Guidance Counseling Department » College & Career Planning

College & Career Planning

This webpage is currently under revision.  Please stop back for updates!
Planning for college isn't hard.  Start early, be organized and take things step-by-step and you'll have a great experience!

College Resources Even Counselors Use

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:
  • 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! 

Step One: What to Be Doing Grades 9-11

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.

Step Two: Explore Careers & College Majors

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?

Step Three: Finding the Right College

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

Step Four: Preparing for & Applying to College

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?

Step Five: Paying for College

Congratulations!  You've been accepted to colleges ... now how do you pay for it?
  • Researching college costs in advance
  • College Cost Estimators
  • Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Other sundry stuff

Step Six: The Acceptance Letter & What Comes Next

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 Transcrips
  • Dual Credit Transcripts from Warren County Community College
  • Do you know what to take to college?

Not Going to College? We Have You Covered

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

How Do You Get New Transcript After You Graduate?

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!