Career & College Resources
It is a goal of School District 197 to prepare all students to be career and college ready once they graduate from Two Rivers High School. To that end, the Two Rivers Counseling Office offers a variety of online resources for college, post-secondary and career planning. School Counselors are also available to help with post-secondary planning. Students should visit the Counseling Office (C201) to make an appointment.
The District 197 School Board has set forth the minimum requirements for graduation. Simply meeting the high school graduation requirements, however, does not necessarily make a student eligible to apply for four-year colleges. Students may need to take additional courses while in high school to successfully prepare for their post-secondary transition.
To meet graduation requirements, students must complete the minimum credits in the Two Rivers program. The required subject table below should be viewed as a minimum. Students may need to take additional course work in selected areas to meet the standards and to meet their educational goals beyond high school.
State Assessment Requirements
Class of 2020:
All students will take the ACT with writing as a required assessment during the state administration date (or make-up date) of the exam. Students who are unable to take the ACT can meet graduation requirements through one of the following alternate pathways:
Class of 2021, 2022, and 2023:
*District 197 requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate from Two Rivers High School including one full year of Physical Science 9, one full year of Biology, and one full year of either Chemistry or Physics.
**District 197 requires 3 credits of math courses to graduate from Two Rivers High School. Intermediate Algebra, Geometry, and Advanced Algebra are required by the State of Minnesota.
***The arts can be selected from five areas of visual arts, music, theatre, dance, or media arts. Courses at HSHS meeting this requirement are:
- All courses in the Music and Art Department
- 0113 Acting
- 0154 Creative Writing
- 0565 Introduction to Photography
- 0566 Advanced Photography
- 0501 Clothing I
- 0504 Clothing II
- 0515 Housing and Interior Design
Some jobs do not require a two- or four-year degree, but many skilled jobs that pay a living wage do require post-secondary training. Students interested in pursuing a technical or vocational career should plan to complete a combination of course work and on-the-job training. We encourage all students to start planning for their life beyond high school as early as possible and take challenging coursework all through high school to maximize their post-secondary options.
One of the most important steps in planning to attend a two-or-four-year college is to ensure that you are academically prepared and that when selecting high school courses you clearly understand what colleges require. We encourage all students to start planning for their life beyond high school as early as possible and take challenging coursework all through high school to maximize their post-secondary options.
- Admissions Requirements - Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU)
- Admission Requirements - University of Minnesota
- Planning for College - Minnesota's Private Colleges and Universities
Search for colleges and universities:
Applying for college:
- College Entrance Exams
- Financial Aid
- FAFSA / Dream Act Application (Fillable PDF)
- IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AID UPDATE: Students graduating in 2020 are able to file a 2020-2021 FAFSA-the Free Application for Federal Student Aid-as of October 1, 2019, rather than beginning of January 1, 2020. The earlier submission date is a permanent change that began in 2016, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year. This fall's FAFSA, submitted for students attending college in the 2019-2020 school year (including this year's graduating seniors), will use income and tax information from 2017.
- Scholarships (see Scholarships section below)
The SAT and the ACT are the two major college entrance examinations required for most colleges. Practice examinations, such as the PSAT (preparation for the SAT) or the ACT Aspire and PreACT (preparation for the ACT) should be taken before your senior year to get an understanding of how well you will do on a specific test and what areas on which you may need to focus.
This exam consists of four sections: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning, and includes an optional Writing test. The purpose of this test is to measure the skills and knowledge that have been developed since middle school.
It is recommended that junior students take the ACT during the spring. All juniors at Two Rivers will take the ACT in April. If necessary, students will have additional opportunities to re-test in June or in the fall. (Student should be aware that testing in October or later may mean their results are not ready in time for a November 1 Early Decision/Early Action deadline.)
For more information visit www.act.org
ACT Prep Classes
ACT Prep classes are offered through Community Education, including an online version and a potential in-person class that may run in February (dependent upon if we are back in hybrid). For students on free/reduced lunch the online version is offered for free. The student would just need to let an advisor, counselor or teacher know who would then reach out to us to set it up at no charge.
In-School ACT Preparatory Course: This course consists of four, three-hour classes that meet one day each week at one of our many school locations. The course includes diagnostic testing, instruction in time management, overcoming test anxiety, science reasoning, English strategies and review, essay writing, reading comprehension, and math strategies and review. Students enrolled in these classes not only benefit from personal instruction taught by our experienced instructors, but also have free access to our online course. The fee for this course is $150, with all class materials included.
Online ACT Preparatory Course: This course is an excellent alternative for any student unable to attend in-school classes or for a student preferring to prepare for the ACT exam on their own, and study at their desired pace. Once enrolled, students are sent an access code for their class via email and can begin preparing on or after the starting date of July 21st, 2020. The fee for this course is $60, and you may repeat the course at no charge until you graduate from high school.
Click HERE to register for ACT Prep Classes or talk to your school counselor!
The SAT Reasoning Test consists of Writing, Math, and Critical Reading sections. The purpose of this test is to measure the writing, reading, and mathematical reasoning abilities that students develop over time, both in and out of school, which are related to successful performance in college.
