College or Career?
College or career? Ideally, it's college and career. Obviously, college is preparation for a career. Students often believe that college is for someone else or that they can't afford college, so their only option is to go straight to the workforce.
By redefining "college" to mean the full spectrum of higher education options, students may discover opportunities for both college and career that they didn't realize were available to them.
College Redefined: Higher Education Options
Sometimes students have a limited view of what "college" means and think that the traditional four-year college is the only type of higher education option available.
Options that are available after graduation range from community college, career and technical schools, four-year colleges, the military, and apprenticeships.
Community college is affordable to everyone. It is inexpensive, accessible, and has programs to meet most needs. Community colleges provide one or two-year programs that enable students to either begin a career or transfer credits to a four-year university. Students completing the two-year programs will receive an associate degree. One-year programs award a “Certificate of Completion”. Attending a community college can allow you to start your college education and transfer to a four-year college at a later time.
Career and Technical schools
Career and Technical schools offer short-term training in a wide variety of career fields. Programs at a career and technical school can last from a few weeks to two years.
Four-year college education
A four-year college education provides a Bachelor degree that can open doors, provide status, and prepare students for financially rewarding careers.
The military will provide discipline and structure with career preparation and travel. The military trains young men and women so they can protect the interest of our country and provide financial assistance for college once the person is discharged.
Apprenticeship programs are available for students who prefer the “hands-on” approach. Apprentices learn a skilled trade through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training.
More Education = Higher Earnings and Lower Unemployment Rates
For some, employment may be the most appropriate option right after graduation. With no vocational training, career options may be limited. When looking for employment, look for something that might interest you as a career.
Study this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how your level of education can impact your potential earnings and possibility of unemployment.
Click image to enlarge
Texas Colleges and Universities
- Abilene Chrisitian University
- Alvin Community College
- Angelo State University
- Art Institute of Houston
- Austin College
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Baylor University
- Blinn College
- Bradford School of Business
- College of the Mainland
- Dallas Baptist University
- DeVry University
- Hardin-Simmons University
- Houston Baptist University
- Houston Community College
- Howard Payne University
- ITT Technical Institute
- Lamar University
- LeTourneau University
- National Institute of Technology
- McMurry University
- Northwood University
- Our Lady of the Lake University
- Prairie View A & M University
- Rice University
- Sam Houston State University
- San Jacinto College District
- South Texas College of Law
- Southern Methodist University
- Southwestern University
- Stephen F. Austin University
- Sul Ross State University
- Tarleton State University
- Texas A&M University
- Texas A&M University - Commerce
- Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
- Texas A&M University at Galveston
- Texas A&M University - Kingsville
- Texas Christian University
- Texas Lutheran University
- Texas Southern University
- Texas State University
- Texas Tech University
- Trinity University
- University of Dallas
- University of Houston
- University of Houston Law Center
- University of North Texas
- University of Mary Hardin Baylor
- University of St. Thomas
- University of Texas
- University of Texas - Arlington
- University of Texas - Dallas
- University of Texas at El Paso
- University of Texas at San Antonio
- University of Texas - Tyler
- University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
- UT Health Science Center Medical School
- Westwood College of Aviation Technology
- West Texas A&M University
- Amhert College
- Arizona State University
- Arkansas State University
- Auburn University
- Ball State University
- Brigham Young University - Idaho
- Brigham Young University - Utah
- Brown University
- California State University - Los Angeles
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Centenary College of Louisiana
- Colgate University
- College of Charleston
- Colorado State University
- Duke University
- Eckerd College
- Elon University
- Emory University
- Florida State University
- Georgetown University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- Holy Cross
- Indiana State University
- Julliard School
- Kent State University
- Kentucky State University
- Lousiana State University
- Louisiana Tech University
- Loyola University - New Orleans
- Massachesetts Institute of Technology
- McNeese State University
- Michigan State University
- Mississippi State University
- Morehouse College
- New Mexico State University
- New York University
- Oklahoma State University
- Oregon State University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Pepperdine University
- Princeton University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Rhodes University
- Rutgers University
- St. John's University
- Stanford University
- Stetson University
- U.S. Air Force Academy
- U.S. Military Academy
- U.S. Naval Academy
- University of Alabama
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of Arkansas
- University of California at Los Angeles
- University of Colorado at Boulder
- University of Colorado at Denver
- University of Chicago
- University of Delaware
- University of Florida
- University of Kentucky
- University of Miami
- University of Michigan
- University of Mississippi
- University of Notre Dame
- University of Oklahoma
- University of Oregon
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of South Florida
- University of Southern California
- University of Tennessee
- Vanderbilt University
- Vassar College
- Yale University
Apply Texas is the common application that most colleges and universities use for college admissions. This is the first step that must be completed prior to college admissions. Once the application is complete, it may be saved and edited for submission to several universities or junior colleges.
