All About College

  • All About College

    So you decided you want to go to college- great! Applying to colleges can be a long and confusing process. The College Board has great resources to help you work out where, when, and how to apply. Get In -The College Board

    Most information in this section will apply to 4-year colleges and universities. Check out our Community College and Trade School sections for information on those options after high school.

    From North Rockland High School (for school-specific procedures and resources)

    College planning can start as early as freshman year of high school! Getting good grades and participating in extracurricular and service activities all strengthen your application, especially if you’ve been doing them from the start. Here is a step by step timeline for each year of high school for what you should be thinking about when looking towards your goal of going to college. College Planning Timelines -Peterson's

  • How to Research Colleges

    Search and research different colleges using this tool by selecting certain criteria that you want in a school: College Search -The College Board.

    Think carefully about what criteria is important to you in a college- size, location, majors offered etc.This will help you when selecting which colleges to apply to.

    Visiting Colleges

    If possible, it’s great to visit colleges you want to apply to! Visiting a college can give you a feel of the campus and opportunities to speak with professors and students, in addition to receiving a tour and information session. Visiting can tell you a lot about a college that you can’t get from the website and can help you really determine how much you would want to go there. Here are tips on how to get the most out of a college visit.

    Campus Visits: Before You Go -The College Board

    Here are some good things to do and questions to ask when on campus to really get a feel for the school: Campus Visit Checklist -The College Board

    Use this scoring card after you visit each college so you remember how it felt and important points later on: Campus Visit Score Card -The College Board

    Get the Most out of Your College Visit -The Princeton Review

  • How to Apply to College

    You should complete your college applications by the end of the fall of your Senior year. You should spend time before this researching colleges and seeing where you might like to attend and what is a realistic option academically and financially. You should also be preparing for SAT or ACT during Junior year. Go to our tests section for more.

    Applying to College: FAQs –The College Board

    Quick Guide: The Anatomy of the College Application –The College Board

    Guide to each part of your college application

    Use North Rockland High School’s College Information Packet to get information on how important application procedures work at your school.

    Use this checklist for each college you plan to apply to (The College Board recommends 5-8): College Application Checklist –The College Board

    Most colleges (but not all!) use the Common Application as the website through which you apply to them.

    It is easy to make an account and apply through the Common App.

    Many schools have additional supplements with specific questions for the college.

    If a school does not use the Common App, use the school’s website to find a link to their online application or how to be sent a paper application.

    All SUNY schools you may be applying to go through the same application:

    Many schools have additional supplements with specific questions for the college.

    Each school’s application fee is $50.

    Most college applications have an application fee, which can get expensive if you are applying to a lot of colleges. The College Board offers four fee waivers when you take the SAT. Read more about how to get and use fee waivers here and speak to your guidance counselor for more help: College Application Fee Waiver FAQs -The College Board

  • Tests: SAT & ACT

    Most colleges require students to take some type of standardized test for admission. Most commonly, it is the SAT or ACT. It is important to prepare for these tests and practice in order to do the best you can!

    In addition to some of the practice resources listed here, there are also many practice books with explanations and lessons you can buy in stores or online. Also, ask your guidance counselor or be on the lookout for test prep classes in the area or at your high school.

    Tests should be taken at the end of your junior year, or at the beginning of senior year, so that you can have your scores by the time you are ready to apply.


    About and format: About the SAT –The College Board

    Some practice resources

    Many more can be found by googling “SAT practice questions” or “SAT practice tests”, although not all resources might be high quality.

    Many schools offer a PSAT (Pre-SAT) that will allow you to see where your scores fall without being the “official test”. Pay attention to announcements in your school when the PSAT is being administered, or ask your guidance counselor. These scores, as well as practice tests you give yourself, will be helpful in figuring out which colleges are in your range to apply to!

    Some colleges require you to take SAT Subject Tests that focus on specific school subjects to apply. Take note of if these are necessary for the schools you are applying to. More about SAT Subject tests and what subjects are offered here: SAT Subject Tests –The College Board

    SAT Prep Courses

    SAT classes are offered by different organizations that will lead you through lessons and practice tests. These can be extremely helpful but require time in and outside the classroom and money. Here are some courses in the area.

