Frequently Asked Questions2024-04-29T11:43:44-05:00

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College Planning Questions & Answers

Admissions Tests: What is the SAT?2019-11-21T15:09:12-06:00

The SAT consists of a math section, an evidence-based reading section, and an optional essay section. Check with your prospective school to learn whether you should register for the SAT with or without the essay. The test, comprised of multiple-choice questions, takes three hours plus 15 minutes of breaks. The essay portion is an additional 50 minutes. The top score on the SAT is 1600 (you can earn between 200 and 800 on each section).

SAT Info and Registration

Admissions Tests: What is the ACT?2019-11-21T15:09:26-06:00

The ACT has four sections (reading, math, English and science) and covers more information than the SAT. There is also an optional essay, which may be required by certain colleges. Register for the essay when you register for the ACT if required by the institution where you are applying. The ACT allows 2 hours 55 minutes (multiple choice questions) plus 40 minutes for the essay. A top score on the ACT is a 36 (each section receives a score between 1 and 36, which are then averaged together for a composite score).

ACT Info and Registration

Admissions Tests: What is the Accuplacer?2019-11-21T15:09:38-06:00

Cook County Higher Education is an Accuplacer testing center.

Minnesota State universities and colleges administer the Accuplacer to assess the college readiness of incoming students. The Accuplacer tests are multiple choice, untimed assessments offered at no cost to students. Although the test is not pass/fail, results do determine what course placements are most appropriate for student success. Accuplacer scores are good for up to roughly 3 years (mathematics are good for only 2 years). The test system is computerized and individuals receive their test scores as soon as they have completed their exam.

Students not satisfied with their placements may (in most cases) retest only once (per test section) within twelve (12) months of the first testing date. Often a minimal fee will be required as part of the retest process.

Disability Accommodations: If you have a documented disability, please contact your institution’s test center for information.

What to Bring on Test Day: Take your photo ID and any special materials that your college may ask you to bring.

Accuplacer Information, including a user guide, practice tests, understanding the test

Test Prep

Math Practice Exams with Video Solutions, developed by the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Math Department

Accuplacer Test Score Information

Admissions Tests: What if I have Disabilities?2019-11-21T15:09:51-06:00

A disability is any physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. Individuals can be born with disabilities or develop them later in life.

Know your rights

To request accommodations for your disability, contact your school’s Student Services or Disability Services. You may be eligible for extended test-taking time, adaptive equipment, and other services. Advice for Students with disabilities

Admission & Placement Exam Accommodations:
Testing adjustments, also known as accommodations, are determined by the educational institution requesting the Accuplacer test completion. Please allow time for processing and implementation of approved accommodations.

How do I pick a college/university/trade school or a program/major?2019-12-01T14:47:54-06:00

What kind of further education is right for you?

Search MN State Schools Programs
Find and compare campuses, courses, and tuition for MN State schools. Search for Programs with online courses. Thirty colleges and 7 universities with 54 campuses throughout the state offer over 3,800 programs that are searchable.

Take a quiz to help show majors that may be a good fit.

Figure out how to Plan and Complete College Visits

How do I figure out the cost of school?2019-12-02T00:15:33-06:00

Cost of College formula:
Total cost of attendance at a specific school (tuition, fees, living expenses, etc.) minus
All sources of financial aid available to you at that school (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.)
= Your out-of-pocket costs for one year

Find more details how to estimate out-of-pocket costs and how to finance your schooling.

Here is a complete list of tuition and fees charged by Minnesota higher education institutions.

Use the College Board calculator to determine your expected family contribution and the amount of federal financial aid for which you may be eligible.

Cost of College

How to Apply for Reciprocity
Minnesota has reciprocity agreements with Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, one institution in Iowa, and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

The Midwest Student Exchange Program provides reduced tuition for Minnesota residents at a limited number of Midwest public and private schools in Nebraska, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Out Of State Tuition
The difference between the resident and non-resident tuition rates is significant, and the requirements can be complex.  Here are some resources:
Everything You Need to Know About Out-State Tuition
In-State vs Out-State Tuition

How to Pay In-State Tuition at Out-State Colleges   

How can I pay for college? Scholarships/Financial Aid (FAFSA)2019-12-04T14:27:51-06:00

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Sources of financial aid

Search scholarships online:

  • CCHE Scholarships
  • Cappex – search for every scholarship at every college
  • Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation – a list of area scholarships.
  • The Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation Scholarship  – The purpose of the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation Post-Secondary Scholarship Program is to
    assist graduating seniors at Cook County High School in Grand Marais, Minnesota to continue their education at either Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota or Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota so that they may develop the skills and gain the experience necessary to accomplish their vocational and educational goals.
Is applying to college free?2019-12-02T00:16:12-06:00

As Minnesota high school students think about applying to college, application fees should not be a barrier. There are many opportunities for students to apply to Minnesota institutions for free.

Free Application Opportunities at Minnesota Colleges and Universities (2019-2020)

College: What Should You Study

Don’t panic, choosing your area of study, and ultimately your major, is a process. Here’s a short list of quizzes and self-assessments to give you new ideas and directions.