The Application Process
The college application process can seem overwhelming, but it really can be fairly easy if you stay organized. You need to be very familiar with the admission requirements and deadlines for your college/university. This information can be easily found at the websites for the individual institutions or you may see Mrs. Royal for assistance. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the application thoughtfully. This means you shouldn't wait until the night before the deadline! Your application represents YOU! Also make sure you have met admission requirements. 4-year universities look at your class rank and college admissions test scores (SAT or ACT) to determine your eligibility for admission. Make sure you have taken these tests in advance of the deadlines. Top 10% students are guaranteed admission at most Texas public universities, but you must still meet application deadlines and have test scores on record.
Most public and some private institutions of higher education in Texas use a common application called ApplyTexas. This application is an excellent way to apply to one or multiple schools. For more information about ApplyTexas, read below.
You need to be aware that almost all of the 4-year universities charge an application fee. This can range from $25-$60. What does this mean? You need to do your research and narrow your choices before you complete your applications. You can receive an application fee waiver if you are on free/reduced lunch and have used a fee waiver for the SAT or ACT. 2-year institutions typically do not charge an application fee.
Applying to College Using ApplyTexas
ApplyTexas was created through a collaborative effort between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the colleges and universities represented on the site. The goal of the project is to offer a centralized means for both Texas and non-Texas students to apply to the many outstanding postsecondary institutions available in Texas.
On ApplyTexas you can accomplish a multitude of tasks including:
Apply for admission to any Texas public university, as well as to participating community and private colleges.
Apply for undergraduate, international and graduate admission.
Copy a submitted application to another institution.
Submit your application essays online.
Apply for scholarships from participating universities.
Apply for housing with participating universities.
Search for and view both general and university specific information.
TBHS College Planning Timeline
College For All Texans
Gateway website that answers questions regarding getting into and paying for colleges in the state of Texas.
List of colleges in the United States
Compare College TX
www.comparecollegetx.com Compare College TX is an interactive, mobile-friendly web tool designed to help students and parents learn more about Texas public universities and community/ technical colleges.
College Planning Checklist
This is a list of the colleges and universities throughout the state of Texas. Be sure and visit the college admissions website of the college you are looking to attend to verify any changes or additions.
College Cost through the Dept. of Education
Current Cost of College Education in Texas
Career Colleges and Schools of Texas
Texas Monthly College Guide
Bad Online Behavior Jeopordizes Student's College Plans
Top 10% Rule in Texas
Top 10% Rule-Automatic Admission
If you're in the top 10% of your high school graduating class, you're eligible for automatic admission to any public university in Texas. To meet the requirements for automatic admission, you must:
Graduate in the top 10% of your class at a public or private high school in Texas, or
Graduate in the top 10% of your class from a high school operated by the U.S. Department of Defense and be a Texas resident or eligible to pay resident tuition;
Enroll in college no more than two years after graduating from high school; and
Submit an application to a Texas public university for admission before the application deadline. (Check with the university for specific deadlines).
If you're admitted to college through the Top 10% Rule, you may still be required to provide SAT or ACT scores, but these scores are not used for admissions purposes. You must also take the THEA test, unless you're exempt from the test requirement. Be sure to check with the school's admissions office regarding THEA, SAT and ACT requirements.
After you're admitted, the university may review your high school records to determine if you're ready for college-level work. If you need additional preparation, you may be required to take a developmental, enrichment or orientation course prior to your first semester of college. Please keep in mind that admission to a university does not guarantee acceptance into a particular program of study or academic department.
The exception to the top 10% rule is for the University of Texas @ Austin. Currently, they are only required to accept the top 7% of each graduating class until changes take place beginning with the class of 2016. At that time, the top 8% will be accepted. For more information regarding the exception visit: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769817739.
Finding A College that Offers Your Degree Program
This site will help you to find the college that offers the college degree you are looking for while also looking at location, cost, and other criteria that varies by individual students.
College Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities
This link includes everything from admissions, financial aid, essay writing, resumes,portfolios, letters of recommendations, plus much more. All of these subjects are listed in one place!
Accredited Online Colleges
Undergraduate Transfer of Credit and Texas Core Curriculum
Adventures in Education-College Planning
Sallie Mae. College Answer
How to Pick the Ideal College and the College Fair
Finding A School
There are numerous considerations in the selection of a particular college or university. The intention of this section is to make the student aware of both personal and academic factors that might play a part in his or her college decision.
