COVID-19 Information and Resources

Middle and High School Counselors

Resources for South Dakota School Counselors and Financial Aid Professionals

Welcome to Mapping Your Future. We provide information and tools to help you provide effective service to your students and families, especially as they explore higher education as a means to a better future.

Mapping Your Future offers:

  • FAFSA Update flyers: Mapping Your Future offers monthly updates on FAFSA completion in South Dakota. Research has shown that FAFSA completion is often an indicator of postsecondary pursuit among high school seniors, and these flyers provide up-to-date information about FAFSA completion trends in South Dakota.
  • College Access News: Subscribe to the South Dakota College Access News to keep informed about college access services in your state!
  • Customer service: You or your students can get the answers to your college planning and financial aid questions free by contacting Mapping Your Future via email or phone. Our email is and our toll-free number is 1-800-374-4072.
  • Financial Aid Night event assistance: Mapping Your Future offers live, online experts that can attend your events via video conferencing technology. Contact us via email or call 1-800-374-4072 to schedule your event.
  • Guide to Life after High School: Sign up to educate your students about career and college preparation, financial aid, and money management. 
  • Podcasts: The podcasts cover topics ranging from completing the FAFSA application to accessing the Student Aid Report and can be easily shared with your students and parents.
  • Publications: Visit the Resource Center to order and download posters, brochures, bookmarks, and other resources to help you and your students.
  • Training: Sign up for one of our webinars.


Order Counselor Resources


South Dakota College Access News

The South Dakota College Access News provides information and resources for counselors, students, and parents on planning, paying and succeeding in college.

2021-22 FAFSA completions in South Dakota

Mapping Your Future is publishing a monthly 2021-22 FAFSA update flyer for South Dakota with facts and figures related to FAFSA completion.
A graduate in cap and gown hugging his father.

South Dakota students named presidential scholars; teachers honored

Despite dealing with educational challenges brought on by the pandemic, high school seniors from across the country, including three South Dakota students, accomplished enough to be named U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Research reveals educational, performance benefits of taking a break

It was a little unscheduled break in the action during the Tuesday night game.

Selective Service, drug questions won't impact financial aid

Students completing the FAFSA for the next couple of years will see questions about Selective Service and drug convictions, but no matter how students answer the questions, it will not impact their financial aid.
Woman with hand under trunk of tree with $ signs as leaves on chalkboard

TEACH Grant program changes to benefit teachers, students

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced changes to the TEACH Grant Program that will support teachers and encourage students to enter the teaching profession.

It isn't too early to schedule your fall financial aid night event

Now is a great time to schedule your fall financial aid night event with Mapping Your Future.
Woman in hardhat reviewing house plans.

Accomplishing career goals with stackable credentials

For some students, knowing what education they want to pursue is clear, but finding a program that matches their interest is a challenge.
$100 bill on computer circuit board

Making the grade when it comes to financial matters

As a high school student, you probably often aspire to getting a good score when it comes to your classes.

July tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you finalized your college choice.

New resources and features on

Since students have finished their studies for the academic year, it's a good time to think about the future.

Planning for Fall counselor workshops

The Fall counselor workshops are a great way to start the new academic year with the latest information.

Borrowers should research Student Loan Forgiveness options

Student Loan Forgiveness is trending topic both online and in offline conversations.

Register now for ACT State Organizations Virtual Conference

Registration for the inaugural 2021 National ACT State Organizations Virtual Conference is now open.
Wooden gavel with gold band around the center.

Public hearings for simplifying some student and borrower programs

In what could be the beginning of a regulatory overhaul of several programs impacting students and borrowers, the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education recently announced it will hold virtual public hearings to receive feedback on potential issues for future rulemaking sessions.

Scholarship opportunities on Department of Labor website

Although the main purpose of the site is to provide information about careers, CareerOneStop also offers scholarship information to help with funding the education needed for a chosen career.

The Full Student webinar recording available

As a college student himself, Kadeem Leslie recently provided his unique insight into the challenges currently faced by many students in a Mapping Your Future webinar presented in early May.

Parking spots and five other advantages to attending summer classes

Even if you don't list summer school at the top of your list of summer fun activities, it can be a very rewarding experience.
Person putting coin into a pink piggy bank.

