November 2003 Show Resources—Education Beyond High School: Preparing Academically and Financially
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Online resources and organizations

Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA)

FSA administers the Student Financial Assistance Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. The comprehensive web site provides information on education beyond high school including academic and financial preparedness, career and university searches and funding options. Additionally, publications are available on line and in print including:

  • The Student Guide: Financial Aid From the U.S. Department of Education
    The Student Guide is a comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major forms of aid available through the Department's Federal Student Aid office. Updated each award year, The Student Guide tells you about the programs and how to apply for them
  • College Preparation Checklist
    Provides information about what students from pre-high school through their senior year can do to prepare for college. This brochure recommends steps that students can take to get ready for college, including taking challenging classes, becoming involved in extracurricular activities, starting to save for college, and investigating financial aid opportunities.

Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)

OPE directs, coordinates, and recommends policies for programs that are designed to provide financial assistance to eligible students; improve postsecondary educational facilities and programs; recruit and prepare disadvantaged students for postsecondary programs; and promote the domestic study of foreign languages and international affairs, research, and exchange activities. Specific programs of interest are listed below:

  • TRIO Programs
    The Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes six outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college, and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.
    The GEAR UP program is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP is unique from other initiatives. This program employs partnerships committed to serving and accelerating the academic achievement of cohorts of students through their high school graduation.

Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE)

OVAE works to ensure that all Americans have the knowledge and technical skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education, the workforce, and life. Specific programs are listed below:

  • Preparing America's Future: The Secretary's High School Initiative
    The Secretary of Education has launched an initiative to ensure that all American high school students graduate with the knowledge and skills they need for good jobs or further education. The initiative will focus on high expectations for all; innovative learning structures that fully engage students, high-quality teaching and leadership, and accelerated transitions to work or additional education.
  • State Scholars Initiative
    The State Scholars Initiative (SSI) is designed to better prepare students academically by encouraging them to take more rigorous courses that reflect National Commission on Excellence in Education (NCEE) recommendations. Managed by the Center for State Scholars in partnership with OVAE, SSI is being piloted by six states in the 2002-2003 school year. These states are: AR, TN, OK, IN, MD, and RI.

Think College Early

The Think College web site has been designed to provide information on educational opportunities beyond high school for learners of all ages. Think College Early focuses on students in middle school, their parents, and teachers; High School and Beyond is targeted to high school and college students; and Returning to School emphasizes the educational needs of adult learners.


The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. This site provides an overview of the accreditation process, the U.S. Department of Education role, and lists of agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

IPEDS College Opportunities On Line (IPEDS Cool)

IPEDS Cool helps you find out about a specific college or set of colleges, if you have some in mind. If you are not sure what colleges might be of interest, IPEDS COOL has the tools to help you search for a college. You can search for a college based on its location, program, or degree offerings either alone or in combination. Once you've found some colleges of interest, you can obtain important and understandable information on all of them.

College Board

The College Board is a national nonprofit membership association whose mission is to prepare, inspire, and connect students to college success and opportunity. Each year, the College Board serves over three million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®).


ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides more than a hundred assessments, including the ACT ASSESSMENT®, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development.

College Savings Plan Network

In 1991, the College Savings Plans Network formed as an affiliate to the National Association of State Treasurers. Intended to make higher education more attainable, the Network serves as a clearinghouse for information among existing college savings programs. Additionally, CSPN monitors federal activities and promotes legislation that will positively affect state programs.

Tax Benefits for Education

This IRS publication provides information on the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits, Education Tax Deductions and the Coverdell Education Savings Account.

GI Bill Web Site

This is the Department of Veteran Affairs' (VA) official webs site on the GI Bill. It provides information on educational benefits available to veterans and their families.

American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)

AACC is the primary advocacy organization for community colleges at the national level and works closely with directors of state offices to inform and affect state policy. In addition, AACC is a member of "The Six" large, presidentially based associations and collaborates with a wide range of entities within the higher education community to monitor and influence federal policy and to collaborate on issues of common interest.

College Summit

This intensive, four-day experience, repeated dozens of times each summer, brings students, schools, colleges, and community partners together for the common goal of seeing that low-income youth get the chance to shine in college admissions.

CollegeBound Foundation

The CollegeBound Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help inner city students go to college. Through a partnership with the Baltimore City Public Schools System, CollegeBound has placed College Access Program Specialists in 13 senior high schools throughout the city. These Specialists work one-on-one with students, helping them through the difficult and complex process of college preparation and financial aid.


No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind—Especially for Parents Page

On this site the U.S. Department of Education offers information about public school choice, supplemental services, testing and accountability, as well as parenting tips on reading and homework.

