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Things to Know about College Planning

If you are considering college, there are a number of things you need to know!  If you are in high school, it is never too early to start planning for college.

College Fairs:  Plan to attend college fairs.  This is your best opportunity to gather information from many schools both in and outside of Illinois.  Most fairs are free, but many require online registration. 

College Representatives:  College representatives will visit RBHS during advisory periods.  This is your most convenient opportunity to learn about a school, so take advantage of their visit.  As visits are scheduled, they will be advertised in the daily announcements, the Student Services page of the school website, the school Facebook page, and in the white binder in the office.  You will have to sign up to meet with a representative, or simply send Mrs. Jokerst an email, and she will take care of it!

Scholarships:  There are two types of scholarships.  Many scholarships are available locally.  These are the scholarships that are in the daily announcements, the Student Services page of the high school website, and the school Facebook page.  Some of these scholarships will have online applications, and those with paper applications can be picked up in the high school office.  Most local scholarships are for seniors, but sometimes there are opportunities for all high school students.  The second type of scholarships are those offered by the college or university.  Each school has its own scholarship program, which you can learn about by talking with the admissions counselor or from the school's website.

College Visits:  Colleges and universities offer many opportunities for high school students and parents to visit campus.  Find a full listing of these events on the Student Services page.  As a junior and senior, you have two College & Career Days that you can use to visit schools during the school day, August through April.  There is a form that needs to be submitted to Mrs. Jokerst two school days prior to your visit in order for it not to be counted against your attendance.  You can get this form in the high school office or download it here:  college & career day form.doc .

Financial Aid:  Any senior going to college in the fall should apply for financial aid.  To apply for financial aid, you or a parent will have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  The application opens October 1, and you will need your parents' tax information from the previous year.  It is important to complete the FAFSA even if you don't expect to qualify for federal student aid.  Most college scholarship programs require a FAFSA on file for you to be eligible to receive scholarships.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) helps to make college accessible and affordable for all students.  With the ISAC College Q&A free text messaging wervice, youc an get your questiosn answered and receive important information about college planning events and deadlines--all via text.  It's easy to get started; simply text your name to 618-223-6450.  Follow ISAC on Instagram @ISACFinAid, on Twitter @ISACFinAid, and on Facebook @ILStudentAssistance.  

Transcripts:  Some scholarships and college applications will ask for a high school transcript.  You can request a transcript by email or stopping by the office.  At this time, there is no fee for transcripts.  If you need a transcript for an admissions application, it should be sent directly from the high school; most colleges will not accept a transcript submitted by the applicant.

College Application:  Apply to four-year schools by November 1 of your senior year.  Many schools will have priority deadlines to be considered for scholarships; those deadlines range from November 1 to December 15.   Setting November 1 as your personal goal ensures you will be included in scholarship consideration.  Some schools allow you to apply as soon as you complete your junior year of high school, while others will have an application window that opens on a particular date.  Check the school's admissions page for application information and deadlines.

ACT/SAT:  Plan to take the ACT or SAT your junior year of high school.   If you plan to take or retake the test as a senior, register for a fall test date.  Many schools do not consider test scores taken in the spring of your senior year for scholarship opportunities.  See the Testing Page of the high school's website for more information on ACT and SAT testing.

Waivers:  If you have been approved for free or reduced lunches, many schools can waive the application fee.  Ask the admissions counselor how to take advantage of this opportunity.  You are also eligible for two free ACT tests; see Mrs. Jokerst for that paperwork.

Southwestern Illinois College:   There is no application, but you must complete the New Student Information Form to enroll at SWIC (must be at least 13 years of age).  There is no application fee and your transcript is not required until you have graduated high school.   Schedule an appointment to take the placement exam with the Red Bud Campus Testing Center.  To learn about the placement exam, click here.   You will not be able to take the placement exam until you have a student ID, which is processed when you complete the New Student Information form.

The SWIC placement test will be available at Red Bud High School on Friday, April 5, 2019, starting at 11:45 a.m.  Students interested in testing on this day should register with Mrs. Jokerst.

College Contact Information

Contact information for colleges frequently searched by Red Bud High School students can be found here.   Do you know a school that should be added to this list?  Let Mrs. Jokerst know!

The Illinois Association of College Admissions Counseling publishes a guide each year with up to date admissions information for each of the twelve state universities in Illinois.  12Reasons-Book-7-19-2018.pdf

The Illinois Association of College Admissions Counseling also publishes the College Admissions Update, which is a convenient resource that provides statistics for over 73 institutions.  2018-College-Admission-Update.pdf


As a college-bound student-athlete, you are responsible for your eligibility.  That means planning ahead, taking high school classes seriously and protecting your amateur status.  It can be a difficult first step, but the benefits of being a student-athlete are worth the effort. 

Students who want to play NCAA sports at a Division I or II school need to register for a Certification Account with the NCAA Eligibility Center.   College-bound student-athletes in Division III can also create a Profile Page to receive important updates about being a student-athlete and preparing for college.  Students who are not sure which division they want to compete in can create a Profile Page and transition to a Certification Account if they decide to play Division I or II sports.  Prospective student-athletes should plan to register during their sophomore year of high school.   The NCAA Eligibility Center  works to help prepare for life as a student-athlete. 

Division I Academic Requirements

Division II Academic Requirements

If you have questions about your eligibility or the registration process, visit http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future or call toll free 1-877-262-1492. 

Freshman Admissions Requirements for Selected Schools

Ball State University

Eastern Illinois University 

Greenville University                                          

Illinois State University

Maryville University

Missouri State University

Missouri University of Science & Technology

Northern Illinois University

Purdue University

Southeast Missouri State Unviersity

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

University of Alabama

University of Illinois Chicago

University of Illinois Springfield

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

University of Mississippi

University of Missouri Columbia (Mizzou)

University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL)

Western Illinois University


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