College Planning Resources


Want to understand the college process? We recommend this book:

SAT/ACT and Study Resources

Pacific Learning Academy

This local company offers one-on-one in-home academic tutoring and high school credit classes. With classes in the familiarity of their home or a local library, our students improve their grades and have fun in Math, Spanish, French, Study Skills, Language Arts, History, Science, SAT/ACT prep and more!


This Kirkland company has great small group sessions for SAT/ACT prep, as well as private coaching available. Their motto is Get Results. Have Fun.


College Board PSAT tips and practice tests for each section.

Khan Academy

Students love this site as a supplemental tool for studying specific areas they need help with for the SAT/ACT. With a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 259 practice exercises, we’re on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

Free SAT Prep

This website offers FREE SAT prep for those that are low on resources. Everyone should have access to study materials to help them get into college. Their mission is to help lower-income students perform better on the SAT by having those resources.


The ACT is the other option for standardized testing. There are great resources for test prep on this site and you can also register to take the ACT. Neither the ACT nor the SAT are better than the other – schools don’t care which one you take. So you are better off picking the one you are best at and studying for it. Each test does focus on different things so it’s always a good idea to do a diagnostic to determine which one you are stronger at.


We have a very wide range of tutors for a vast amount of subjects. Simply provide us with your zip/postcode in our search and we will select the best tutors matching your needs. Browse any tutor’s profile which to get insight into their credentials and teaching style.

Summer Enrichment Programs and GAP Year Opportunities

Center for Interim Programs offers a free 90-minute brainstorming session on how to set up your GAP year interimprograms.com

Find a GAP year fair near you yearoutgroup.org

Overseas GAP year options gooverseas.com

Choose your adventure yearoutgroup.org/gap-year-programs

Work Away


As a traveler or language learner (or in many cases both!), volunteering or working with a family or for a small organization is an ideal way to get to know the real side of a foreign country or to immerse yourself completely in a foreign language. You know that you will have the security of a place to stay with welcoming people.

However, remember it takes a lot of thought for someone to invite you into their home, so be prepared to help as much as you can! It is not a hotel or a youth hostel: it is an exchange – a few hours of help per day in exchange for food and board. Housework, i.e. cooking, washing-up, etc., should be shared.

The possibilities for exchanges are endless. You can use Workaway to enable you to travel around a country for very low cost. Or to practice a language you have spent many years learning, but have never had the opportunity to actually use with native speakers. Utilize Workaway to learn new skills and meet new people!

Walking Tree

Our mission is to inspire individuals to become global citizens by taking an active interest in the world around them. We hope to achieve this goal by providing unforgettable programs filled with challenging and enriching adventures. Walking Tree stands for a more open, curious and compassionate approach to travel. We facilitate meaningful cross-cultural interactions that allow participants to recognize the similarities between people instead of focusing on the differences. Rather than a typical tour, our programs are designed for a proactive, select group of travelers who seek an authentic international experience and the opportunity to effect change in the global community.

Walking Tree travels to Costa Rica, Spain, China, Morocco, Canada, Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, the USA, Ecuador and Mexico during spring and summer breaks on programs that last 10-30 days. These programs combine cultural immersion, language practice, community service, wildlife conservation, leadership training, homestays, and adventure and are open to 8-12th graders worldwide. Participants can complete between 30-100 hours of community service during the program.

Super Camp

SuperCamp is a highly engaging 7-10 day experience where your son or daughter gains inspiration by living on a university campus such as Stanford, Brown or Wake Forest. Students at SuperCamp learn how to learn – reading, writing, thinking, speaking, memory and note-taking – along with communication, leadership and relationship skills.

It is a place where students look at their values and how they’re living their lives. And a hidden gift of SuperCamp is how it helps deepen the positive connection between you and your child.

National Youth Leadership Forum

Are you are looking for ways to discover what you are interested in from STEM, business, medicine, digital media, diplomacy, engineering and more? Get first-hand career experience and gain the skills you’ll need to be successful in college and your future career. We have many programs available to high school students throughout the country.

Microsoft Summer Intern Program

Do you want to work on cutting-edge technology that will make a real difference in people’s lives all over the world? Do you want an inside look into high-tech professions that will inspire you as you make plans for college? Get a head start on building a good resume and GET PAID! This paid internship program is 8-10 weeks in the summer for local Puget Sound high school students. The program provides challenging and achievable projects that will encourage approximately 20 high school juniors and seniors to pursue their interests in the field of technology. Applications due end of February every year for the upcoming summer.

Summer at Cornish’s Art & Design Program

The program offers a rigorous pre-college program and a number of exciting intensive studio experiences for students ages 14 to 18 who want to explore the visual arts in a professional art school setting.

You will hone your skills, learn new techniques from working artists and meet other students passionate about the visual arts. With a variety of program offerings, Summer at Cornish provides the perfect platform to expand your knowledge, grow as an individual, develop strong portfolio pieces, and get a real taste of college life.

What is ACE?

