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:
The South Dakota College Access News provides information and resources for counselors, students, and parents on planning, paying and succeeding in college.
Free, online tutoring available for K-12 studentsAcademic success at all grade levels is critical to college and career success.
FAFSA completions in South DakotaMapping Your Future publishes a monthly FAFSA update flyer for South Dakota with facts and figures related to FAFSA completion.
Helping students earn degrees and credentials for future careersHelping students thrive in future careers is the goal of a new Department of Education initiative.
Celebrating work in South DakotaWork is essential to our lives, and as such, it deserves a week-long celebration.
Career exploration opportunity for South Dakota middle school studentsSouth Dakota’s middle school students will again have an opportunity to participate in free, five-day career exploration camps this summer.
Board of Regents leader to step down later this yearThe South Dakota Board of Regents this week announced the resignation of its executive director and CEO.
Tips for encouraging your students to complete the FAFSAWhile the number of South Dakota’s high school seniors applying for financial aid this year is staying steady compared to last year, the number FAFSA completions has dropped overall since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
Making informed career decisionsA career decision is both emotional and practical.
FAFSA completion - A big step followed by some smaller stepsCompleting the FAFSA is a big accomplishment.
Two important reasons for the Student Aid ReportCompared to the financial aid offer, the Student Aid Report may seem like an unimportant document when it comes to getting funding for college.
Why your college may ask for a tax transcript and how to get oneJust when you think you have completed all the financial aid applications, your college financial aid office notifies you they need an IRS tax transcript.
March tasks for high school seniorsAs your senior year winds down, make sure to complete the necessary admission applications, scholarship essays, and financial aid information.
New college opportunities, changes to be shared at Northern eventTo make the most of college opportunities and resources, students and parents should have the most up-to-date information possible when it comes planning and paying for postsecondary education.
Scholarship applications webinar recording availableThe recent "Strategies for making the most of scholarship applications" webinar addressed tips and techniques for applying for scholarships.
South Dakota university system ranked best in valueSouth Dakota has the best university system in the country based on value, according to a recent report that ranked the 50 state public university systems on prices and outcomes.
College transfer article features SDSU admissions expertShawn Helmbolt, director of admissions at South Dakota State University, was one of the admissions experts quoted recently in a national article on the college transfer process.
Celebrating National School Counseling Week February 6-10A week-long celebration of school counseling is much deserved but almost too short – considering how much school counselors assist students and families throughout the entire year.
Applications open for the 2023 Voyager scholarshipsStudents interested in public service are encouraged to apply for the Voyager Scholarship.
The real reason admission and scholarship essays are so hard to writeIt’s not that you don’t want to write the essay.
A strategy for choosing the right college for youIt’s nice to have a choice.
Important questions to ask yourself before applying for a scholarshipStudents should apply for as many scholarships as possible.
Four components of a good college financial planIt is understandable – that overwhelmed feeling you get when thinking about how to pay for college.
February tasks for high school seniorsIt's just a few, busy months away from graduation for high school seniors.
Helping students with scholarship applications webinar scheduledShare information with your students and parents about the upcoming January 24 and 26 webinars.
Important South Dakota scholarship deadlines for studentsStudents who seek out scholarship information early are giving themselves an important advantage when seeking funding for college.
South Dakota dual credit program included in national case studySouth Dakota was among four states featured a national report on dual enrollment programs, published by the Education Commission of the States.
Spring college fairs scheduled in South DakotaSouth Dakota high school students have an opportunity to learn more about future opportunities at college fairs planned around the state this spring.
FAFSA Renewal Campaign underway in JanuaryThe beginning of a new year is a good time for renewal.
Simple steps to update your FSA IDYour FSA ID is your key to your federal student aid account, and therefore it’s important that you keep information associated with your account up to date.
A checklist of applications to complete for a college educationBy the first day of college classes, a student has completed a lot of paperwork to begin their educational journey.
January tasks for high school seniorsDuring your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool planned outage this weekendStudents and parents who have a new year's resolution to complete the FAFSA may want to just sleep in the morning of Saturday, January 7.
How do I start applying for financial aid?If you are a high school senior or the parent of a senior, the next few months are important for applying for financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, and loans.
New FAFSA to debut in late 2023Students and parents applying for financial aid in the fall of 2023 will experience a totally new FAFSA.
Happy Holidays from Mapping Your FutureWe look forward to continuing to work with you in 2023!
Reminder about student aid website two-step verificationStudents and parents who completed the FAFSA or set up an account this fall at StudentAid.gov already know about the two-step verification now required.
Completing the FAFSA recording available with Spanish subtitlesTo help more students understand and apply for financial aid, Mapping Your Future is now offering its FAFSA completion webinar with Spanish subtitles.
Resources available to help counselors accomplish job dutiesSometimes even school counselors can use a little guidance.
More career resources now available for South DakotansThe definition of career success may vary among people, but there’s likely agreement that a high-demand, high-wage occupation is key to being successful.
The two reasons you need to create a FAFSA save keyA save key for the FAFSA is not the same as a password, but it could be just as important to helping a student complete the form.
For a successful future, seniors must develop these five traitsGraduation is a significant milestone for high school students.
Deadline for Dakota Corps Scholarship Program quickly approachingNew application deadline of December 15 set for the Dakota Corps Scholarship Program.
Displaying your accomplishmentsWinter break is a good time to get caught up on projects that are harder to find time for during the school year.
December tasks for high school seniorsDuring your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.
The best time to apply for college - Free Application PeriodThe college application process can be costly if you want to apply to more than one school or institution.
National Apprenticeship Week celebrated in NovemberThe value of apprenticeships will be recognized during the 8th Annual National Apprenticeship Week this November.
College costs up slightly but student loan borrowing declinesThe cost of college increased only slightly in recent years while borrowing and student loan debt amounts declined, according to new reports from the College Board.
2022-23 ACT national test dates and registration deadlinesStudents interested in taking the ACT this academic year should make notes of the upcoming test dates for 2022-23.
ACT is exploring a digital national testACT is considering offering a digital version of its college admissions test taken on weekends.
Updated federal school code list releasedFor students, entering the federal school code of a college or university may not be the most common way of listing an institution on the FAFSA.
Two questions to ask before accepting a grant or scholarshipThe best way for a student to pay for an education is with grants and scholarships.
These numbers have a huge impact on your financial aid offerWhether you love or hate math problems, figuring out the amount of money you’ll need for college can be overwhelming.
Two steps to log in to StudentAid.govIt’s a process that is becoming more and more of a standard for online accounts.
November tasks for high school seniorsDuring your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.
Borrowers with spousal consolidation loans need to act soon for PSLFBorrowers with spousal consolidation loans who want to take advantage of the limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver will need to act soon.
Workarounds offered to correct FAFSA question about being homelessStudents, who mistakenly answered yes to the “homeless or at risk of being homeless” question on the FAFSA and were prevented from providing parent information, now have some workarounds to proceed.
More students attending South Dakota public universitiesThe number of students at South Dakota’s six public universities increased this fall compared to the fall of 2021.
Schedule your fall financial aid night eventIt's not too late to schedule your fall financial aid night event with Mapping Your Future.
Order printed brochures, flyers, bookmarks for students and parentsStudents may rely on their mobile devices for a lot of things, but while research is still being done, there are still some things students prefer to have printed.
Worksheet available to prepare for 2023-24 FAFSAWith the launch of the 2023-24 FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education posted a final version of the 2023–24 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet on the StudentAid.gov website.
2023-24 FAFSA form now availableIf it’s October, it’s time for fall festivities and time to apply for financial aid.
This one FAFSA question you should always answer with a yesApplying for federal financial aid has gotten easier in recent years, and you can make it even easier for yourself by preparing ahead to answer the questions on the FAFSA.
Helping students with the why and how of FAFSA completionNow that the 2023-24 FAFSA is available, all students and parents need to do is complete it.
New career opportunities through national apprenticeship programsHands-on training sometimes combined with formal education make for a powerful combination for any student planning for the future.
A worksheet to prepare for the 2023-24 FAFSAWith the launch of the 2023-24 FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education posted a final version of the 2023–24 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet on the StudentAid.gov website.
The secrets of scholarship-winning studentsApplying for scholarships can seem like a lot of work when there’s no guarantee that you will receive any money for your education.
Strategies for students and parents when money for college runs shortWith the fall semester well underway, most students have their minds on attending classes and getting good grades - and hopefully not on paying their tuition bill.
Documents available to help prepare for 2023-24 FAFSAWith the beginning of a new FAFSA year coming soon, the U.S. Department of Education has posted final versions of the 2023–24 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet and a watermarked version of the final 2023-24 FAFSA.
October tasks for high school seniorsDuring your senior year, you will finalize your college choice.
Program offers lower-cost course materials for studentsThe cost of attending college is not just about the tuition.
Three questions removed from 2023-24 FAFSAIt may not save a lot of time in completing the FAFSA, but it is one step closer to FAFSA simplification.
2023-24 FAFSA webinars availableWith the cost of nearly everything increasing, financial aid to help students and families pay for college is more important than ever.
The key to knowing what to do first for getting into collegeWhich came first – applying for college admission or applying for financial aid?
Three new FAFSA questions to answer - or not answer - this yearIt’s strictly voluntary this year.
September tasks for high school seniorsThe college preparation that takes place during your senior year is filled with a lot of details and paperwork.
Join us at the Fall School Counselor WorkshopsIf you plan to attend the 2022 Fall School Counselor Workshops, look for and introduce yourself to Mapping Your Future.
New tool helps borrowers easily determine PSLF eligibilityThe first step in seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness for your student loan is determining if you have worked for a qualifying employer.
New flyer to inform students and parents about SD scholarshipsScholarships can make a big difference in student’s life.
Higher education marketing campaign launched in South DakotaAnyone pursuing an education beyond high school will likely see the return on their investment in a number of ways – a higher income, lower risk of unemployment, and increased community involvement.
South Dakota Board of Regents debut new logoThe South Dakota Board of Regents have a new logo.
New Department of Labor tool for career planning, programsIt may be beyond the scope of what most people needed to know when planning their career, but a new tool developed by the U.S. Department of Labor can help government agencies, educational institutions, and other organizations plan programs and policies to respond to workforce demands.
How to master the art of being a good studentHowever, some students do fail – despite their desire to succeed.
Four decisions high school juniors can think about nowYour senior year of high school could be a breeze.
August tasks for high school seniorsSome facets of your senior year may look different than past years, but starting your senior year is still an exciting time.
Sudden retirement for student aid appApplying for federal student aid? There won't be an app for that.
Proposed policy aims to make academic transfer seamlessSouth Dakota students should find it easier to transfer credits between the state’s technical colleges and public universities if a proposal, now under review, is approved.
Additional University of South Dakota location to be in Sioux FallsThe South Dakota Board of Regents last month approved a plan for the Community College of Sioux Falls to become the University of South Dakota - Sioux Falls.
Some students unable to correct or update FAFSAFor financial aid to be awarded appropriately, students and parents must submit correct information on the FAFSA.
Updated draft 2023–24 FAFSA materials ready for reviewIf you want to make suggestions for the 2023-24 Federal Student Aid application materials, now is your opportunity.
One question to ask before accepting any grant or scholarshipGrants and scholarships are the best kind of financial aid for college.
What to consider when choosing between in-state, out-of-state collegesGetting away from home – it’s an exciting part of going to college for the first time.
The good and bad of student loansStudent loans have gotten a lot of press in in the past few years and most of it has not been good.
July tasks for high school seniorsDuring your senior year, you finalized your college choice.
Career exploration resources available from 2022 Week of WorkAlthough the 2022 South Dakota Week of Work is well over, the benefits from the activities don’t have to end.
Four steps to Public Service Loan ForgivenessLast fall, the Department of Education announced a change to PSLF program rules for a limited time.
Make smart use of this college resourceStudents who do well in college often know how to make the most of the resources offered to them.
Practice budgeting skills with summer job earningsA summer job offers many benefits for students in addition to the money earned.
Understanding the ACT superscoreIf you’ve taken the ACT test more than once, then you have an ACT superscore, which enables you to take advantage of your best scores for each subject.
