College & Career Planning

Planning for college isn't hard. 
Start early, be organized and take things step-by-step and you'll have a great experience!
Be sure to utilize the College Planning Calendar (link right side of this page).
What to do month-by-month from the beginning of 10th grade through graduation!
Your family and your guidance counselor will be helping you the entire way.  But we want to empower you!  Some amazing websites, resources and tools are just an internet search away.  And we want to connect you to them.  As we go through the steps of helping you achieve your goals we'll be providing you with links to important websites.  They've done such a great job that we'd rather direct you there than try to recreate it here.  Frequently mentioned resources will be:
  • Naviance ( Software program used in all of HHS's career classes to explore careers, higher education, and request transcripts for college/career purposes. Used only by current students, not alumni.
  • College Board (  You'll recognize CollegeBoard from the PSAT, the SAT or the AP tests.  But they're so much more!  CollegeBoard has everything A-to-Z to help you with the college process.  TIP: Create your account now and make sure to use one (professional) email address for everything college related.
  • HESAA or the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority ( is "the only New Jersey state agency with the sole mission of providing students and families with financial and information resources for students to pursue their education beyond high school".  You'll end up here eventually to apply for New Jersey state aid but there is so much more here than just financial aid.   
  • The FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( or is the federal government's site to apply for financial aid.  Everyone should complete the FAFSA -- even if you don't think you'll be eligible for any assistance! 
  • Going to College in NJ  Full of helpful tips for students and data about college costs, available programs of study and career paths, and key deadlines for college applications and financial aid. Please share this link with the students and families that you know will benefit from earning a great education here in New Jersey, where they can Learn More, Earn More, and Be More!
Believe it or not, your choices in 9th grade can make a big difference in what colleges you can realistically get into as a senior.  Doing the right things now will pay off in the future .... here's how.
Sometimes you have to work backwards.  Knowing what you want to be doing for your career will identify what major you should be studying in college.  
  • What are your interests & strengths?
  • What kids of careers are out there for you?
  • What education or training do you need for that career?
Now that you know what major you need to study, its time to start looking at colleges.
  • Naviance
  • CollegeBoard
  • How to find the right college(s) for you?
  • College lingo that you need to know
You've done your homework, you have your list and now its time to apply to college.
  • Being organized and keeping your eye on the deadlines
  • Asking for recommendations
  • The college essay
  • The college visit & interview.  Why not sit in on some classes and talk to a professor?
  • The college application
  • What will your counselor do for you?  And what do you need to do for yourself?
  • Early Action?  Early Decision?
Congratulations!  You've applied to colleges ... now how do you pay for it?
  • Researching college costs in advance
  • College Cost Estimators
  • Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Other sundry stuff
It's time to make your decision.  Don't forget some important points as you finish out your senior year.
  • The acceptance letter & deposit
  • Stay the course in your senior year ... you're not done yet
  • Hackettstown's Senior Survey & High School Transcripts
  • Dual Credit Transcripts from Warren County Community College
  • Do you know what to take to college?
9th Grade Information:
Students should start the process of considering their post secondary plans.  Tasks to consider for freshman year:
1) Registering for accommodations on act/sat testing (discuss with your Case Manager or School Counselor)
2) Have a family meeting to discuss future academic, professional goals, and financial considerations for post-secondary education.
3) Start researching and visiting colleges and universities based upon your interest and services which the institutions can provide.  
10th Grade Information:
Students should continue to explore their post-secondary options.  Tasks to consider for sophomore year:
1) Students should begin reviewing the academic (course) and testing requirements for institutions in interest.  
2) Students should take the PSAT testing if they are planning on taking the SAT as part of their college preparation.
3) Students should speak with their Case Manager and School Counselor regarding their future plans and ask questions regarding accessibility courses available in higher education.
11th Grade Information:
Students are beginning the final stages of post-secondary planning.  Tasks to consider for junior year:
1) Students should take the PSAT or ACT testing at the beginning of their junior year.  Most college bound students will be taking the ACT's or SAT's during the second half of their junior year. 
2) Families should be visiting colleges, universities, and technical schools during the junior year.
3) Students and Families are encouraged to communicate with staff members at post-secondary institutions to attain information regarding the services available at their individual institutions.
12th Grade Information:
Students are finalizing their post-secondary plans and the transition process.  Tasks to consider for senior year.
1) Students will have individual and group meetings with their School Counselor in the Fall.
2) Students will meet with their Case Managers regarding post-secondary planning.
3) Students will apply to colleges in the Fall of their senior year.
4) Students will communicate with their selected programs regarding depositing, attending accepted student events, placement testing choosing courses, etc.  
Please see the links below for additional resources:

Abilities of Northwest Jersey was incorporated in October, 1974, to provide support to 25 individuals with disabilities through a single vocational rehabilitation center. Since then, support services provided by Abilities have expanded to offer a myriad of choices for the individual.



Any individual with a physical, mental, cognitive, or other form of disability who has a substantial impediment to employment may qualify for the following services through the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS).

Not everyone goes to college, at least not right away.  Whether you're planning to go into the military or join the workforce, there's help here for you, too!
  • Military
  • Trade Schools
  • The world of work
Are you an alumni who needs a Hackettstown High School transcript?   Click here!
Did you take Dual Credit classes that you'd like to have transferred to your college/university?  Click here!
What are my potential schools doing in the wake of the pandemic?  Check out this list from the National College Admissions Counselors Association’s website: