Middle and High School Students

A college degree offers lifelong advantages that actually improve your quality of life.  And the earlier you start, the more prepared you will be to launch your Dakota dreams — Start today by checking out the resources and information offered on this site to make your journey towards college as smooth as possible! Our Dakota Dreams will be by your side every step of the way.

Be Prepared

Education after high school might feel like a long way off, but it will happen sooner than you think. Being prepared means taking the right classes in middle and high school, saving money, and exploring scholarship options. Don’t put your Dakota Dreams on hold — Start preparing now! The following checklists include things you can be doing each year leading up to graduation to help you prepare for college. Make sure your bases are covered by reviewing now.


There are things you can be doing each year leading up to graduation to help you prepare for college. Follow the links below to each year’s checklists, you can be sure your bases are covered.


Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form allows you to be considered for federal student aid. States and colleges also use FAFSA information to award their own grants, scholarships, and loans.

Filling out your FAFSA is a key step to unlocking your college dreams, because FAFSA is the gateway to money for college. FAFSA can require persistence and often times, a little help. The key to success is creating a timeline to meet FAFSA deadlines and working with the many resources available to get started.

FAFSA is one of the first steps to starting on a path to your dreams, because it unlocks financial aid from so many different sources. Research shows that each year $2-3 billion in federal aid is left unclaimed – it’s time to get your share! College education can be affordable and is accessible at any age. 

Prepping for College

The South Dakota Department of Education provides free information to all South Dakota 6-12th grade students to research and explore over 3,500 postsecondary schools. Visit www.SDMyLife.com to develop a Personal Learning Plan, complete a Career Interest Inventory, and explore information on Dual Credit, Pre-College Testing, College Readiness Courses, and Advanced Placement (AP) Courses.

All you need to do is check with your SCHOOL COUNSELOR or PRINCIPAL to find out how to login to your own account. Develop a Personal Learning Plan, complete a career interest survey and an aptitude assessment to help determine career opportunities and goals.


Are you planning on going to college, but want to feel more confident in your math abilities? Check out Math for College Readiness, offered by the Northern State E-Learning Center.