The Right Course to College

If you want to go to college, you'll need to take the right courses in high school.
To graduate from high school in Vermont, students must attain or exceed state standard. This usually means completing the following:

4 years of English

3 years of math

3 years of science

3 years of social sciences, including 1 year of U.S. History and government

1 ½ years of physical education

1 year of the arts

any local graduation requirements

Most colleges want to see:

4 years of English

3 years of math (algebra I, algebra II, geometry)

3 years of science (biology, chemistry, physics)

3 years of social sciences

2 years of foreign language (same language)

1 year of the arts

It's all about YOU at the VSAC Resource Center
Picture this: It' your junior year in high school, and you're thinking about college and a career but dont know quite where to start. Don't panic. Plenty of your classmates sstill don't know what they want to be when they grow up or which college might be right for them. If this is true for you, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) is going to become your new best friend.
The VSAC Resource Center in Winooski is a great place for students to start on their path toward college. Nearly 20,000 Vermonters come through our doors each year looking for help. The resource center house VSAC's library, with more than 6,500 books, periodicals, videos, DVDs, and tapes on a wide array of career and college planning subjects. We also offer free workshops on a rane of topics for prospective college and grad students, parents, and adult learners. And out hours are pretty convenient, too.
At the resource center, you can also meet with a VSAC advisor. Our advisors can set you up with online tools that enable you to describe your personality and receive suggestions on careers that might be a good fit. Advisors work with students to identify possible majors and colleges that offer them. VSAC has been guiding students and parents for 42 years, and has the college planning process down pat.
Once you've made a college list, VSAC's workshops and staff can help you understand the application process, prepare for the SAT or the ACT, and write an awesome admissions essay. And when it comes time to pay for college, VSAC is there every step of the way, providing everything from assitance filling out required financial aid forms to actual financing through state grants, public and private scholarships, and federal and private loans.
Are you unable to come to the resource center? Then log on to to access cool tools such as VT Guidance Central to help you explore careers, search for a college, and learn about options for paying for school.
Two other areas on the VSAC Web site that every student should check out are the popular Plan for College and Pay for College sections. At your fingertips is a monthly planning guide to help you through high school and your parents through the information overload that can happen every time you bring home more college material. And to make sure you can catch VSAC the next time its counselors are in your town, the Calendar of Events page lists workshps and presentations at locations across the state.
So, by now, your picture is changing. Thanks to all the VSAC services at your disposal, you know what you've got to do next and how you are going to make your college dream a reality.
Standardized Tests
Many colleges require applicants to take one of two standardized tests.
The SAT Reasoning Test, the tradtional test of choice in the eastern U.S., measures critical thinking skills. It includes three sections – critical reading, math, and writing (including an essay) – and takes close to four hours to complete. It is offered seven times a year. (Many juniors, and some students in earlier grades, first take the PSAT, which is a practice SAT offered in high schools on a single date in the fall.)
The ACT, which has traditionally been used in the West but is becoming popular as an alternative to the SAT in the East, measures student' educational development. It covers for skill areas – English, math, reading and science – and offers an optional writing test. It takes nearly three hours to complete, a half-hour longer with the writing component. It is offered five times a year in Vermont.
In addition, some colelges require SAT Subject Tests, which are an hour each and measure knowledge and skills in five general areas: English literature, history and social studies, math, science and languages. Each of the tests is offered multiple times a year, but not necessarily on every test date. Check with the colleges that interest you to determine if they require subject tests for admission and whether you get to choose the topics.
Plan ahead to make sure you can fit all required tests into your schedule and to give yourself enough time to practice. VSAC has online tools to assist students with standardized test preparation. To acess the tools, go to and click on either VT Guidance Central or Learning Express in the “quick reference” area. You will need to set up an online account for each tool. The ID number for Learning Express is 10254.
Choosing a School
The best way to ensure you find the best college for you is to visit and compare schools that interest you. Visit when school is in session, so you can get a feel for campus life. Good times to visit are when your high school is closed for teachers' convention in the fall and for winter and spring breaks (fortunately, colleges usually have off at different times than high schools).
Step 1: Determine what you want

Location – distance from home, geography, urban or rural

Size – small, meduim, or large

Type – one-, two-, or four-year

Available Programs – majors, internships, study abroad

Facilities – classrooms, housing, recreation

Student Life – clubs, cultural events, athletics

Competitiveness – chances of acceptance and success

Affordability – cost once aid is subtracted

Step 2: Search for options

Talk to people – counselor, friend grads

Use guidance resources – school, Web, VSAC

Visit with college reps – at school and elsewhere

Attend a college fair – in Vermont and nearby

Send for info – call or e-mail

Step 3: Narrow your list

Read the college viewbook and catalog

Read college guidebooks

Surf the Web

Visit the campus

When YOU can visit the VSAC Resource Center
Monday-Thursday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Fridays, 8:00am – 4:30pm
Saturdays, 8:30am – 2:30pm
No appointment is necessary.
Come in to chat with an advisor today.
Keys to YOUR future success

Determine your interests

Look for careers that fit you

Pick possible college majors

Find colleges that offer those majors

Receive advie on applying to college

Figure out how to pay for college

Learn how to get your parents involved

Tools for YOU at
VT Guidance Central – explore careers, plan for college, prep for tests
Do What You Are – take a personality test
Plan for College – locate the right school for you
Pay for College – finding financing in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans
Events and Workshops – attend the next event happening in your town