Starting your Search
The characteristics listed are ones that students frequently mention as important in the selection process. Not all of them will matter to you and some will seem more important than others. The more specific you become in the characteristics you want, the more limited your search will be. One good way to start your search is to choose one or two characteristics and find the colleges that have them. Stay flexible.
Location (state, city, region)
Campus Environment (metropolitan, rural)
Type (University, College, Technical School, etc.)
Enrollment by Sex (female only, male only or coed)
Religious Affiliation, if any
Size of College (undergraduate enrollment)
Courses, Majors or Degrees Offered
Tuition or Cost (don't eliminate because of cost until you find out whether you qualify for financial aid.)
Financial Aid (scholarships, merit aid, need-based aid, work study)
Student Activities (ex. Greek life, honors programs, or extracurricular)
Academic Caliber of Students
Competitive Atmosphere of the School
Types of Schools
Start your search by recognizing the many different types of schools. Although a majority of students go to a four-year college or university, you should consider all alternatives.
UNIVERSITIES offer a broad range of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. They can vary in size and in the diversity of the programs they offer, but are generally larger than other types of colleges. They typically offer more majors and have more research facilities than do other colleges.
COLLEGES are divided by departments and usually offer one or two degrees (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science) in many academic disciplines. This would include a major in departments such as math, English, literature, science, foreign languages, politics, history or engineering. There are various types of Colleges (for ex. Liberal Arts, Technological, Military, or Education) They usually have smaller enrollments and offer fewer degrees.
JUNIOR OR COMMUNITY COLLEGES award associate degrees at the completion of two years of full time study. They frequently offer technical programs of study that prepare students for immediate entry into the job market. In addition, many offer general education programs that are the equivalent of the first two years of a bachelor's degree program. These are called transfer programs; upon completion, students may enter a bachelor's degree program at the third-year level at a four-year college or university. The majority of two-year public colleges have open admission policies, although some individual programs like Nursing may be selective.
TECHNICAL SCHOOLS specialize in one or more of the branches of engineering technology, aeronautics, air conditioning, heating and refrigeration, automotive diesel, and steam technologies, construction, chemical technology, electronics, mechanics and metallurgy, tool designing, computer technology, and others. One of the greatest occupational demands in the future will be for technicians.
VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS offer additional training in a large number of fields. Courses run from a few weeks to several years. Business and secretarial schools offer typing, stenography, bookkeeping, data processing, and other business related courses. At other schools, you can learn acting, police work, dressmaking, court reporting, mortuary science, cosmetology, upholstering, welding, modeling, selling and other specialized careers.
CAREER COLLEGES A new name for a new breed of vocational/technical schools. The main purpose of a Career College is to train for a particular career, trade or profession, usually in two or fewer years.
SERVICE ACADEMIES include the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Merchant Marines, and the Coast Guard. Acceptance to the Army, Navy and Air Force academies requires a congressional nomination and acceptance from the academy. The student must contact a State Senator, Congressional Representative, or the Vice President of the United States for the proper forms for nomination. The Coast Guard does not require a nomination. See our Internet Resources Page for links to the various academies.
SENIOR MILITARY COLLEGES For students who would like to experience a military environment while getting a first-class education, a Senior Military College (SMC) offers the best of both worlds. SMCs are among the most prestigious and famous education institutions in the world. You can learn more about each SMC by visiting their official Web sites:
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets
North Georgia College & State University
Texas A&M Corps of Cadets
Mary Baldwin Women's Institute for Leadership
Resources in Your Search for a College
COLLEGE/CAREER RESOURCE CENTER
A valuable resource for students and parents when searching for college and career information is the College/Career Resource Center located in the office next to Mrs. Royal, Counselor. Students are invited to visit during the school day. Resources available are career books, college catalogs and bulletins, directories, scholarship and financial aid information and more.
Once a year Tom Bean High School hosts a college information night. You are encouraged to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to speak directly to college admission officers and to find out more about scholarships, majors, financial aid and admission procedures. It is a good time to sign up for further correspondence from the colleges of your interest.
THE COLLEGE VISIT
The campus visit is a helpful resource in your college investigation. Not only does the visit enable you to see the physical setting and facilities of the school, but it allows you to observe the students, faculty, and staff. The best time to visit a college is while it is in session. If you plan a visit, call or write the Admissions Office to request an interview and tour of the campus. Addresses and phone numbers can be found in directories in the College/Career Resource Center or on each college's website. It is your responsibility to make the visitation arrangements. Many schools sponsor visitation weekends that are geared to the prospective student. This is an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about the school, and its procedures. Usually there is an orientation, tour of the campus, tour of the dorms, presentations about admissions, programs of study, student life, and financial aid. You can learn about these special occasions by watching the senior bulletin board, or by going online to each college's web site. You will need to request a College Visit form from Mrs. Jones and have it completed and signed by the college attended before your return to school.
