College Planning

College planning is an exciting and somewhat stressful endeavor. A worldwide pandemic may increase anxiety and stress as you pursue your postsecondary plans. This site is meant to be a useful tool to support you as you continue to plan for and reach your post high school goals during this time. A website is never a replacement for meaningful conversations, reach out to your school counselors and other trusted adults to guide you through this process during this time. 

Quick Links

MMSD Grading and Adjusted Graduation Requirements 

Know that colleges and universities WILL NOT penalize you for the grading shift our school district has put into place right now. MMSD moving to a Pass/No Pass grading system and reducing the required number of credits for the Class of 2020 will not impact your chances of getting in to a college or revoke your admission. Your transcript will indicate this adjustment by stating "Second Semester COVID 19. Pass/No Pass grading in place". It is important for you to continue to stay engaged in your coursework to the best of your ability during this time. If a college, scholarship funder or other third party requires you to submit your GPA from Spring 2020, MMSD will support you with this.

Class of 2020 Helpful Hintslhs_eden.jpg

College acceptance letters are arriving every day! This is an exciting time for you and your family. The following tips are helpful as you consider your next steps

  • This Making Your Final College Choice checklist and Choosing your College Resources can help decide which college offer is the best fit for you.
  • Read your award letter thoroughly and ask questions if there is something you do not understand.
    • This "Understanding Your Financial Aid" slide deck will help with that. 
    • Contact the college financial aid office if your financial situation has changed since you completed the FAFSA
  • Check your email daily! This is how colleges will communicate with you.
  • Once you've made your decision, it is time to enroll. This Enrollment Resources and Enrollment Checklist will ensure that you don't miss any important next steps. 
  • Send your final transcripts.
    • Log in to Parchment (you will need to create an account if you haven’t already)
    • Choose your high school to order from
    • Choose the institution/s you want your transcripts sent to
    • Select "hold for final grades" so that the transcript will go out once final grades are listed and not sooner. 
  • Communicate with your college and school counselor before making any big decisions. Many students are considering deferring enrollment for a year or taking a gap year. Be sure you completely understand what these things mean and how they might impact your college plans.

COVID-19 Updates from Colleges and Universities

  • NACAC COVID-19 (National Association of College Admissions Counselors) - This site will give you updated information on deadlines from most colleges and universities in the country.

  • Madison College COVID-19 Info for Seniors - Madison College is here to help you continue to meet your post high school goals. 

  • UW HELP COVID-19 Resources - Check out the Campus Resources link to find current information from every UW System School (UW Madison, UW Whitewater etc)

  • WAICU  COVID-19 (WI Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) - Find COVID-19 19 information from each of the WI Independent Colleges and Universities (Edgewood, Ripon, Marquette etc)

Paying for College during COVID-19

  • Paying For College Checklist - this will support you in creating a strong financial plan for college.

  • You MUST still complete a FAFSA if you are planning to attend college in the fall and you'd like to qualify for grants, work-study or low interest rate federal loans. It is not too late! 

    • If you did fill out your FAFSA and you were selected for "verification" this means they need more information. Read the information carefully and do your best to provide all of the information they are asking for. Your counselor can help you make sense of it. 
  • Check your email often - you may receive Financial Aid information from your college. 
  • If your financial situation has changed as a result of COVID-19, reach out to the financial aid office at your college. You may qualify for more financial support from the college. 
  • Scholarships  - this is a great time to keep searching for money for college. Check out the MMSD Scholarships Website for a place to start. Our Paying for College page provides more information on looking for scholarships. 
  • Look for scholarships directly through the college you are planning to attend as well. They usually have a page linked from their Financial Aid office page. 

College Testing during COVID-19

  • AP Testing - Advanced Placement testing will be completed online this year. 

  • ACT Testing - April ACT has been rescheduled for June. Check this page for the most current information regarding test dates in summer and fall. 

  • UW Placement Testing - All remaining in-person Regional Testing events for students to take the UW placement tests, both the paper-based and computer-based tests, are currently suspended. 

Student Athletes - NCAA COVID-19 Information

  • NCAA Eligibility Center COVID-19 Response - Given the unprecedented events during Spring/Summer 2020 due to COVID-19, the NCAA Eligibility Center has partnered with the NCAA membership to identify adjustments to the initial-eligibility certification process. adjustments.

Class of 2021 and Beyond Helpful Hints

  • Stay as engaged in your coursework as possible during this time. Colleges understand we are all in stressful situations, however,  do your best to stay involved in your learning. 

  • Continue to explore colleges virtually to help you find your fit. Xello is a great tool to help you discover what you are looking for in a school and to determine if it is a good fit for you. (Log in through your school's website)

  • Virtually visit colleges. YouVisit, Campus Tours and YouTube are great ways to get a feel for a campus. Many schools offer tours right through their websites.
  • Take advantage of your FREE Subscription to Method Test Prep to prepare for the ACT Exam. You can access this directly through your Xello account. 
  • Stay involved in your extracurricular activities and hobbies as best you can during this time. 
  • Find innovative ways to give back and volunteer in your community. Volunteer Crowd has several great ideas for how to give back during COVID-19.