Postsecondary Education: A Guide for Students and Parents

Postsecondary Education: A Guide for Students and Parents

Postsecondary education, also known as higher education, is any education that occurs after high school. This can include community college, four-year colleges and universities, vocational schools, and trade schools.

There are many reasons to pursue postsecondary education. It can help you:

  • Get a better job
  • Earn a higher salary
  • Advance your career
  • Learn new skills and knowledge
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Become a more informed and engaged citizen

Choosing a postsecondary institution:

When choosing a postsecondary institution, there are many factors to consider, such as:

  • Cost: Postsecondary education can be expensive, so it is important to consider the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses.
  • Location: Do you want to stay close to home or go away to school?
  • Size: Do you prefer a small, intimate college or a large university?
  • Academic programs: Does the institution offer the programs you are interested in?
  • Campus life: What is the campus culture like? Are there extracurricular activities that interest you?

It is important to visit different campuses and talk to current students and faculty to get a feel for each institution before making a decision.

Applying to postsecondary institutions:

The application process for postsecondary institutions varies depending on the type of institution and the program you are applying to. However, there are some general steps that most applications follow:

  1. Submit an application form.
  2. Submit transcripts from high school and any other postsecondary institutions you have attended.
  3. Submit letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or other professionals who know you well.
  4. Submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT.
  5. Write a personal statement.

Paying for postsecondary education:

There are a number of ways to pay for postsecondary education, including:

  • Financial aid: There are many different types of financial aid available, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs.
  • Savings: If you have saved money for postsecondary education, you can use those savings to pay for tuition, fees, and other expenses.
  • Part-time work: Many students work part-time jobs to help pay for postsecondary education.


Postsecondary education can be a valuable investment in your future. By taking the time to choose the right institution and apply for financial aid, you can make postsecondary education more affordable.

Additional tips for students:

  • Start planning early. The earlier you start planning for postsecondary education, the more time you will have to research different institutions and apply for financial aid.
  • Visit different campuses. There is no substitute for visiting different campuses and getting a feel for each institution.
  • Talk to current students and faculty. Current students and faculty can give you valuable insights into the institution and the programs you are interested in.
  • Write a strong personal statement. Your personal statement is your chance to tell the institution about yourself and why you are interested in attending.
  • Don’t give up. The application process can be challenging, but it is important to stay positive and persistent.

Tips for parents:

  • Talk to your child about their postsecondary education goals. Help them to research different institutions and programs.
  • Assist your child with the application process. Help them to gather the required documents and write a strong personal statement.
  • Help your child to understand the financial aid process. There are many different types of financial aid available, and it can be confusing to know where to start.
  • Support your child throughout the postsecondary education process. Let them know that you are there for them and that you believe in them.

Postsecondary education can be a life-changing experience. By planning ahead and making the right choices, students can set themselves up for success in their future careers and lives.