Practice budgeting skills with summer job earnings

A summer job offers many benefits for students in addition to the money earned.
A pile of packed moving boxes in a home.

June tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you finalized your college choice.
Road passes with directional signs pointing in all directions.

Helping all students succeed

Many students want to succeed in school and in life, but sometimes there are barriers keeping them from reaching that success. to be only site for students, parents to create FSA ID

To make a one-stop location for all federal financial aid functions, the Department of Education announced it will retire the previous website used for creating an FSA ID.

CareerShip information recently updated

The ability to research careers is important to selecting a career path.

Packing list for college bound students

If you plan to live in a dorm for the fall semester, you can start preparing now by knowing what you plan to take with you.

Three things students should do to prepare for their senior year

Senior year of high school is exciting, but the truth is – it can also be very overwhelming.
Community College building.

How a campus tour can be critical to your college success

A key to a successful college experience for some students is being in the right environment.
Graduate in cap and gown holding a clear piggy bank with coins.

May tasks for high school seniors

As your senior year winds down, don't let yourself become distracted by solely focusing on celebrating graduation - stay focused and finish your high school career strong.
Woman with hand under trunk of tree with $ signs as leaves on chalkboard

Schedule 2021 online presentations for your students

Plan now for next fall by scheduling online presentations for your students. 
Road passes with directional signs pointing in all directions.

Borrowers warned about student loan scams in social media campaign

While a friendly April Fool’s joke can be amusing, it’s no fun to be fooled by student loan scams.

Handout created to explore site

Mapping Your Future created a handout to help students explore the website in conjunction with the Council on College Admission in South Dakota (CCASD) Virtual College Fair to be held March 22-April 1.
Woman in hardhat reviewing house plans.

Celebrating work in South Dakota

Work is essential to our lives, and as such, it deserves a week-long celebration.

Register now for the South Dakota Education Conference

South Dakota counselors and educators are asked to mark their calendar for the state education conference to be held online later this spring.

Fall semester to look more like normal at state’s public universities

Students and parents can look forward to a return to more normal operations at South Dakota’s six public universities and two special schools, according to an announcement from the Board of Regents.

Tuition and fee increase at South Dakota public institutions

Students will pay about $100 more per year to attend South Dakota’s public colleges and universities.

Understanding what it means to be a dependent for financial aid

It is an important term in financial aid, but one that often creates a lot of confusion among students and parents.
Young boy holding books balancing an apple in front of chalk board, drawn graduate cap on his head

The secret of successful students

Students who do well in school know there’s a strategy that helps them make good grades, earn more awards, and, overall, enjoy the learning experience.

South Dakota grant and scholarship information

South Dakota students have a variety of state grant and scholarship programs available to them. 

CareerShip helps with career planning and college selection

Choosing the right career takes research.

April tasks for high school seniors

Your senior year was probably not quite what you anticipated due to the pandemic.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Tips for encouraging your students to complete the FAFSA

With 36 percent of the state’s high school seniors competing the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA), South Dakota now ranks 28th in the country in terms of FAFSA completion*.

Parents needed for input on Paying for College tool

Abt Associates and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) want to hear from parents and relatives who have taken out loans to pay for a family member’s college education or are thinking about doing so.

Applying for federal financial aid will be different in the future

Students attending college in the 2023-24 academic year will see a shorter, simpler form when applying for federal financial aid.

New number and access code for college planning texting service

Mapping Your Future encourages high school counselors, parents, and students or anyone interested in valuable college planning tips to sign up for its new texting service.

Students can visit Mapping Your Future at the CCASD College Fair

CCASD is hosting a Virtual College Fair March 22-April 1.

Important facts about the FSA ID

Students and parents should think of the FSA ID as the key that unlocks access to their federal financial aid.
Graduation Cap on top of $100 bill

Asking for a lower tuition bill

Controlling the cost of higher education is an issue on the minds of many students and parents.

Five things you’ll need for a successful scholarship search

To find something, you first need to know what it is you are searching for and such is the case with scholarship searches.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

March tasks for high school seniors

As your senior year winds down, make sure to complete the necessary admission applications, scholarship essays, and financial aid information.

Guide to Life after High School sessions given a fresh look

A fresh look can be energizing, especially in the middle of winter.

