Continuing your education after high school has many benefits – including better employment opportunities and a higher earning potential. Your options for education after high school – also known as postsecondary education – include short-term certification/credential programs as well as two-year and four-year degree programs.
When we say “college” on this page, we are referring to all postsecondary education options:
- Certificates and certifications earned in high school.
- Apprenticeships and career tech programs.
- Trade programs, certificates or associate degrees at KCTCS.
- Four-year degrees at a college.
Why Continue Your Education?
Did you know that 90% of the jobs in Kentucky will require a credential beyond a high school diploma? A credential that matters - whether a certificate in a trade or a degree - puts you in control of your future by giving you the knowledge and skills to pursue a career that interests and inspires you. When you have the freedom to choose your career, you're more likely to enjoy it.
Not sure where to begin? We have curated multiple resources below to help. Additionally, the Kentucky Advising Academy's College and Career Advising Toolkit offers helpful resources and downloadable quick guides related to career exploration, postsecondary opportunities, and more!
How to Choose Where to Go and What to Study
Choosing a School
- Types of Colleges
This one-pager from Kentucky Advising Academy provides a quick overview of types of colleges.
- Types of Workforce Training
This one-pager from Kentucky Advising Academy provides a quick overview of certificate programs and apprenticeships.
- How to Choose a School
In this video, you’ll be walked through how to choose the best school for you by considering multiple aspects, from your preferred environment to courses you want to study.
- Finding Your College Fit
This CollegeBoard BigFuture resource page provides a deeper dive into how to find the right college for you.
- College Scorecard
The U.S. Department of Education Scorecard allows you to search and compare colleges by their fields of study, costs, admissions, results and more.
- Ensuring a Reputable College, Credits and Degree
Many fake schools have websites that look like those of well-known schools. This resource page can help you ensure that you are choosing a reputable, accredited college.
Choosing a Major
- Kentucky Students’ Right to Know Dashboard
This dashboard links college majors to the most in-demand jobs in Kentucky; it also provides information about typical education requirements, wages and institutions offering these majors.
- 10 Things to Know About Choosing a College Major
This piece from U.S. News & World Report shares expert advice on what students should consider when choosing a major and other major-related information.
- Choosing Your College Major: Real Advice from a Real College Counselor
This video explores: how to narrow down majors that are right for you; questions to ask yourself when trying to choose a major; how double majors and minors work; and the importance of working backwards in order to reach your education and career goals.
- How to Choose a Major
This video discusses what majors are, how to choose one, and how to know if you should consider changing your major.
How to Go to College
I’ve Decided to Go to College – Now What?
So, you’ve decided to go to college – congratulations! This brief video from KHEAA outlines next steps to be taken once the decision to attend college is made.
How to Apply
- Exploring and Applying to Kentucky’s Public Postsecondary Institutions
This resource provides links to schedule campus visits, admissions applications and counselors, scholarships and financial aid, and explore academic programs for all of Kentucky’s public postsecondary institutions.
- College Applications 101
This KHEAA-produced video provides an overview of the college application process, including researching colleges’ admissions/application requirements, providing transcripts and meeting deadlines.
How to Stay on Schedule
- Preparing for College Admissions Timeline
It’s never too early to start preparing for college admissions! This timeline walks you through what preparatory steps you should take throughout your high school career – and when you should take them.
How to Get College Credit in High School
- Dual Credit
In dual credit, a student is enrolled in a course that allows them to earn high school credit and college credit simultaneously. Click the link above to access KDE’s most up-to-date info on dual credit.
- Advanced Placement (AP)
Students taking an AP course have the opportunity to take an end-of-course exam and, based on their numerical score, may be awarded college credit for the course. Click the link above to access KDE’s most up-to-date info on AP.
How to Pay for College
Complete the FAFSA
The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form will be available in December 2023 and will feature a few changes (see below). One of these changes is requiring that FSA IDs be completed in advance of FAFSA completion.
- How to Create a FSA ID
One of the key changes in the 2024-25 FAFSA process is requiring that FSA IDs be completed in advance of FAFSA completion. While you are unable to complete a FAFSA until it launches in December 2023, you may create your FSA ID now - and this video from KHEAA walks you through the process.
10 Biggest Changes on the 2024-25 FAFSA
This video from KHEAA provides an overview of the top changes you'll see with the 2024-25 FAFSA.
Earn Micro-Scholarships for Activities & Accomplishments
Students can sign up for free to earn micro-scholarships at participating colleges and universities. You can earn free money for college for doing things like having good attendance, taking an honors course, participating in extracurricular activities and more!
- Four Kinds of Financial Aid – and a Bonus
This video from KHEAA provides an overview on the four kinds of financial aid – grants, scholarships, work study and loans – plus a bonus type of financial aid.
- Getting the Facts College Comparison Tool
By registering for a free MyKHEAA account and creating a profile, you’ll get access to a free college planning tool that will give you a personalized breakdown of college costs and estimated financial aid at multiple colleges.
- Grant Overview & Two Kentucky Grants (CAP & KTG)
In this video, KHEAA provides an overview of what grants are, as well as details about two Kentucky grants, CAP (College Access Program) and KTG (Kentucky Tuition Grant).
- KEES (Kentucky Educational and Excellence Scholarship)
- KEES brochure
This KHEAA-produced brochure outlines what KEES is and shows you how you can turn good grades into money for college.
- KEES brochure
- What is KEES Money?
This video from KHEAA explores what KEES is, how you earn KEES money and how you can use your KEES money.
- What is KEES Money?
- Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship
This website tells you everything you need to know about the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, including how to apply, available programs of study and college contact info.
Scholarship Search Engines
- Federal Student Loans
Review this information from Federal Student Aid to learn more about the types of federal student loans available, how you get federal student loans and what you should consider before taking out these loans.
Need Help Navigating the College-Going Process?
Kentucky students and parents/guardians have multiple resources that are just a text, phone call or email away. Click here to access contact information for multiple individuals who are able to assist you with everything from completing a FAFSA to applying for post-high school education - and everything in between.
Last Updated: 10/30/2023