College & Career Planning 

Our college and career planning program seeks to help students identify career interests and then apply to colleges that are good matches with regard to their aspirations, achievements, learning style and needs. Our Director of College & Career Planning oversees our overall college planning and standardized test programs, but all counselors work with students in the post high school planning process. We encourage parents and students to visit the various pages and links provided on our site to to see more post high planning and standardized testing information.

Pre-College Information Meetings and Experiences for Juniors (and Sophomores)

Each spring and summer, colleges/universities and other organizations offer opportunities for Juniors (and, in some cases, Sophomores) to explore schools and gain valuable academic experiences. Totino-Grace will post information on these activities as our School Counseling Office becomes aware of events.  Please check back here frequently for updates.

Local Informational Meetings Offered by Colleges and Universities

April 11 - Attend College Preview Night at Hennepin Tech.  Meet faculty and staff, tour campus, learn about programs and majors, explore financial aid options.  For more information and to register,  click here.
April 18 - Attend an Open House at Dunwoody College of Technology, the only private, non-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest.  See what Dunwoody's hands-on, technical education is all about.  For more information and to RSVP, click here.
April 20 - The Savannah College of Art and Design is coming to Minneapolis for an information session.  Discover 100 innovative programs, meet one-on-one with an admissions representative, and much more.  For more information and to register, click here.
April 23 - Preview Purdue in Minneapolis - informational meeting for prospective students and their parents.  For more information and to register, click here.

May 18 - Exploring College Options - A joint traveling partnership among Duke, Penn, Stanford, Harvard and Georgetown.  Click here for information and to register. 
May 21 - Coast to Coast Tour - A joint traveling partnership among UC-Berkley, Dartmouth, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Princeton.  Click here for Minnesota tour information and to register.

June 5 - Exploring Educational Excellence - A joint traveling partnership among Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Rice and the University of Chicago.  Click here for Minnesota tour informaiton and to register.
August 28 - Colleges That Change Lives - College fair including the 40 schools in the CTCL network.  Click here  for college fair details in St. Paul. 

Pre-College Experiences
University of Minnesota - Women Mean Business 
Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) - Summer Scholars Program 
St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN - Theological Summer Institute
University of Minnesota - GopherBusiness
Boston University - BU Summer Programs
American Legion - Boys State
American Legion - Girls State
Boston University - Investigative Reporting Summer Program
Univeristy of Kansas - KU Design Camp - This camp gives students hands-on design experience with KU staff, and a chance to develop a creative portfolio.
Clearinghouse for Summer Programs at Highly Selective UniversitiesTeenLife Summer Programs
Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) - Summer Academic Enrichment ProgramThis program provides stipends for students who meet the income qualifications for free or reduced price lunches. Click on the link to learn more about the stipend process and to see eligible summer programs.

Unique College Scholarship available only to high school juniors from the MN Association of Townships.  Essay contest.  This year's topic is sustainable water.



The College Planning Process, Step by Step 

Follow these steps for planning your education after high school.  Call or stop in to the School Counseling Office any time to talk about colleges or to ask questions about the planning process.  Our Counselors are available to assist students through every step of the college planning process. 

Freshman and Sophomore Year

• Understand that ALL grades are important as they are reflected in your GPA reported on college applications.
• Take rigorous courses that will help you prepare for college.
• Learn to organize your time with school, activities and home life.
• Learn how to study for tests. 
• Understand the difference between homework and studying/preparing for classes/tests.
• Participate in various co-curricular activities, service, or volunteer work at school or in your community.
• Ask adults about their careers and schooling.
• Start recording activities and recognition awards in Family Connection.   
• Work on developing leadership skills through various opportunities and activities.


Junior Year

• Continue to document your leadership, service and co-curricular activities. College applications usually ask for this information.
• Take the practice PSAT exam offered in September, and the PSAT exam in October.
• Make good use of your time at the National College Fair in October. Prepare questions to ask college representatives.
• Take the practice ACT exam offered in November. 
• Begin your college search by looking at colleges on the internet, using Family Connection and talking to teachers and friends.
• Talk with visiting college representatives when they are at Totino-Grace.  Students should check the College Rep Visit schedule on Family Connection. 
• Begin visiting colleges throughout the school year. Remember to think about days off throughout the year when scheduling visits. 
• Explore the many College & Career Links on this College Counseling web site.
• With your parents, attend the December 4, 2016 "College Planning Kick-Off" event at Totino-Grace.
• In December or January, attend your scheduled family appointment with your parents where you will discuss post-high planning with your counselor.  
• Throughout the school year, prepare for the ACT by studying the ACT’s preparation booklet, taking an ACT prep class or working with a tutor.
• Take the ACT (or SAT) in April and/or June.
• If looking at Highly Selective Schools, take one or more SAT Subject tests in May or June. 
• Attend our annual College Fair Night at Totino-Grace on April 27, 2017.
• Participate in the "College Application Boot Camp" in August, 2017, prior to your senior year. 
• Students: Take responsibility for your college search.
• Parents: Assist, support, and supervise but don’t hover or smother.


Senior Year

• If necessary, take the ACT in September or October. 
• Encourage your parents to attend the Senior Parent meeting in October to get updated on the college application process occuring this year.  
• Narrow down your college search (we recommend a portfolio of 4-7 potential colleges).
• Gather and organize your college applications either online or on paper. 
• Become diligent in checking the Totino-Grace College Counseling website and Family Connection for information, deadlines, open houses, scholarships, etc.
• Check your high school transcript for accuracy.
• Complete your college applications to submit by the posted deadlines.
• Get teacher recommendations only when required.
• Finalize a college essay (only if required).
• Go to Family Connection to request to have an official copy of your transcript sent to colleges to which you are applying.
• Have parents attend the Senior Parent Meeting in October and the January Financial Aid Information Evening at Totino-Grace.
• Have your mid-year transcripts sent to colleges, only if necessary.
• Make your final post-high school decisions. Request your final transcript be sent to your college of choice
• Avoid “senior slide.” It has negative consequences for your college/program success.


College Prep Curriculum

While colleges have a wide variety of entrance requirements, generally students can prepare to meet college admission requirements by following this guideline of recommended courses: 
•  Four years of English including both literature and writing courses.
•  Three years of mathematics including two years of algebra and one year of geometry.
•  Three years of science including lab sciences.
•  Three years of social studies.
•  Two years of the same foreign language.
•  One year of visual and/or performing arts.
For more detailed information, please check with the college of your choice. 


Totino-Grace High School

1350 Gardena Avenue NE, Fridley, MN 55432
Main: 763-571-9116 | Fax: 763-571-9118

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