Different meanings for the word dependentNot claimed as a dependent on your parent’s taxes?
June tasks for high school seniorsDuring your senior year, you finalized your college choice.
2022-23 FAFSA verification relief extendedIn a move sure to gladden the hearts of students, parents, and financial aid professionals alike, the U.S. Department of Education announced on Wednesday that it would continue the waiver of certain 2022-23 FAFSA verification requirements.
Is it too late to complete the FAFSA?Maybe you have put off completing the FAFSA, the federal student aid application, because, after all, you have a million other things to do.
Boost your life-long financial success by doing this nowThe secret to financial success isn’t having more money. Instead, the secret is in how you manage what money you do have.
Department of Education takes steps to help millions of borrowersRecently, the Department of Education announced steps that will bring borrowers closer to public service loan and income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness by addressing what they called historical failures in the administration of the federal student loan programs.
Six essential skills for new college studentsSoon-to-be college students have the expectation of learning a lot in college, and rightfully so.
Packing list for college bound studentsIf 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 yearSenior year of high school is exciting, but the truth is – it can also be very overwhelming.
South Dakota Regents freeze tuition and fees at state universitiesDespite accelerating inflation, students and parents won’t pay more to attend South Dakota public universities in the coming academic year.
New Mapping Your Future tool enables career explorationChoosing the right career field is the first step to finding fulfillment in your life’s work.
Resources for Native American students flyer updatedMapping Your Future recently updated the Resources for College-Bound Native American Students located on the Order Counselor Resources page.
New scholarship program to benefit South Dakota studentsStudents will begin receiving South Dakota's new Freedom Scholarship in the fall 2022 semester.
Steps to evaluate a financial aid offerOnce a student has been admitted to a college, the question that often follows for both the student and the parents is how will we pay for it?
Updates on StudentAid.gov to help students and parentsThe U.S. Department of Education this week made additional updates to StudentAid.gov designed to improve the information and tools available to students and parents.
Students to explore careers during summer camps on college campusesSouth Dakota middle school students will have an opportunity to participate in free, five-day career exploration camps this summer.
Steps to repayment flyer updatedWith student loan repayment set to begin September 1, your former students may be asking for guidance.
Successful students do this one thingSuccessful students often do a lot of the right things to accomplish their educational goals but there’s one thing they all do.
ACT to offer free workshop on using data for school improvementBetter information often leads to better decisions, and often that information is hidden in the data.
Deadline nearing for Workforce Education Grant applicationsSchool districts and other organization have an opportunity to improve career and technical education with funding from the Workforce Education Grants program.
Important facts about the FSA IDStudents and parents should think of the FSA ID as the key that unlocks access to their federal financial aid.
Five reasons to pursue scholarships even if you aren’t a senior yetIt’s never too early to begin your search for college scholarships.
Three benefits of scholarships in addition to the moneyMoney for college. Ask anyone why they pursue a scholarship and that is the answer you'll most likely hear.
South Dakota students miss out on federal funds for collegeThe South Dakota high school class of 2021 missed out on more than $7 million in Pell Grants by not applying for federal financial aid.
Schedule a college planning eventCollege planning events are a great way to encourage juniors to prepare for their senior year and to be ready to complete the FAFSA next fall.
The one financial aid deadline students need to rememberWhile it is really never too late to apply for financial aid, there is an important deadline for students to remember.
South Dakota universities are important to the state’s economySouth Dakota public higher education institutions generated a total impact on the state’s economy of more than $2.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2019, according to an economic contribution analysis released last month.
Educators invited to apply for School Ambassador FellowshipTeacher, administrators, counselors, and other school leaders have an opportunity to join a national dialogue about education.
Federal Student Aid launching campaign to encourage FAFSA completionStudents and parents, who have not yet completed the Renewal FAFSA for 2022-23 will soon receive a reminder email from Federal Student Aid.
Survey Shows Students Need Help Completing FAFSAPaying for college is challenging, but receiving some financial aid can ease the burden on students and families.
Dealing with FAFSA technical issuesMany of us know that feeling of frustration – you’re trying finish an online task, but it just doesn’t work.
South Dakota ACT scores above national averageSouth Dakota students continued to score above the national average in its ACT composite score for 2021, according to information recently released by the state’s Department of Education.
