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:

  • 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.

Strategies for making the most of scholarship applications webinar

Share information about this webinar, scheduled for February 2 and February 4, with your students and parents.

Promoting local scholarships through SDMyLife

A scholarship could make all the difference for a student trying to pay for college.
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.
Woman with hand under trunk of tree with $ signs as leaves on chalkboard

Schedule 2021 online presentations for your students

Online resources are even more valuable today than they were in previous years.
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.

Take the guesswork out of paying for college

When it comes to figuring out the cost of college, pencil-to-paper calculations can get very challenging very quickly.
 A couple sitting on couch next to each other discussing a bill or notice.

One simple question for the best college and career advice

You have the freedom to do what you want with your life and knowing that can be both a liberating gift and a heavy burden.

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.

Thank you for your part in a great 2020 financial aid night season

While the fall of 2020 has been very different on many levels, the virtual financial aid night was an established process that made the transition much easier for many counselors.

College Scorecard enhanced with more information

Prospective college students can make better-informed decisions about careers and colleges with recent enhancements to the College Scorecard.

Jobs for America’s Graduates program expanding

More students, who faced barriers to education and career success, will benefit from the Jobs for America’s Graduates program in South Dakota.
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.

Opportunity for free graduate education

Because of the pandemic, some South Dakota teachers are getting first-hand experience in teaching online this year - without much preparation.

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.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

The bottom line on financial aid offers

Choosing a college is an important financial decision.
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."

December deadline for CTE Course approval

South Dakota students can earn academic credit by completing approved career and technical education courses that address the pertinent standards within the curriculum.

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.

Test optional alternatives available for admissions

High school students have some flexibility when it comes to pursuing admission at South Dakota’s six public universities.

Why grades are important in college

It is rare that anyone wants to know my grades in college.
A woman covering her eyes as if she made a big mistake.

Every college student needs this important skill

It is probably one of the most important skills needed for 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.

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

Now is the time to schedule your fall financial aid night event with Mapping Your Future, if you haven't already.
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.

Three South Dakota Schools honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools

Three South Dakota schools were among the few hundred schools recognized last week by the U.S. Department of Education as 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Students can now apply for financial aid for 2021-22

Students planning to pursue education beyond high school in the 2021-22 academic year can start applying for financial aid now.
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.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

Executive order allows flexibility for students pursuing scholarship

Students, who didn’t have the chance to take the ACT test due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will still be able to qualify for the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship.

Career and Technical Education sessions available for replay

If you missed the South Dakota Division of Career and Technical Education virtual conference in early August, you have an opportunity to view many of the sessions online.

New requirement implemented in state’s dual credit program

Earning a failing grade in a dual credit course could be a costly mistake with new state requirements that go into effect this fall.
Pencil and completed bubble test answer sheet.

Mapping Your Future needs your input on impact of COVID-19

In order to address some of the issues impacting FAFSA completion and higher education plans, Mapping Your Future needs your response to a South Dakota COVID-19 survey.

Order printed brochures, flyers, bookmarks for students and parents

The Estimated Costs and Resources for College-Bound Native American Students flyers have been updated.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

2021-22 FAFSA webinars available

As students face what seems like an uncertain future due to the pandemic, it will be critical that they keep their options open by completing the 2021-22 FAFSA.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

A step forward in simplifying the FAFSA

This year has been filled with complications, but applying for financial aid should be a little easier with one of the changes planned for the FAFSA.
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.

Free text tips and reminders for your students and parents

Everyone is pretty busy these days - even high school students.

Four ways for students to succeed during a crisis

Students who accomplish goals and succeed during the pandemic demonstrate an important leadership skill - to persevere despite the crisis.
Community College building.

New schedule released for South Dakota public universities

Students attending South Dakota’s six public universities will need to update their calendars with some new fall academic term dates.
Woman looking at several forms on a table with her hand on a calculator.

The action you should take now if you need more financial aid

A lot of things have changed in our world during the past year, and your financial situation may be very different than when you applied for financial aid.

No proactive admissions letters this fall

The South Dakota Department of Education has announced it will not send out proactive admissions or college readiness coursework letters in fall 2020.
Road passes with directional signs pointing in all directions.

Junior year, interrupted…

…and getting back on track during the senior year.

Paying for college during a pandemic

Worries about how to pay for college have certainly intensified for many students during the pandemic.
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.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

New recordings available on financial aid topics

New recordings on various college financial aid topics are available for you to share with your students and their parents.

Making the most of a virtual college tour

It may not be what you had planned, but a virtual campus tour can help you choose the right college to accomplish your educational goals.

New guidance for South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship under COVID-19

Recognizing that high school students face challenges this year as they try to plan for their future education, the South Dakota Board of Regents recently issued some new guidance for the Opportunity Scholarship.

Webinars and other resources for Counselors to manage during COVID-19

In addition to the online resources offered by Mapping Your Future, a number of other organizations are providing services that may be of assistance to counselors and educators as they move programs and classes online. site released

Our world today is dramatically different that it was just a few weeks ago.

Department of Education updates online COVID-19 information

The Department of Education updated its "Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents" information on April 1.

Featuring South Dakota high schools

Mapping Your Future is glad to partner with SDEAF to provide early awareness tools and services to South Dakota high schools, students, and families.
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.