College Planning

  • Dual Credit Information

    Dual Credit Information

    Dual credit gives eligible high school students the opportunity to enroll in college classes for credit prior to high school graduation making the credits part of both the student’s permanent college record and high school transcript. Instructors for dual credit courses must meet the requirements to teach at both the high school and collegiate level. The greatest benefit of dual credit is that students accumulate college credits which assist in graduating college on-time or early.

    District 211 Dual Credit Explained

    List of Dual Credit Courses Offered - This website allows students to identify college coursework that is accepted for transfer credit throughout Illinois as a part of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI). It is the official Illinois transfer website. - This website allows students to create an account and input all of their dual credit courses taken in high school to find out how they will transfer to specific universities.

  • College Planning Guides

    College Planning Guides


    Ultimate College Planning Guide

    This guide is the result of a collaborative effort between District 211 and Harper College. It is meant to assist families in navigating each step of the college planning process.

    Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC): College Planning

    State Universities in Illinois At a Glance

    Twelve Reasons to Stay in Illinois

    College Advising for Undocumented Students



    A list of all scholarships can be foud here

  • Financial Planning Information

    Financial Planning Information


    Financial Aid is money that the government and other organizations give you or lend you so you can pay for college. To qualify for Financial Aid, you must apply. Financial aid comes from the federal government (the largest source), state governments, colleges and universities, private organizations (such as companies, clubs and religious organizations), and banks and lending companies.



    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial aid from the federal government, state governments and many colleges. You can also apply for financial aid directly from the colleges you’re applying to and from private organizations. Some of these may require you to submit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE or their own private forms. Remember that meeting deadlines is your responsibility. You have to submit your applications on time to qualify for financial aid. College, state and private financial aid deadlines vary. Aim to file the FAFSA as close to October 1 as possible; remember that financial aid dollars are limited, and in many cases are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

    **BIGGEST INCORRECT ASSUMPTION: "I am not going to file FAFSA because I make too much money and I will not qualify for any funding." This statement is false. This application is completely free and there is nothing hurt by applying to see what is possible. In the worst case scenario your family would not qualify for any grants, but still could qualify for loans through the federal government. This works in your favor because the percentage for the loans you would get from the government is much lower than the rate from any other institution offering loans. Another reason to apply for FAFSA is because some colleges award merit scholarships and require the FAFSA to be filled out in order to be considered for scholarships. Even if you think your family's income is too high, you should still apply for FAFSA for numerous reasons!

    FAFSA Myths: This link is a great way to explore myths and FAQ's about the FAFSA process.

    Documents and information that you'll need to complete your FAFSA

    Additional information about the FAFSA and the financial aid process


    1. Grants: Grants are called gift aid because they do not have to be paid back. Grants come from federal and state governments and from colleges. Most grants are neeed based, which means they are usually given based on your or your family’s financial circumstances.
    2. Scholarships: Scholarships are also gift aid. Scholarships come from governments, colleges and private organizations. They may be awarded for academic or athletic ability, interest in a certain subject, or volunteer work, for example. Some scholarships are given based on membership in an ethnic or religious group. Companies may also give scholarships to children of employees.
    3. Loans: Borrowing money from a bank, government or lending company is called taking out a loan. A loan must be paid back with an extra charge called interest. The federal government offers low-interest loans to students with financial need. Other lenders charge more interest.
    4. Work-Study Programs: The Federal Work-Study Program offers paid part-time jobs to help students pay for part of their college cost.


    Net price is the real price that a student pays to go to a college. It’s the published price of the college minus the gift aid that the student receives. The net price of a college is often much lower than its published price. Most colleges now offer a tool on their websites called a net price calculator. This online tool gives you an estimate of the actual price you would pay to go to a certain college, based on information you enter about your finances. Your net price will be different for every college, so it’s a good idea to use each college’s net price calculator. Click here for more information on the net price calculator.




    FAFSA4caster-is a free financial aid calculator that gives you an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This information helps families plan ahead for college. You must use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA®) to apply for aid once you’ve decided to apply for admission and attend college.

    CSS/Financial Aid Profile

    Some colleges offer the CSS profile as a means for rewarding additional grants/scholarships from their own institution. The CSS profile asks more specific questions than what is on the FAFSA as a means of understanding your family financial circumstances better. The CSS Profile can be found on the College Board website. Click here to see the colleges who accept the Profile and how the process works.


    Information on federal and private loans and scholarship programs sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

    Financial Aid and Undocumented Students

    Information on financial aid for undocumented students.

    IRS Data Retrieval Tool

    This tool electronically transfers your federal tax return information into your FAFSA form.

    Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)

    Also referred to as College Zone, ISAC has primary responsibility for student financial aid for Illinois students and their families.

    What do you do after you complete your FAFSA? Click here for answers to your frequently asked questions.

    After you have received Financial Aid offers from colleges, use this worksheet to compare what is best.

  • College Application Websites

    College Application Websites

    Common Application

    Apply to over 600 colleges and universities using one application. Tip: You may ask teachers to complete online recommendation forms. Counselors complete the secondary school report online.

    Coalition Application

    Students can use the Coalition Application to apply to all 130+ member schools.

    Harper College

    Apply for community college at Harper.

    University of California Application

    Use 1 application to apply to up to 9 University of California universities. Filing period is November 1-30 ONLY.

    University of Wisconsin Application

    Use 1 application to apply to up to 26 University of Wisconsin universities. Application opens September 15.

  • General College Resources

    General College Resources



    Xello contains a wealth of information related to college planning. Students can complete a school selector activity to identify a list of potential colleges. In addition, students can search for colleges by majors offered, region, and college type. Each student in District 211 has a unique username and password.

    Username: Student Google Log-In

    Password: Google Log-In Password


    US Department of Education - College Affordability and Transparency Center

    The federal government established this website to provide families with additional data specific to college affordability. The links below will allow you to research information on specific universities throughout the United States.

    College Navigator

    College Scorecard

    College Affordability and Transparency List


    College Results Online (CRO) is an interactive, user-friendly Web tool designed to provide policymakers, counselors, parents, students, and others with information about college graduation rates for nearly any four-year college or university in the country.

    Campus Tours: Virtual College Tours

    Campus Tours is the definitive online source for virtual college tours, interactive maps, college webcams, QuickTime VR tours, campus movies and pictures.


    Students enter a college search profile and let colleges apply to them.

    College Board

    College Board is a not-for-profit educational association that supports academic preparation and transition to higher education for students around the world. Use College matchmaker to find the perfect matches for you. College Board produces PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP.

    College Green Light

    Connecting first generation and underrepresented students to caring colleges, generous scholarships, and life-changing counselors and mentors.

    Hispanic Scholarship Fund

    Resources for Hispanic students

    Know How 2 Go

    Resource for first generation college students

    NCAA Eligibility Center

    View requirements to qualify for Division I, II, and III NCAA athletics. Students should use this link to register with the NCAA if they will be participating in Division I or II athletics in college.

    Peterson's College Information

    A comprehensive guide to gather information through the education planning process and financial aid programs.