    • Free practice tests at the New City Library (220 North Main St. New City, NY)
    • Find out when at

    Rockland Community College (RCC)

    March-April Sunday mornings on the RCC campus in Suffern.

    North Rockland HS

    • Four-week course
    • Register at the Continuing Education Office across from room 207.

    Kaplan Prep Courses

    Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran Church

    • 59 Cleveland Drive, Croton-On-Hudson, NY
    • Sundays. Dec-Feb
    • Sun and Sat. January-February
    • $749

    Felix Festa Middle School

    • 30 Parrott Road, West Nyack, NY
    • Sun and Tues. Jan-March
    • Tues and Sat. May.
    • $749

    Dates of the test and how to register. Don’t forget!


    The ACT is an alternative to the SAT. The test is a different format and tests some different material.

    Here you can find all information on the ACT and registration The ACT

    Here are online preparation resources for the ACT. Many more can be found by googling “ACT practice questions” or “ACT practice tests”, although not all resources might be high quality:

    ACT Prep Courses

    ACT classes are offered by different organizations that will lead you through lessons and practice tests. These can be extremely helpful but often require time, patience, and money. Here are some courses in the area.

    Free practice tests at the New City Library (220 North Main St. New City, NY)

    Find out when at

    Kaplan Prep Courses

    • Clarkstown North High School
    • 151 Congers Road, New City, NY
    • Mon and Wed. March-April.
    • $749
  • How to Pay for College

    College is expensive! Luckily, there are ways to help you pay for it. Scholarships and Financial Aid are two of the main ways to help to pay for college.


    Scholarships are usually provided by the government, colleges, businesses or charities. These organizations can give you money to help pay for college that you do not have to pay back.

    Most often, you have to apply for specific scholarships. Some applications require you to fit specific criteria to apply, such as having a specific academic goal, being passionate about service, or being a certain race, gender, or other characteristics. There are tons of scholarships out there!

    When you apply to a college, if a college wants you to attend or wants you to join a particular program or sports team, you may be offered a scholarship with your acceptance. In some of these cases, no application necessarily has to be filled out.

    Here are some places to find scholarships to apply to:

    North Rockland High School’s website: When scholarships begin to come out they will be posted with the listed requirements and due dates. Go the Guidance Office for more information or questions.

    By doing a simple Google search you can find even more resources and search engines to find scholarships.

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is also money you can get to help pay for college. You have to apply for financial aid using the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form goes to the government for you to receive funds to help pay for college and is also used by state governments. This process can be frustrating, so it is important to follow the steps and fill out the forms correctly. Check out the links below for help.

    About the FAFSA and How to Apply

    From Freshman through Senior year

    Once you have selected a college to attend, your college might have its own financial aid you can apply to. Call the financial aid office at your college for more information.

  • Community Colleges

    Community colleges are a great option if you cannot afford a 4-year college, do not want to move away from home yet, or are unsure what you would like to study.

    Community colleges offer “open admission”, meaning anyone who applies can attend and take classes. Classes can also be taken online.

    Rockland Community College (RCC)

    Most community colleges, including RCC, are two-year colleges. You can obtain an Associate’s degree and begin your career, or transfer out to a four-year college.

    The main campus is located in Suffern: 145 College Road, Suffern, NY

    There is a RCC Haverstraw Center at 37 West Broad Street that offers some courses, study and work space, and advising.

    Enroll at 800-RCC-SOON (800-722-7666)

    All information about RCC including degrees, programs, can be found on their website:

    Prospective Students:

  • Trade/Vocational Schools

    Trade or vocational or technical schools are institutions that teach classes specific to a particular skill or job. If you are sure about a particular skill you would like to pursue that is offered in trade schools, this might be an option for you. Trade schools differ in that they do not offer a comprehensive liberal arts or science education; Your classes and experience focus on your chosen trade.

    Help in finding a reputable vocational school

    There are many different types of skills that can be offered in vocational schools, so be sure to do some research if you are considering attending a trade school. Speak with your guidance counselor and those you know in the trade you are interested in.