Since 2001, the ACE Mentor Program of Washington has helped more than 2,500 students learn all about the architecture, engineering, and construction professions. Are you fascinated by the art of architecture? Are you interested in how buildings withstand earthquakes? Are you intrigued by sustainable “green” building design? Are you wondering how a building can start out as an idea and become reality? Join the ACE program! Our program is free to students, thanks to donations from local firms, mentors, parents, and other supporters. To date, we have also given $764,000 in scholarships to students who pursued A/E/C fields at the university level. During the ACE Mentor Program, teams visit major construction sites, complete projects, and meet bi-monthly at mentor firm offices. Qualifying high school seniors are awarded scholarships and many students remain in touch with industry professionals for continued mentoring with career choices, college and internship applications and future employment opportunities.

Other Summer Architecture Programs


Pathways to Science

Over 100 programs, including summer science and research programs, internships, and other STEM exposure programs. Programs are either tuition-free or provide scholarships.

Summer Law Programs


Summer Law+ is a unique opportunity for thoughtful high school students to engage with actual law students and attorneys in week long discussion classes providing an introduction to the world of legal thought and an overview of the core areas of the US legal system. This is not moot court, and it is not a memorization class. Summer Law+ will interest thinkers as much as talkers, and is dedicated to helping young people understand the why and why not behind the things they see everyday in the world.

Classes are taught by University of Washington law students and overseen by practicing attorneys with each week devoted to one of the 6 first year law school core classes: Week 1 – Constitutional Law, Week 2 – Property Law, Week 3 – Tort Law, Week 4 – Criminal Law, Week 5 – Contracts, and Week 6 – Civil Procedure.

Marine Science Summer Program


The Beach Camp outdoor education and environmental science summer program is truly unique in the world of outdoor education and adventure.  Beach Camp consists of 8 one week camp sessions starting each year on the Sunday after the Fourth of July and continuing to the end of August. Campers are divided into 4 levels based on their grade in school at registration. Minnows (grade 2-3), Seals (grade 4-5), Dolphin (grade 6-7), Orca (grade 8-9).

Uncommon Summer


A 4-week mini-course for helping students develop their leadership capacities, then brainstorm and potentially launch a self-directed project.

In this month-long virtual course, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to identify your core values and how they manifest in your life
  • How do you lead? Are you more comfortable out front (envisioning big ideas) or in a supporting role (helping others get things done)?
  • Receive access to an OnDemand video curriculum with all the tools you need to create, launch, and level-up your self-directed project
  • You’ll join live weekly workshop sessions with me (Bonnie), where we’ll brainstorm ideas, give and receive feedback on each other’s projects, and troubleshoot problems and roadblocks as a group
  • Read and watch a curated selection of great articles & videos about how to grow as a self-directed learner and generally become a more thoughtful and productive person
  • You’ll join a community of your peers where you’ll connect, collaborate, and share ideas

College Search Engines

This is my favorite place to search for colleges.

Find the Best College

Find and compare colleges and universities based on location, tuition, admission, academics, size, and rank. You can utilize the various filters and sorting capabilities of this comparison to find the best college or university for you.

Colleges That Change Lives

This is not a search engine, but it is a really great resource. They have school profiles for some of the best colleges out there that people don’t always hear or know about. You should also check out the book, you can see it above in the book resources.

Landmark College

For more than 26 years, Landmark has been the leader in creating successful learning strategies for students with learning disabilities, ADHD and ASD. Landmark was the first institution of higher education to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today, they are known throughout the world for their innovative educational model, where students become confident, self-empowered and independent learners.

Test-Optional Schools

This list includes colleges and universities that de-emphasize the use of standardized tests by making admissions decisions about substantial numbers of applicants who recently graduated from U.S. high schools without using the SAT or ACT.

College Board

College Board has a great college “match maker” search engine. They are also the company that issues the SAT, so there are lots of great resources for test prep and you can sign up for the test on their site.

College Prowler

This website is a great place to get facts and statistics about the colleges, as well as student reviews.

College Results

This website is an outstanding repository of information regarding graduation rates for colleges and universities nationwide, amongst other data.

College Rankings

More than 30,000 current college students weighed in to create Unigo’s college rankings. Come inside to find out which schools made the cut for the 10 Best Sports Schools, the 10 Safest Colleges, the 10 Best Party Schools, the 10 Colleges with the Most Intellectual Student Bodies, and more!


Connect directly with 6000 colleges, $2B in college scholarships, study abroad programs, and graduate schools.


It’s a free tool created by the founders of The Princeton Review to help students discover the right college while making the process less overwhelming and even fun! We have the resources to not only help you find the right school through our college search, but the information to help get you in. We’ve even partnered with leading publishers (e.g. Princeton Review, College Prowler, US News) to display reviews and rankings on each profile.

Financial Resources


The Washington Scholarship Coalition (WSC) is a public/private partnership that includes nine organizations committed to increasing access to scholarships and financial aid for Washington students.

The Science Ambassador Scholarship

A full-tuition scholarship for a woman in science, technology, engineering, or math. Funded by Cards Against Humanity.

FAFSA on the web

The official site for completing the FREE application for federal student aid.


Other Resources

Rate My Professor

Search to rate your professors and scope out new ones for the upcoming semester. You can explore our comprehensive database for school ratings, reviews and more! This is a great tool to make sure you are taking classes with teachers you are going to like.

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