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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:

  • Publications: Visit the Resource Center to order and download posters, brochures, bookmarks, and other resources to help you and your students.
     
  • 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 feedback@mappingyourfuture.org 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.
  • 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.

New flyer to inform students and parents about SD scholarships

Scholarships can make a big difference in student’s life.

Schedule your fall financial aid night event

Now is the time to schedule your fall financial aid night event with Mapping Your Future.

FAFSA completions in South Dakota

Mapping Your Future publishes a monthly FAFSA update flyer for South Dakota with facts and figures related to FAFSA completion.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

2023-24 FAFSA webinars available

With the cost of nearly everything increasing, financial aid to help students and families pay for college is more important than ever.
3D dollar signs filling the image.

Higher education marketing campaign launched in South Dakota

Anyone 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 logo

The South Dakota Board of Regents have a new logo.
Young woman in gray suit shaking hands with man in gray suit.

New Department of Labor tool for career planning, programs

It 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.
Young boy holding books balancing an apple in front of chalk board, drawn graduate cap on his head

How to master the art of being a good student

However, some students do fail – despite their desire to succeed.
Road passes with directional signs pointing in all directions.

Four decisions high school juniors can think about now

Your senior year of high school could be a breeze.
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.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Sudden retirement for student aid app

Applying for federal student aid? There won't be an app for that.
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Proposed policy aims to make academic transfer seamless

South 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.
Person putting last piece of a jigsaw puzzle down.

Additional University of South Dakota location to be in Sioux Falls

The 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.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Some students unable to correct or update FAFSA

For financial aid to be awarded appropriately, students and parents must submit correct information on the FAFSA.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Updated draft 2023–24 FAFSA materials ready for review

If you want to make suggestions for the 2023-24 Federal Student Aid application materials, now is your opportunity.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

One question to ask before accepting any grant or scholarship

Grants and scholarships are the best kind of financial aid for college.
Young woman, and on chin, looking up to left, question marks on chalkboard, wondering.

What to consider when choosing between in-state, out-of-state colleges

Getting away from home – it’s an exciting part of going to college for the first time.
Cap and Gown will spare change and cardboard that says

The good and bad of student loans

Student loans have gotten a lot of press in in the past few years and most of it has not been good.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

July tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you finalized your college choice.
Man pointing under the hood of a car to a man and woman

Career exploration resources available from 2022 Week of Work

Although the 2022 South Dakota Week of Work is well over, the benefits from the activities don’t have to end.
Road sign that says

Four steps to Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Last fall, the Department of Education announced a change to PSLF program rules for a limited time.
Person putting last piece of a jigsaw puzzle down.

Make smart use of this college resource

Students who do well in college often know how to make the most of the resources offered to them.
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.
Young boy holding books balancing an apple in front of chalk board, drawn graduate cap on his head

Understanding the ACT superscore

If 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.
Young woman, and on chin, looking up to left, question marks on chalkboard, wondering.

Different meanings for the word dependent

Not claimed as a dependent on your parent’s taxes?
A pile of packed moving boxes in a home.

June tasks for high school seniors

During your senior year, you finalized your college choice.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

2022-23 FAFSA verification relief extended

In 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.

High School Counselor Workshops on the calendar for fall 2022

The South Dakota High School Counselor Workshops are a great way to learn about all the resources available to counselors and their students in the states.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

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.
 A couple sitting on couch next to each other discussing a bill or notice.

Boost your life-long financial success by doing this now

The secret to financial success isn’t having more money. Instead, the secret is in how you manage what money you do have.
Young man dressed in cap and gown with $ tag hanging as a tassle.

Department of Education takes steps to help millions of borrowers

Recently, 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.
Woman's hand writing out three goals on yellow legal pad.

Six essential skills for new college students

Soon-to-be college students have the expectation of learning a lot in college, and rightfully so.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

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.
White lines in the road with arrow at the end.

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.
Green dollar sign with graduation cap in a field on a sunny day.

South Dakota Regents freeze tuition and fees at state universities

Despite accelerating inflation, students and parents won’t pay more to attend South Dakota public universities in the coming academic year.
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.

New Mapping Your Future tool enables career exploration

Choosing the right career field is the first step to finding fulfillment in your life’s work.

Resources for Native American students flyer updated

Mapping 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 students

Students will begin receiving South Dakota's new Freedom Scholarship in the fall 2022 semester.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

Steps to evaluate a financial aid offer

Once 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 parents

The 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.
Man pointing under the hood of a car to a man and woman

Students to explore careers during summer camps on college campuses

South Dakota middle school students will have an opportunity to participate in free, five-day career exploration camps this summer.

Steps to repayment flyer updated

With student loan repayment set to begin September 1, your former students may be asking for guidance.
Road passes with directional signs pointing in all directions.

Successful students do this one thing

Successful students often do a lot of the right things to accomplish their educational goals but there’s one thing they all do.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Tips for encouraging your students to complete the FAFSA

While 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.
3D dollar signs filling the image.

ACT to offer free workshop on using data for school improvement

Better information often leads to better decisions, and often that information is hidden in the data.
3D dollar signs filling the image.

Deadline nearing for Workforce Education Grant applications

School districts and other organization have an opportunity to improve career and technical education with funding from the Workforce Education Grants program.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

FAFSA completion - A big step followed by some smaller steps

Completing the FAFSA is a big accomplishment.
3D dollar signs filling the image.