Brookings counselor named South Dakota Counselor of the Year

Randi Hartman, counselor at Dakota Prairie Elementary School in Brookings, was named the South Dakota School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association
Green dollar sign with graduation cap in a field on a sunny day.

South Dakota among states with the lowest student loan balance

South Dakota is among the states with the lowest student loan balances, ranking 48th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a report released by AdvisorSmith.

Scholarship application webinar materials, recordings available

To provide insight on completing scholarship applications, two webinars were recently held.

How to succeed in high school

Successful high school students know that it isn't just one thing that has made them a success.

The tactic used by successful students to win more scholarships

Scholarships are sometimes called free money or gift aid.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

February tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.

Promoting local scholarships through SDMyLife

A scholarship could make all the difference for a student trying to pay for college.
Young woman, and on chin, looking up to left, question marks on chalkboard, wondering.

Where do I start applying for financial aid?

If you are a high school senior or the parent of a senior, the next few months can be crucial to applying for financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, and loans.

The difference between sticker price and what you will pay for college

One look at a college's sticker price and many students and their parents wonder how they will ever be able to afford higher education.

Four things to consider before taking classes at another school

Most college programs are designed so you can take all the necessary classes to graduate within four years.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

January tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.
3D dollar signs filling the image.

Five important things you should know about grad school financial aid

For many students, pursuing a graduate or professional degree can provide important career advantages, but for some students the advanced degree is not be possible without financial aid.

Applying for financial aid? There's an app for that

It's never been easier or more convenient to apply for financial aid for college.
White lines in the road with arrow at the end.

Displaying your accomplishments

Winter break is a good time to get caught up on projects that are harder to find time for during the school year.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

December tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.

New college, career resource guide created for South Dakota students

To help students navigate the overwhelming world of resources, the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC) created "The Ultimate College and Career Resource Guide."

Guide aims to help parents understand, engage with digital learning

Just as the experience grows with digital learning, so may be some of the frustration for students and parents.
Graduation Cap on top of $100 bill

Flyer provides important SD Cost of Attendance information

To plan for any major purchase, you first need to have an idea of the cost.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Troubleshooting the FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval tool

Applying for financial aid is easy when you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool – unless the tool doesn’t work for you.

Why grades are important in college

It is rare that anyone wants to know my grades in college.
Young woman, and on chin, looking up to left, question marks on chalkboard, wondering.

November tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.
White lines in the road with arrow at the end.

Guide to Life after High School reinforces discussions

Students can benefit from learning in a variety of formats.

College Readiness Coursework available for South Dakota students

South Dakota high school students, who want to attend college, but didn’t meet certain college readiness benchmarks, can take advantage of the College Readiness Coursework program.

South Dakota Board of Regents releases fall enrollment numbers

The impact of the pandemic of education is being experienced in numerous ways – including a drop in the number of students attending South Dakota’s colleges and universities.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

One thing you must do before applying for financial aid

Before you can apply for financial aid to help pay for your education after high school, there is one step you must complete first.

Session for high school students now on

Planning for life after high school is challenging at any time.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

October tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.

Order printed brochures, flyers, bookmarks for students and parents

The Estimated Costs and Resources for College-Bound Native American Students flyers have been updated.
Pencil and completed bubble test answer sheet.

September tasks for high school seniors

The college preparation that takes place during your senior year is filled with a lot of details and paperwork.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

August tasks for high school seniors

Some facets of your senior year may look different than past years, but starting your senior year is still an exciting time.

Common FAFSA questions addressed in podcasts

Mapping Your Future teamed up with South Dakota financial aid professionals to develop a series of podcasts to help students and parents preparing for higher education. site released

Our world today is dramatically different that it was just a few weeks ago.
Person putting last piece of a jigsaw puzzle down.

Using South Dakota website resources

The website is designed to provide college planning information for South Dakota students and parents, as well as resources and information for South Dakota high school counselors and educators.

 Events for Counselors

T.F. Riggs High School Financial Aid Night

Monday, September 13 at 7:00 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

More Info

Gettysburg High School Financial Aid Night

Tuesday, September 14 at 6:00 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

More Info

Huron High School Financial Aid Night

Wednesday, September 15 at 6:00 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

More Info