Empower Blog

February 18, 2022

Planning For Life After High School

College-Career Planning
The thought of life after high school can be overwhelming, especially for seniors entering their final semester. Planning for the next stage doesn’t need to be stressful. CommunityAmerica’s free College and Career Planning Consultants are here to help you navigate what comes next. Whether you’re thinking of college or entering the workforce, check out these tips and tools to help guide your decision.

Student Checklists

A great starting point in planning for life after high school would be to check out our Student Checklists. These checklists are designed to help you focus on the many aspects that go in to preparing for what’s next. From enrolling in challenging courses, to attending campus tours and college fairs, making your college or training program decision, and applying for financial aid – these checklists cover many items to keep in mind when preparing yourself to take that next step. Every goal in life starts with a plan, and these checklists are here to help you map out that plan in more detail.

College or Career – What Move is Right for You?

Before deciding on your next step in life, be sure to give thought to what route makes the most sense for you. College is not for everyone – and that is okay. The opportunities are endless once entering the real world. Take time to do your research and remember that taking advice from friends and family can’t hurt, but you ultimately need to make the decision that is best for you. Whether you decide on a four-year university, two-year community college, trade school, or heading straight into the work force, doing what makes you happy is all that matters.

Choosing a School

If you decide college is the next step, it is time to discover which school checks all of your boxes. From the type of school, to location, extracurriculars, financial assistance, and more – there are many factors that go into choosing your dream school, and CommunityAmerica is here to help our members with this tough decision. Our website features college and career planning tools that can help narrow down your college choice. You can take a quiz that will generate a personalized list of schools based on your answers, use your personal fit score to match your unique needs with over 6,500 schools to find the best fit, or schedule an appointment with me to discuss options. This could be your home for the next four years, so this is not a decision you want to take lightly.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on October 1. If you have not yet filled out your application, we would suggest doing that as soon as possible. If you are waiting to fill it out until you’ve decided on a school, that is not needed. The application requires you enter just one school that is on your list in order for it to be considered complete. Completing your FAFSA application is how you apply for federal student aid such as grants, work-study, or loans. The sooner you fill out your application, the greater chance you have at receiving the funds you need. The FAFSA application can be a bit confusing, so be sure to check out our recent blog, Your Guide To FAFSA, for tips and tricks to making the process as smooth as possible.

Creating Your Resume

Having a solid resume on hand is important as you apply to college programs, scholarships, and jobs. Your resume is your chance to highlight any qualifications that would make you a good fit for whatever you choose to apply for. You might be thinking, “I do not have enough career experience to make a resume” – but that is not a problem. Try focusing on building your activities resume instead. An activities resume is a good start for showing off your life experiences and strong work ethic. Keep track of any community volunteering, extracurricular activities, and summer jobs throughout high school and you will be on the right track when starting your resume. Learn more on how to build a beneficial activities resume and download an example here.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning for your future, and CommunityAmerica is here to make sure you are on a path to thrive. If you have questions on the college or career planning process, check out our College and Career Planning page or schedule a free meeting with me if you are already a member.

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About the Author
karly scholl
Karly Scholl

College & Career Planner

Karly is a College & Career Planner at CommunityAmerica. She can help you navigate the most important stages of the college and career planning process, including career exploration, choosing an educational program, and establishing realistic financial expectations around funding your education.