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.
1040 Tax Form and Refund Check

Why your college may ask for a tax transcript and how to get one

Just when you think you have completed all the financial aid applications, your college financial aid office notifies you they need an IRS tax transcript.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

Five reasons to pursue scholarships even if you aren’t a senior yet

It’s never too early to begin your search for college scholarships.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

Three benefits of scholarships in addition to the money

Money for college. Ask anyone why they pursue a scholarship and that is the answer you'll most likely hear.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

South Dakota students miss out on federal funds for college

The South Dakota high school class of 2021 missed out on more than $7 million in Pell Grants by not applying for federal financial aid.
Woman with hand under trunk of tree with $ signs as leaves on chalkboard

Schedule a college planning event

College 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.
Woman with hand under trunk of tree with $ signs as leaves on chalkboard

Scholarship applications webinar recording available

The recent "Strategies for making the most of scholarship applications" webinar addressed tips and techniques for applying for scholarships.
Person putting last piece of a jigsaw puzzle down.

Opportunity to collaborate with other counselors

South Dakota counselors have an opportunity to collaborate with another via online meetings to be held throughout the spring.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

The one financial aid deadline students need to remember

While it is really never too late to apply for financial aid, there is an important deadline for students to remember.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

Four components of a good college financial plan

It is understandable – that overwhelmed feeling you get when thinking about how to pay for college.
Graduation Cap on top of $100 bill

Important questions to ask yourself before applying for a scholarship

Students should apply for as many scholarships as possible.
Community College building.

South Dakota universities are important to the state’s economy

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

Educators invited to apply for School Ambassador Fellowship

Teacher, administrators, counselors, and other school leaders have an opportunity to join a national dialogue about education.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Federal Student Aid launching campaign to encourage FAFSA completion

Students and parents, who have not yet completed the Renewal FAFSA for 2022-23 will soon receive a reminder email from Federal Student Aid.
A road sign with the words WORK, CAREER, HEALTH, and FAMILY.

Years like this

Here we are, almost two years into the pandemic, and COVID is still an issue impacting all our lives.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Simple steps to update your FSA ID

Your 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.
Woman's hand writing out three goals on yellow legal pad.

A checklist of applications to complete for a college education

By the first day of college classes, a student has completed a lot of paperwork to begin their educational journey.

Happy Holidays from Mapping Your Future

We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2022!
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Survey Shows Students Need Help Completing FAFSA

Paying for college is challenging, but receiving some financial aid can ease the burden on students and families.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Dealing with FAFSA technical issues

Many of us know that feeling of frustration – you’re trying finish an online task, but it just doesn’t work.
A graduate in cap and gown hugging his father.

South Dakota ACT scores above national average

South 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.
Young woman, and on chin, looking up to left, question marks on chalkboard, wondering.

PSLF Tool updated to help borrowers determine eligibility

Student 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.
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.
Young woman with magnifying glass to her eye.

The where and how of a successful scholarship search

If you are looking for scholarships to help you play for college, there are a lot available.
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.

Thank you

If it weren't for the kindness of friends and strangers, I am not sure where I would be.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

The best time to apply for college - College Application Month

The college application process can be costly if you want to apply to more than one school or institution.
Young man in sports coat walking, looking at smartphone, and smiling.

Follow “Our Dakota Dreams” on social media

Taking 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.
Community College building.

Board of Regents Launches Our Dakota Dream Coalition

All SD Colleges, Universities Extend Free Application Period to Six Weeks for South Dakota Residents.
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.

Finding the right college on SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.org

Students can now research prospective schools and colleges using the new College Explorer tool on the SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.org website.
Graduation Cap on top of a stack of quarters and bills.

These numbers have a huge impact on your financial aid offer

Whether you love or hate math problems, figuring out the amount of money you’ll need for college can be overwhelming.

Order printed brochures, flyers, bookmarks for students and parents

Several South Dakota publications have recently been updated
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New tool launched to estimate federal financial aid

Students 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.
Graduate in cap and gown holding a clear piggy bank with coins.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program overhaul

The Department of Education announced a major overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

Fall enrollment at South Dakota’s public universities

The number of students at South Dakota’s public universities is mostly unchanged from year, according to a report from the Board of Regents.
Father helping with son wtih homework.

Students now have more time to save money on college admissions

As 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.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Alert for 2022-23 FAFSA filers with 2020 unemployment income

Some 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.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

2022-23 FAFSA materials now available for training and presentations

In 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.

A worksheet to prepare for the 2022-23 FAFSA

Students and parents seeking financial aid for college can get a head start on the application process by reviewing a worksheet released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Education.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Two questions to be removed from future federal aid applications

Two questions will be disappearing from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). . . but not just yet.
A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

2022-23 FAFSA information posted by Department of Education

It is a sign that fall is almost here.
Young woman with magnifying glass to her eye.

New South Dakota educational opportunity in the medical field

Students interested in the medical field now have another educational program to choose from in South Dakota.
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Jobs program for students featured on South Dakota Public Radio

A job program for high school students in the state recently took the spotlight on a South Dakota Public Broadcasting Radio program.
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A four-step process to making good decisions for your future

The decisions you make today will have life-long significance.
Shocked Woman

Strategies for students and parents when money for college runs short

Not to ruin anyone’s summertime vibe, but just a reminder - it won’t be long now before fall semester tuition bills come due.
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.
Man in military fatigues working on laptop at desk.

Reduced tuition rate approved for Ellsworth program

Active-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 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.
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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.
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.

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.
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.

StudentAid.gov to be only site for students, parents to create FSA ID

To 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 updated

The ability to research careers is important to selecting a career path.
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.
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 SouthDakota.MappingYourFuture.org site

Mapping 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.
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.

CareerShip helps with career planning and college selection

Choosing the right career takes research.
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.
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.
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.
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.

StudentAidPandemic.org 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 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.

 Events for Counselors

Gettysburg High School Financial Aid Night

Tuesday, September 6 at 5:30 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

More Info


Huron High School Financial Aid Night

Wednesday, September 7 at 6:00 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

More Info


T.F. Riggs High School Financial Aid Night

Monday, September 12 at 7:00 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

More Info