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Prepare for Life After High School

BE College, Career, and Community Ready!

Whether or not you know exactly where you are going to attend college, join an apprenticeship program, or start your career in the workforce, this website is here to provide you with important information.

These resources should help get you started on the path to your future!



Career and College Exploration and Planning

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Financial Aid

What is Financial Aid?

  • Federal student aid comes from the federal government—specifically, the U.S. Department of Education. It’s money that helps a student pay for higher education expenses (i.e., college, career school, or graduate school expenses).
  • Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for a computer and for dependent care.
  • There are four main categories of federal student aid: grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships. Check with your college’s financial aid office to find out which programs the school participates in.


2015 Guide To FAFSA, CSS Profile, College Financial Aid And Expected Family Contribution (EFC)


WHO gets federal student aid?

Our most basic eligibility requirements are that you must:

  • demonstrate financial need (for most programs— to learn more, visit
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen (see below for more info if not a U.S. citizen)
  • have a valid Social Security number
  • register (if you haven’t already) with Selective Service, if you’re a male between the ages of 18 and 25
  • show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by - having a high school diploma or an equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or - completing a high school education in a home-school setting approved under state law; and
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school. Find more details about eligibility criteria.

FAFSA website to begin and complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Not a U.S. Citizen? There are resources available to you: Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) empowers undocumented young people to pursue their dreams of college, career, and citizenship in the United States. 

Scholarship Resources

  • Madison Metropolitan School District Scholarship link
  • Madison High Schools Scholarships East, La Follette, Memorial, West
  • FASTWEB Fastweb includes exclusive tools to help students search for college scholarships by interest. After filling out a personal profile, students are able to find scholarships that meet their goals and activities. Students can search, find, and apply to scholarships all from one website.
  • THE ART LIST Provides a list of opportunities for visual artists and photographers, including contests with prizes up to $15,000.
  • BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION Awards eight scholarship programs for undergraduate and graduate students, minority students, low income students, and others. Provides information on eligibility and how to apply for each program.
  • COLLEGEXpress Teamed up with U.S. World News Report, Careers and Colleges offers a free scholarship search of over 1.7 million scholarships worth over 7 billion dollars. Results match students’ specific needs and interests. Also allows students to explore college, major, and career options.
  • CAREER ONE STOP Career One Stop provides a scholarship search database of over 5,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other financial aid opportunities. Visitors can search by category or by keyword.
  • COLLEGES, COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS, AND FINANCIAL AID Designed to offer college-bound students, parents and school counselors easy access to information on U.S. colleges and universities free college scholarship and financial aid searches, SAT and ACT test preparation tips and more.
  • COLLEGESCHOLARSHIPS.COM Includes a list of currently open scholarships, as well as a free online searchable database. Also breaks scholarships down by topics, such as regional scholarships, art and writing scholarships, student athletes, and more.
  • COLLEGESCHOLARSHIPS.ORG No login or registration required. Allows for students and counselors to brows scholarships by category, such as scholarships for Native Americans, or Music Scholarships, etc. Also provides resources regarding how to write scholarships essays and more.
  • FINAID Links to a free scholarship search engine, but also provides list of less commonly found scholarships. Included: Unusual ScholarshipsFull tuition academic scholarshipsScholarships for Average students and more.
  • FREE-4U.COM A national database of scholarship listings. Includes scholarship lists based on majors, religion, athletics, minorities, state, military, Greek life, and more.
  • Accredited & Online Colleges Prospective students are able to search for schools using various criteria and compare online college programs to find the right fit for their personal, educational, and professional needs.


  • The Bagel Includes a list of associations and organizations around the country that provide scholarships to students interested in attending a culinary arts school.


