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Philadelphia Futures releases 27th annual college guide

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With the new school year well underway, Philadelphia Futures is making sure that high school students and their families are also thinking ahead to college. The 27th edition of its Step Up to College Guide, a free resource that gives high school students the information they need to successfully complete the college admissions process, is now available.

Staff from Philadelphia Futures – a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing college access to low-income college students – visited local high schools in October. 

The guide provides grade-specific college readiness checklists for students, as well as a family checklist to ensure students are receiving the support they need. Other features include interactive worksheets that allow students to determine what their “best fit” college will look like and information regarding common financial aid misconceptions.

Philadelphia Futures, in partnership with PECO, will release the Step Up to College mobile app in November. The app is designed to provide access to valuable resources, such as a place for students to record answers to questions asked on college tours, wherever students need them. The app logo can be found within the guide, indicating the specific worksheets that students can also find on their phones.

The app will include additional tools such as a college cost calculator to help students compare different institutions and a way to track their college application progress.

“As apps have become a popular and ubiquitous way of receiving information, it was essential that we embrace this technology and meet students where they are,” said Joan Mazzotti, executive director of Philadelphia Futures.

The 68-page publication can be found at all Philadelphia public, charter, and parochial high schools, as well as at branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia, government offices, and other community-based organizations.

The Step Up to College Guide is also available at www.stepuptocollege.org. On the site, students will find additional resources, including a college visit calendar, three 20-minute videos leading them through the major college admissions steps, and direct links to the college access tools suggested by the guide.

Students can also connect with Step Up to College on Facebook and Twitter. These accounts provide reminders to keep students on a college-ready path.

“I encourage students to embrace all that the guide has to offer and step into their future with confidence and optimism,” Mazzotti said.

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