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A guide to help find your way to college

Philadelphia Futures releases annual Step Up to College guide.

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Ready to apply to college? Philadelphia Futures is dedicated to helping students get there with its annual edition of the Step Up to College guide.

The 66-page resource helps students navigate through each stage of preparing for college and applying.

“There is much public discourse currently about the cost of college and equal access to higher education for first-generation-to-college students; however, there is often less focus on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the college admissions process,” said Joan Mazzotti, executive director of Philadelphia Futures.

“By publishing the guide, Philadelphia Futures provides students with the tools and information they need to identify a school that is the right fit academically, socially, and financially and prepare themselves to be a competitive applicant and successful college student,” she said.

The resource includes a variety of worksheets, including Philadelphia Futures “fit” form and questions to ask on college tours. Other materials that can be found in the guide include career assessments, grade-specific checklists, and a college cost calculator that helps students understand their complete financial package.

“The new edition also includes expanded offerings on college fit and financial aid, which are two of the most challenging aspects of the college admissions process for students and families,” Mazzotti said.

Philadelphia Futures has distributed 42,000 copies of the guide to the Free Library of Philadelphia, and to every public, charter, and parochial high school in the city.

“I encourage the city’s high school students – in every grade – to embrace all it has to offer,” Mazzotti said.

Brianna Spause is an intern at the Notebook.