  • IEFA The premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for US and international students wishing to study abroad. Includes a comprehensive college scholarship search and grant listings as well as international student loan programs.
  • PETERSON’S PAY FOR SCHOOL Provides a free, searchable scholarship and grant database, as well as offering information to students on federal student aid.
  • PRINCETON REVIEW SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID Information regarding federal student aid, the FAFSA, a free scholarship search database, and articles about how to find more aid for students.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS.COM Provides a searchable database of over 2.7 million scholarships and grants worth over $19 billion. Students can search for state, local, and national scholarships and can review results by deadline, dollar amount, and more.
  •  SCHOLARSHIP AMERICA Provides information on currently open scholarships based on their availability to the public or special interest groups.
  • SCHOLARSHIP EXPERTS Includes a free, easy, fast scholarship database. Students simply fill out a profile and then are connected to scholarship matches. The database is constantly updated to provide accurate and up-to-date information.
  • SCHOLARSHIP PLUS is an online system created for school counselors by school counselors. Includes custom reports, rapid entry tools, and the ability to distribute scholarship information all through your ScholarshipPlus tool.
  • SCHOLARSHIP STREET Provides online scholarship search, information on scholarship scams, as well as scholarship 101 classes.
  • SCIENCE NET A list of scholarships for undergraduate minority scholars interested in science, engineering, and technology.
  • SIMPLE TUITION Allows students, parents, and counselors to search for private and federal student loans and to learn more about the loan and financial aid process.
  • STUDENT AID ON THE WEB Information from the Federal Government on federal student aid, including guides to the FAFSA, information on federal grants and loans, as well as a Scholarship Wizard.