The Education Innovator Newsletter

The Education Innovator Newsletter is a weekly electronic newsletter published by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement. Each week it includes a Featured Innovation and important news from The U.S. Department of Education and around the country.

How is My School District Doing

To obtain information on the performance of your school district, follow the link highlighted above, select your state, choose the "State Contacts" link, and select "How is My School District Doing". This will link you to school district performance data from your State Department of Education

Parents' Guide to Supplemental Services

This guide for parents explains what is meant by supplemental services under No Child Left Behind, who is eligible, how to obtain quality services, and how to get more information.

No Child Left Behind: A Parents Guide

This is the essential guide for parents, and provides answers to questions about No Child Left Behind and what the law means for parents, in an accessible and easy to understand format.

Toolkit For Faith-Based and Community Organizations To Provide Extra Academic Help

The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has developed a user friendly Toolkit for organizations interested in applying to become supplemental service providers.



Susan Sclafani is Counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education. In her position as Counselor, she advises the Secretary on educational issues and initiatives, with a primary focus on the No Child Left Behind Act. Prior to this position, Dr. Sclafani was Chief of Staff for Educational Services in the Houston Independent School District where she represented the Superintendent on educational issues and coordinated activities of the departments directly involved in the education of children.

Terri Shaw is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). FSA is responsible for administering Title IV of the Higher Education Act, including federal student loans and grants totaling about $61 billion a year serving the needs of 8.7 million people. In her capacity as COO, Ms. Shaw is charged with improving service, reducing costs, and modernizing and integrating the information and delivery systems of FSA. Ms. Shaw has more than 22 years of private industry experience, the majority while serving in a variety of executive positions with SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae).

Ayeola Boothe Kinlaw is the Associate Director of K-12 Equity Initiatives with the Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Board. College Board's AP Program offers a range of access and equity initiatives, including, financial and technical assistance to schools and teachers interested in expanding minority and disadvantaged student access to AP courses. Ayeola began her career teaching leadership development skills to high school students in the Washington D.C area. She has a master's degree in education, with a concentration in education policy, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Alexandra Quinn is the Director of Program Services at College Summit. College Summit is a national non-profit organization that focuses on increasing the number of low-income students who enroll in college. The organization addresses the "belief gap" by providing help to those "mid-performing" low-income students who do not attend college because they are unaware of their options and cannot successfully navigate through the process of applying to college, but are capable of being successful at the postsecondary level. Ms. Quinn is tasked with local capacity-building initiatives, curriculum development, staff recruitment and operations, and building a stronger alumni program.

Adrienne Lallo (via satellite) is the Marketing and Communications Director for the Center for State Scholars. The purpose of the organization is to develop business-education partnership intent on raising the academic rigor and sequence of courses required for high school graduation to ensure students are prepared for the workforce and postsecondary education. Before joining CSS, Adrienne was the advertising and marketing director for the College for Texans campaign and assisted the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in raising awareness about the risks of a less-educated citizenry.

Charlene R. Nunley is the Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery College, a network of community colleges in Montgomery County, Maryland. Previously, Dr. Nunley served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, where she administered a $110 million budget, and provided academic leadership for three campuses serving 20,000 students each semester, a Continuing Education unit now enrolling 18,000 each year, and more than 1,200 employees. Her distinguished career in educational administration includes various positions in academic administration, planning, finance, budgeting, and resource development.

April Elizabeth Bell is the administrating manager of CollegeBound Foundation's competitive scholarships and grant initiatives in Baltimore, Maryland. The CollegeBound Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help inner city students go to college. Through a partnership with the Baltimore City Public Schools, CollegeBound has placed College Access Program Specialists in 13 senior high schools throughout the city. These Specialists work one-on-one with students, helping them through the difficult and complex process of college preparation and financial aid. CollegeBound also awards "Last Dollar" grants to fill the gap when sufficient funds are not available through loans, scholarships, or work-study programs.

Ron Smith is the Executive Director of Financial Aid and Retention at Baltimore City Community College and serves as a representative on the Middle States Regional Council of the College Board. Prior to this position, Mr. Smith served on the Sallie Mae National Advisory Council and the Mayor's Commission on the Status of the African American Male. He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation in the Urban Educational Leadership Program at Morgan State University.

Jacqueline Williams is the Executive Director of the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority. Since 1989, the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority, a state agency, has offered a safe and affordable way to help Ohio families save for a college education through the Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan and other options. CollegeAdvantage offers families a choice for college savings: a guaranteed option backed by the state of Ohio (available to Ohio residents only), and 14 variable investment options managed by Putnam Investments (offered in Ohio and nationwide).


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Last Modified: 07/25/2013