The Internet is a great place for information. Most schools have web sites. Search using the college's name. Some of the information you can find is Admissions, Financial Aid, Majors, Departments, and Course Offerings. Each site is set up differently, so explore until you become familiar with it. Some have a section for prospective students, and some have most of the information for prospective students under the Admissions category. We have Internet access in the library and in the College/Career Resource Center.
HOW TO PICK THE IDEAL COLLEGE
1. Plan early. You should begin narrowing your college options during your junior year.
2. Take entrance exams (SAT or ACT). Ask which exam, if any, your college of choice prefers. Take the exam during your junior year and then again during your senior year. Studying or practicing for the exam helps! Study guide books are available for checkout in the library.
3. Apply to at least three colleges. At least one of these should be a sure-fire acceptance.
4. Visit the different campuses and speak with an admissions counselor. Typical questions to ask:
o What is the size of the student body/ campus?
o Does the campus have a supportive climate?
o What are the academic support services?
o Are there special mentor programs for the students? Honor programs?
o What financial support programs does the college offer?
o How much are tuition and fees for the typical year? Room, board, books?
o What is the size of the typical freshman class?
o What percentage of freshmen continues as sophomores? Graduate in four years?
o What career development is available?
5. Weigh the differences between schools.
o Location and setting.
o Type and size of schools.
o Cost of Attendance: Tuition, room and board, extra fees, books, travel expenses, spending money, special clothing.
o Financial aid: Scholarships, grants, loans, work-study, campus jobs, co-op programs
o Admission requirements: Required tests, grade point average, class rank, residency, special talents. Try to match requirements to your abilities.
o Campus life: Cultural events, sports, clubs, recreational facilities.
MAKE THE BEST OF A COLLEGE FAIR
Do a little research on the schools you would like to approach before college night. Browse their websites. Find the prospective student link and check out the pages designed just for you.
Bring a bag to hold all your goodies .
Bring or make self stick labels. Most representatives will have inquiry cards that they will want you to fill out, which will place you on their mailing lists. You could include your address, phone number, e-mail address, high school graduation date, GPA, and areas of interest.
Make a list of questions. Focus on questions that pertain to your interests. Ask about majors that you are interested in pursuing. What kind of classes will you have to take for those majors? What services or supports are available to help you explore various majors? What are recent graduates of those majors doing now? How safe is the campus and its surrounding neighborhoods? What is the campus environment like on the weekends? What kinds of campus job opportunities are available? Try to ask questions that you couldn't find answers to from researching the websites.
Locate some one handing out a directory to the participants. Locate your first choice schools and go there first. After you visit your top choices, take some time and browse the other schools. You may find some surprises in schools you haven't considered before. http://www.nacacnet.org/studentinfo/Pages/Default.aspx
THECB Degree Program Search
ACT College Search
Next Step U
Creating a Plan of Action to Prepare for College
Tips for Writing Essays
College Week Live-Live Online College Fairs
CollegeWeekLive is the college fair that comes to you. Online. With live events every week. And it'sFREE. You'll find it's one of the best ways to aid you in making one of the most important decisions in your life.
You can chat live with admissions reps at over 450 colleges, video chat with real students about campus life and get admissions advice from experts presenting via live video.
My Future-College and Career Planning
College Application Fee Waiver
Students that qualify for free or reduced lunches may be eligible for an admission fee waiver. See Mrs. Royal for help with this.
Common Application for Private Universities and Colleges
Private Colleges and Universities
Students wishing to apply to private colleges and universities can do so at http://www.commonapp.org/ A list of participating schools is located on the website. Students applying to college using the Common Application, must submit two teacher evaluations and the secondary school form which are both located under the "Downloads" tab. Students who need a counselor recommendation, must request the recommendation at least 3 weeks prior to the admission deadline. You can find the forms required at the link below:
My College Guide
College Prep 101
Edutrek-College Match Service
Affordable Colleges Online
College View (College Planning)
Petersons College Planning
College Reality Check
Going to College-Planning for students with disabilities
Checklist for Transitioning From High School to College
As you and your teen look ahead to college, make sure youâ€™re both aware of key differences between high school and college: special education services and the laws that support and protect those with learning disabilities. There are no IEPâ€™s in college!
This checklist provides
Descriptions of key differences between high school and college
Items for your student to address while still in high school
Options to consider when applying to colleges
Items for your student to address once he or she has been accepted to a college
Reminders about the critical importance of self-advocacy
Download your FREE copy of the Checklist for Transitioning from High School to College (PDF) today!
Off to College- Planning Website
Bureau of Indian Education
Information and educational resource website for students who are Native American.