Pregnant and Parenting Scholarship Resources

  • University of Wisconsin (Oshkosh) Agnes Drexler Kujawa Memorial Scholarship for Single Mothers (up to $1,000)
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  • Women’s Opportunity Awards:Soroptomist International has the Women’s Opportunity Awards are given to women who serve as the primary head of their household, so basically single moms. Depending on the woman’s financial need and the cost of tuition at her chosen school, this award could pay for a mom’s entire college education. 
  • R.O.S.E. Scholarship:The letters in the R.O.S.E. Scholarship stand for Regaining One’s Self Esteem, and the R.O.S.E. Scholarship is awarded to women who are survivors of domestic violence and abuse. This award gives financial assistance to survivors of abuse planning to attend any four-year college in the New England area. In order to be eligible for a R.O.S.E. Scholarship, women must have already attended one full year of undergraduate studies at a college in New England, and is interviewed by the scholarship committee to establish need. The R.O.S.E. fund does much more than pay scholarships; the fund also helps women pay for reconstructive surgery after incidences of abuse and even find work and lodging after leaving an abusive relationship. Though not aimed specifically at moms, many mothers qualify for financial aid money from the R.O.S.E. Foundation.
  • Jeanette Rankin Foundation: hands out scholarships to women age 35 or older who show an interest in higher education. During that time, 500 plus women have earned awards to attend the college of their choice through Jeanette Rankin scholarships. These offers are for women pursuing a four-year degree. The Foundation hands out about 15 scholarships a year, with the amount of the award dependent on financial need. No, Jeanette Rankin Foundation scholarships are not targeted at moms, but if you’re a mom 35 or older, you qualify to apply for a scholarship from the Jeanette Rankin Foundation.
  • sister fund logoThe Sister FundThe Sister Fund is a private group that depends on donations from philanthropists to provide “financial support” and “give a voice to women working for justice from a religious framework,” according to the website. The Sister Fund’s scholarships for moms are called “Healers of Our Time” scholarships, and the awards are given to women who present progressive religious values. Applications for Healers of Our Time scholarships depend mostly on essays and letters of recommendation, allowing women an opportunity to prove their willingness “to work for the betterment of our world socially, economically, politically, and spiritually.” The amount of the award depends on financial need and the cost of tuition at the institution the winner chooses to attend.
  • The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund: The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund gives 20 scholarships each year to 20 women around the world who want to return to earn a college degree. The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund is sponsored and run by the World Bank, and awards educational grants to women from North America as well as some developing countries around the world. To earn these awards, a woman has to plan to pursue graduate studies that benefit women and children’s health worldwide. That means the main criteria is an essay and phone interview to establish a woman’s commitment to improving the lives of underprivileged women and children. These awards are worth $12,000 a year toward college costs, and are renewable for four years.
  • SWE Scholarship: Women who are enrolled in a program focused on computer science, engineering or engineering technology may consider applying for an SWE scholarship. There are several different scholarships and grants awarded each summer to prospective students who are either sophomore, junior, senior, or grad students in an accredited program. The financial support options include endowed scholarships, corporate-sponsored scholarships, and grants. Interested candidates can learn more about the scholarships and grants available to women by visiting here.
  • Emerge Scholarship Program:The Emerge Scholarship program has been helping women pay for a college education since 2001. The program is designed to help women who have already had significant real-life experiences such as stay-at-home mothers, women who are considering switching careers, those who graduated from high school years ago and did not have the opportunity to attend or finish college earlier in life, or who otherwise are non-traditional students. These scholarships are generally not awarded to those who already have received financial aid, and funds can only be applied toward tuition and fees rather than supplementing living-related expenses. 
  • Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund:This scholarship program is available for single parents living in over 70 counties in the state of Arkansas. The program is designed to help lower-income single parents find the financial assistance they need to attend college and find a better job to support their families after graduation. 
  • Patsy Takemoto Mink Scholarship for Low-Income Women:This scholarship program was founded in 2003 by Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink. Throughout her career, Congresswoman Mink has worked to promote education and support resources available for low-income women (at least 17-years-old) and their children. Her foundation provides financial assistance to low-income women enrolled in a higher education program or a specialized training program. The number of awards and the amount of the awards will vary from year to year. In 2012, five scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each will be awarded. 
  • Sister Thea Bowman Foundation:The Sister Thea Bowman Foundation is an example of a group dedicated to a specific cause; providing funds for single African-American mothers to attend the College of St. Mary. That college, located in Omaha, Nebraska, works closely with the Sister Thea Bowman Foundation to hand out plenty of scholarships to young black single moms who want to better themselves. You can find similar organizations at colleges all over the country.
  • Scholarships For Moms:Scholarships for Moms is a scholarship program that is available to single or married women who are mothers or who are pregnant. Essentially, any college student or prospective college student who is a mother may apply. The program will award up to $10,000 in money to be used for higher education costs to the recipient of the scholarship. More information about the program can be found at. 
  • P.E.O. Sisterhood:P.E.O. Sisterhood has been providing women with the financial assistance they need to attend college and improve their lives. Scholarships are mostly awarded to mothers. In addition to scholarships, the organization also helps mothers fund their college education through grants and loans. In total, this organization has provided over 77,000 women with financial assistance, and this assistance has totaled over $200 million dollars over the past 150 years. 
  • Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (otherwise known as WISP): WISP is designed to help women obtain the money they need to attend college and earn a higher education degree. The program is suited for survivors of domestic abuse from an intimate partner such as a spouse or a boyfriend. The program prefers to award scholarship funds to those enrolled state community colleges, state colleges or universities, and technical or vocational schools. Those enrolled in other programs may also apply. 
  • United Negro College Fund:The UNCF is designed to help African Americans, including mothers and expectant mothers of African American descent, obtain funds needed to attend college and work toward a higher education degree. Some scholarships are sponsored by specific corporations including Intel, Google, and others.
  • American Association of University Women:AAUW offers scholarships, grants, financial awards, and fellowship opportunities to women across the country. The organization aims to promote equal education for all women, so it is a great resource for funding higher education endeavors made by women with children or who are currently pregnant. Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund:Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund is provided annually through Talbots Charitable Foundation. Only the first 1,000 applications are considered each year. Of these 1,000 applicants, five scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $10,000 and fifty scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $1,000. These scholarships are designed for non-traditional female students. Only applicants who graduated high school or earned a GED at least ten years prior to the application date are considered.