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Plan for College

Are you planning or thinking about going to college? Check our list of resources below to help you on your college journey. While this is not an exhaustive list, it should help you begin your journey. Make sure to communicate all updates with your high school counselor, college adviser, mentors and other adults assisting you with your college search.


  • ACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. ACT offers the ACT test, which is one of two college entrance exams students can submit to a college or university for admissions consideration.
  • BestColleges: Diversity & Inclusion offers in-depth guides for studying smarter, articles with tips on paying for school, planning for college, maximizing military benefits, and student lifestyle.
  • BigFuture is the College Board’s free college planning tool, designed to support students from your first thoughts about college to your first day on campus. Find the college you’ll thrive in and learn about your interests and career options as you discover your big future.
  • Coalition for College is a diverse group of more than 150 U.S. colleges and universities committed to making college a reality for lower-income, under-resourced and/or first-generation students. MyCoalition, is the Coalition’s online toolkit designed to engage students in the college application process early and easily.
  • Collegeboard is a nonprofit organization connecting students to college success and opportunity. Collegeboard offers the SAT test, which is one of two college entrance exams students can submit to a college or university for admissions consideration. 
  • College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) is a free service that assists students with education planning, career planning, sending high school transcripts, paying for college and applying to all 58 NC community colleges and many of the 4-year public and private universities in NC.
  • College Scorecard is a free service that helps you find the right fit by searching and comparing colleges based on their fields of study, costs, admissions, results, and more. 
  • Common App is a nonprofit membership organization representing 900 diverse institutions of higher education. Common App connects applicants and those who support them to a wide array of public and private colleges and universities.
  • I’m First is an online community celebrating first-generation college students. Watch video stories from first-gen students, read student blogs, and discover colleges that have special programs to support their first-gen students.
  • KnowHow2Go is a multi-year, multi-media effort, which includes television, radio and outdoor public service advertisements (PSAs) that encourage young people, primarily those in 8th through 10th grade, to prepare for college using four simple steps.
  • Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) empowers a community of exceptional young leaders from under-resourced backgrounds by supporting their higher education and professional success in order to create a more inclusive and equitable country.
  • MyCollegeOptions is a free college planning service, helping students, parents, high schools, counselors, and teachers nationwide. It is designed to empower students to explore a wide range of post-secondary opportunities with free technology, advice, and planning tools.
  • NC Community College System oversees all 58 community colleges in NC, which educate about 700,000 students each year. Their mission is to minimize the barriers to post-secondary education and maximize student success by developing a multi-culturally competent workforce.
  • NC Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) is comprised of the state’s 36 private, nonprofit liberal arts, research, and comprehensive colleges and universities accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
  • North Carolina First in FAFSA is a myFutureNC Collaborative that focuses on increasing the number of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA. 
  • Roadtrip Nation will help you find a fulfilling life and career through their career exploration tools and award-winning documentaries filled with advice from people who love their day-to-day jobs and the educational path they took to get there.
  • Residency Determination Service (RDS) is a centralized service for determining a student’s residency. Their residency will demonstrate their eligibility for state financial aid at all public and private universities in NC including community colleges. RDS is connected to CFNC, which means students will need their CFNC login to complete their RDS application.
  • Strive For College provides high school and college students with free online mentoring to help them get to college, graduate, and begin their careers.
  • The University of North Carolina (UNC) System serves as the governing board, which oversees all 16 public universities in NC as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students.
  • TheBestSchools is an independent organization comprised of a dedicated group of educators, professionals, and authors providing the best resources and advice to assist learners through every step of their education, into their careers, and toward sustainable lifelong learning.
  • Your Hire Education is designed specifically for students to explore the 275 certificate and degree programs offered at our 58 community colleges. Find success stories from community college graduates, potential salaries, and everything you need to know to get hired!