PSLF Tool updated to help borrowers determine eligibilityStudent loan borrowers who haven’t checked their eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness lately may want to try again using the updated tool provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
The bottom line on financial aid offersChoosing a college is an important financial decision.
The where and how of a successful scholarship searchIf you are looking for scholarships to help you play for college, there are a lot available.
Follow “Our Dakota Dreams” on social mediaTaking the first step toward making a dream come true, especially when it requires attending college, can feel difficult – so difficult that many people abandon their dreams.
Board of Regents Launches Our Dakota Dream CoalitionAll SD Colleges, Universities Extend Free Application Period to Six Weeks for South Dakota Residents.
Troubleshooting the FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval toolApplying for financial aid is easy when you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool – unless the tool doesn’t work for you.
Finding the right college on SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.orgStudents can now research prospective schools and colleges using the new College Explorer tool on the SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.org website.
New tool launched to estimate federal financial aidStudents and parents can get a peek at how much federal financial aid they might receive with a new tool released this week by the U.S. Department of Education.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program overhaulThe Department of Education announced a major overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Fall enrollment at South Dakota’s public universitiesThe number of students at South Dakota’s public universities is mostly unchanged from year, according to a report from the Board of Regents.
Students now have more time to save money on college admissionsAs a part of a state-wide College Access Campaign, students can apply to several South Dakota institutions, and they won’t have to pay an application fee.
Alert for 2022-23 FAFSA filers with 2020 unemployment incomeSome students and parents who received unemployment income in 2020 could see an incorrect reduction in their eligibility for need-based aid for the 2022-23 academic year.
2022-23 FAFSA materials now available for training and presentationsIn another sign that a new FAFSA season is upon us, the Department of Education has released the final versions of the 2022–23 FAFSA form and worksheet.
Two questions to be removed from future federal aid applicationsTwo questions will be disappearing from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). . . but not just yet.
2022-23 FAFSA information posted by Department of EducationIt is a sign that fall is almost here.
New South Dakota educational opportunity in the medical fieldStudents interested in the medical field now have another educational program to choose from in South Dakota.
Jobs program for students featured on South Dakota Public RadioA job program for high school students in the state recently took the spotlight on a South Dakota Public Broadcasting Radio program.
A four-step process to making good decisions for your futureThe decisions you make today will have life-long significance.
South Dakota students named presidential scholars; teachers honoredDespite 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.
Reduced tuition rate approved for Ellsworth programActive-duty Airmen and some of their family members are among those who can take advantage of reduced tuition for a new postsecondary education program to be offered at Ellsworth Air Force Base in the fall.
Research reveals educational, performance benefits of taking a breakIt was a little unscheduled break in the action during the Tuesday night game.
TEACH Grant program changes to benefit teachers, studentsThe 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.
Accomplishing career goals with stackable credentialsFor some students, knowing what education they want to pursue is clear, but finding a program that matches their interest is a challenge.
Making the grade when it comes to financial mattersAs a high school student, you probably often aspire to getting a good score when it comes to your classes.
Scholarship opportunities on Department of Labor websiteAlthough 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 availableAs 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.
StudentAid.gov to be only site for students, parents to create FSA IDTo make StudentAid.gov 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 updatedThe ability to research careers is important to selecting a career path.
How a campus tour can be critical to your college successA key to a successful college experience for some students is being in the right environment.
Borrowers warned about student loan scams in social media campaignWhile a friendly April Fool’s joke can be amusing, it’s no fun to be fooled by student loan scams.
Handout created to explore SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.org siteMapping Your Future created a handout to help students explore the SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.org website in conjunction with the Council on College Admission in South Dakota (CCASD) Virtual College Fair to be held March 22-April 1.
The secret of successful studentsStudents 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.
CareerShip helps with career planning and college selectionChoosing the right career takes research.
Asking for a lower tuition billControlling the cost of higher education is an issue on the minds of many students and parents.
South Dakota among states with the lowest student loan balanceSouth 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.
Five important things you should know about grad school financial aidFor 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.
Using South Dakota website resourcesThe SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.org 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.