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Post-Secondary Resources

Preparing for life after MHS can be a difficult and confusing process. Please read through the information below or check out our FAQs. Still have questions? Please don't hesitate to contact the College & Career Center or Counseling Center. Preguntas frecuentes en español

We created a new Google Site to get a jumpstart on life after MHS. Check it out here. This site has videos, resources, tips and more! 


There are 3 major types of financial aid to help students fund their post-secondary education. Financial aid is any type of assistance used to pay for the cost of college.

Grants and Scholarships – this type of financial aid is also known as “free money” because you don’t need to repay it and you don’t need to work to earn it. Grant aid can be from federal and state governments and from individual colleges. Scholarships come from various sources and most require a separate application.

Loans – this type of financial aid must be repaid plus interest. There are different types of loans, including loans for students and parents.

Work – work-study is a federal program that allows students to earn money for books, supplies and other expenses. Some jobs are on-campus while others may be in the community. This program also allows students to gain work experience and the opportunity to network. You can get more information by visiting the Federal Student Aid website


In order for colleges to determine how much and then what type of financial aid they may receive, students are highly encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). every year they plan on attending a post-secondary school.  All eligible students should complete the FAFSA even if they believe they will not receive any aid because some colleges or scholarships require it. Undocumented or DACA students from Oregon should complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) and follow the guide.  The College & Career Center hosts an annual Financial Aid/FAFSA Night in September to help guide students and parents through any updates or changes.

The FAFSA opens on October 1. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as close to October 1 as possible. The ORSAA is administered by OSAC and they try to have the application available on October 1 as well; however, that isn't always the case. Students are encouraged to check with the College & Career Center for more information on the available date. 

Students should check with individual colleges to learn about their specific requirements or recommendations. All students can check in with their counselor or College & Career Center staff for more information or help to complete any requirements.

You are able to complete the FAFSA4caster  at any time to get an estimate of your potential financial aid. This is especially useful for juniors, but any student can use this tool. 


Scholarship Information Night takes place in January each year (January 23, 2019).  See a presentation here (español)! 

Scholarships are another type of aid that students can earn to help fund their education. There are different types of sources for scholarships and students should search for all possibilities. Some are college-specific while others are from private organizations that can be used at various schools.  

One organization that offers different types of aid for Oregon students is the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC). Students have the opportunity to complete the OSAC scholarships using one application.  Check out the Step by Step Video for help. OSAC also administers the new Oregon Promise Program where students that meet the eligibility requirements can earn money to attend an Oregon Community College.


The “Scholarship Wall” is located outside the Counseling Center and is updated weekly. Scholarships posted are only a few of the many available to students and include college specific, national and local scholarships. Students are encouraged to check the Scholarship Wall on a weekly basis. Get information on Twitter by following @mhsscholarships and students can join the Google Classroom (code: i58i80s).   SCHOLARSHIP LIST

NOTE:  Several local scholarships use the same application form, the "Local Common Scholarship" Application. They are:  Lion's Club  Scholarship, Kiwanis Scholarship (Walnut City),  Florence Bridenstine Memorial Scholarship, and Betty Stephens Memorial Scholarship.

Other resources:
Reviews (scholarship platform reviews and tips)
Oregon GEAR UP Scholarship Calendar 



College Board
Scholarship America


Many colleges and scholarships will require students to submit letters of recommendation. Students should select someone that knows them well and can speak to their abilities. Some committees will require a counselor and core-teacher to be the recommenders, while others will allow any non-relative as a recommender. Students should pay attention to the instructions for each specific recommendation. Students should always give recommenders enough time to complete the letters of recommendation, we suggest students give a two week notice and follow up with their recommenders. Many find the Brag Sheet useful when completing recommendations. Students should complete a brag sheet in order for the recommender to write a thorough letter of recommendation.  



McMinnville High School students are able to take advantage of the Oregon Career Information System (CIS) and Virtual Job Shadow (VJS).  Both resources have career interest assessments, resume builder, college search and more. Students are able to log in to the CIS system using the following – username: ( and password: ID# uppercase initial of first name, lower case initial of last name (123456Js). Students log into VJS using the same username as CIS (, but their password is only their ID# (123456).  See further login instructions here. If you have issues logging into the systems, please check with the College & Career Center.  Students use this system to complete some of their PEP requirements.

MHS students at all grade levels should visit our Virtual Advisory section and take advantage of all the information/activities which are available to them to help explore their post-secondary options and complete important activities.  Each "grade/class" has their corresponding Google Virtual Advisory Classroom where they can access this information.


There are different education paths after high school that fit students’ needs. Students should research and explore their options to find the best one for them.

Military – Students may choose that enrolling in the military and serving this country is the best option for them. Students exploring this option can meet with recruiters to learn more information. MHS hosts Military Mondays the 2nd and 4th Monday's of the month and also offers the ASVAB once a year (usually in February) for students interested in this option.

Career/Technical/Vocational/Trade – Trade Schools allow students to focus on a specific career to help them get into the workforce quickly and effectively. Instead of focusing on a liberal arts education, trade schools focus on job-specific training and skills.  

Community Colleges – There are different degree options for students at a community college. Students may earn a certificate, an Associate’s Degree, or an Associate’s Transfer Degree. Community colleges do not have specific admissions requirements, so students do not need a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA).

Public Colleges/Universities – Public colleges/universities offer students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a variety of programs of study. These schools have specific admissions requirements including minimum GPA, SAT/ACTexam, grades of a “C-” or higher in core classes. Students should check the specific requirements for each school. Students can now apply to some public Oregon schools via the Common Application.

Private Colleges/Universities – Private colleges/universities have similar requirements as public schools; however, private schools are more selective and usually have higher GPA requirements. While private schools are more expensive than public schools, they also have more financial aid to offer to students because they do not rely solely on state/federal aid. Many private schools accept the Common Application, which allows you to apply to many colleges using one application.
On-Line Schools - Many students are searching for other non-traditional opportunities to receive degrees.  Research how Oregon colleges and universities are incorporating online degree programs.


Students should do individual research to find the best school for them but can receive guidance from their counselor or College & Career Center staff.

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