at the postsecondary level.

Learning Disability Consultant: Author and speaker Elizabeth C. Hamblet offers advice and delivers presentations based on her professional experiences drawn from her 20+ years as a college-level learning disabilities specialist.

National Parent Center on Transition and Planning: Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for young adults with Intellectual Disabilities (ID). PACER Center is a proud partner of Think College. This website includes information on transition planning, legal issues, employment, and pathways to success.

Recording from March2Future on Disability Services in College: Howard Community College Department of Disability explains the process for access disability services in college.

College Transitions: Colleges with Strong Learning Support Services: The College Transitions team has identified a number of universities that do an exceptional job helping students with disabilities find postsecondary success. In some cases, we highlight a general disabilities services office that is known for providing exceptional support free of cost. In other cases, we highlight programs that, for an extra fee, will provide structured and scheduled support to students, sometimes in a particular disability category.

Recommended Reading on Postsecondary Planning

As you embark on your career journey, here is some recommended reading to help provide accurate information, perspective, and support.

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni

Who Gets in and Why by Jeff Selingo

I’m Going to College Not You: Surviving the College Search with Your Child by Jennifer Delahunty

How to Raise an Adult: How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lyhcott-Haims

The Truth About College Admissions: The Family Guide to Getting In and Staying Together by Brennan Barnard

The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Roadmap for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make Ron Lieber