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Students Get Necessary Answers for Navigating College and Career Journeys

High school students and their families are eager for more support and information about the college application process, including how to stand out from other applicants. Now, any family can view event presentations from our recent My Journey virtual college planning event to learn from experts about college and career navigation, as well as preparing for the ACT test, financial aid, and paying for college.

On Sept. 24, more than 15,000 registrants from across the country attended 11 unique sessions tackling some of the common challenges and questions students have on their education journeys. Students and their families learned about everything college admissions, from building a college match list to scoring scholarships.

Tina Gridiron, vice president of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, kicked off the event by reminding students that they are at the center of ACT’s mission.

“ACT is here to be a partner with you and to support you in all stages of this journey,” she said. “You are who we care about in our work.”

Students and their families got an unscripted view of college life with a student panel featuring college freshmen and sophomores from Clemson University, Missouri State University, and the University of Massachusetts. The discussion highlighted students’ diverse backgrounds, experiences, and pathways to the college and major to which they aspired.

“Take the path less traveled and focus on what’s best for you – not what other people are doing,” said Fahad Alden, a sophomore and digital media major at the University of Massachusetts.

Attendees also found value in the “How to Conquer the College Admissions Process” session with guest presenter Erin Verity, associate director of admissions at Florida State University. Her presentation debunked some common myths about the admissions process.

Attendees asked a lot of questions – which helps ACT better understand what’s top of mind for students and families as they prepare for life after high school.

  • Families need more support and information to help their students with college applications.
    Many adult attendees at the session “Making Sense of Recent Changes to Admission Policies and Practices” expressed that the application process has changed drastically since their days of applying to college. Families want and need more support to understand their college options and the steps to complete an application. They can start with ACT’s College Planning Guide and checklist. Students can also download the Encourage app to take control of their college planning and get application help, college guidance, and admission support.
  • Students want their education journey to connect more directly with their future major and career.
    Students at a session describing critical milestones for college planning success said they want to understand how their classes and interests can shape their future college major, as our world continues to evolve and change. The age-old challenge of choosing majors remains, but with resources like ACT's Interest Inventory, students can better understand how their interests can inform their college degree options.
  • Students want to know how to stand out in the college application crowd.
    With everyone submitting similar materials for college applications, students told Verity that they want to know how they can differentiate themselves from the applicant pool. An ACT score remains a strong predictor of first-year performance in college and can be a great way to demonstrate college readiness and earn scholarships.
Watch and download the sessions now.