The College Board has made changes to the SAT in 2016. The redesigned SAT focuses on knowledge, skills, and understanding identified as most important for college and career readiness. The first administration of the redesigned SAT is in spring 2016. The New SAT has an optional Essay, no penalty for incorrect answers, and a score scale ranging from 400 to 1600. For more information on the revised SAT, and a comparison with the previous SAT, visit College Board's comparison table.
For more information visit www.collegeboard.com
SAT SUBJECT TESTS
These tests are hour-long exams in mathematics, US History, world languages, literature, and the sciences. Students are able to self-select the exams that they take, however, they should review college requirements to ensure that they are taking the appropriate tests. (For instance, many schools will “strongly recommend” that a student take the SAT Subject Test, math – either IC or the IIC (the more difficult of the two), and then an additional test of the student’s choice. Some of the colleges that require the SAT Reasoning Test will also require the SAT Subject Tests.
Students who are considering competitive colleges and universities – for example, the Ivy League or the University of California system – will need to submit two separate SAT Subject Test scores, however some schools will now accept ACT’s in place of SAT Subject Tests. It is strongly recommended that these students take the SAT Subject Tests in the spring – especially if they are currently taking an AP course, because the test aligns well with the AP test.
For more information visit www.collegeboard.com
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills, as well as providing firsthand practice for the SAT. It also gives students a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools. Sophomore and junior students at Two Rivers can choose to take the PSAT, which is administered annually in October.
PreACT simulates the ACT testing experience within a shorter test window on all four ACT test subjects: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. This is taken in the 10th grade.
If the ACT's and/or SAT I's were taken in the spring, should one or both be repeated?
In general, it is to the student’s advantage to retake either one or both of the tests. Why? Because colleges are looking to accept, not deny applicants. They will usually make admissions decisions based on the highest ACT composite score, or the highest SAT combined score of the Writing, Critical Reading, and Mathematics sections. In addition, seniors who are applying to schools with published admissions criteria, usually public institutions, have a good idea of their chance for admission. As a result, they can determine the necessity of re-taking the test. ACT will allow students to pick the best test date to send, whereas SAT sends all tests taken.
A final note – it may also be to the student’s advantage to retake a test, as many scholarships are awarded with a student’s ACT or SAT score being a piece of the criteria. The difference of one composite point on the ACT may be the difference between a scholarship and no scholarship.
TEST PREP RESOURCES
Local and regional scholarship information is now available in students' Naviance accounts.
Links to Other External Scholarship Search Sites:
Agriculture Leadership Scholarship
Alpha Kappa Psi Scholarship Application
American Association of University Women Scholarship Trust
Aspiring Nurse Scholarship
B. Davis Scholarship
Big Future by The College Board
Bill of Rights Institution
Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) Program- UW Madison (10th grade applicants only!!)
Cirkled In Scholarship
Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program
Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce Scholarship
Eagan Foundation Scholarship
East Suburban Division MSCA Scholarship
Folds of Honor Scholarship
Guide for Minority Students
Homeless Youth Scholarship
Mensa Education Foundation Scholarship
Minnesota Council on Economic Education and COUNTRY Financial
Minnesota iHELP Scholarship
Money Saving Pro
Optimist Club of West Saint Paul Essay Contest
PhentermineClinics Health Scholarship
Reunion Student Loan Finance/iHELP Student Loan
Richard M. Schulze
Scholarships for Students of Color / Minority Students
Sports & Orthopaedic Specialists and Allina Health
Tuition Funding Sources
University of Minnesota Twin Cities - Beta Theta Pi Scholarship
Wells Fargo Scholarship
Young Women in Public Affairs 2018 Scholarship
Application requirements vary widely so please make sure to check what is required for each scholarship.
Two Rivers Dollars for Scholars provides scholarships for Two Rivers High School seniors for a broad spectrum of post-secondary education and training (e.g., university, community college, trade school, online training). After 30 years, Two Rivers Dollars for Scholars has awarded more than $2.3 million to Two Rivers graduates! Contributions come from generous businesses, foundations, organizations, community residents, and parents. Information about donations can found online through our website.
Applications for Two Rivers Dollars for Scholars open with a Senior Assembly every year on the second Wednesday of February and remain open for the following 2 1/2 weeks. However, you can start your profile on our website any time! Additional information about the scholarship, as well as a link to the online application is available on our website.
As a Scholarship America chapter, Two Rivers Dollars for Scholars also gives students at Two Rivers the opportunity for even greater scholarship awards at participating colleges.
The program's growth is essential, as graduating classes become larger and college costs continue to rise, so the contributions of our all volunteer board and members are vital. We are always looking for new faces and new ideas to join our program, so please contact us if you are interested. Additionally, the support of the business community in our district is critical to our success, so please continue to support our local businesses.
For questions about Two Rivers Dollars for Scholars, email TwoRiversdfs@gmail.com.
Many students rely on various forms of financial aid to pay for college. Types of financial aid include grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study earnings and can be used to help students pay education-related expenses including tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies.
***IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AID UPDATE: Students graduating in 2020 are able to file a 2020-2021 FAFSA-the Free Application for Federal Student Aid-as of October 1, 2019, rather than beginning of January 1, 2020. The earlier submission date is a permanent change that began in 2016, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year. This fall's FAFSA, submitted for students attending college in the 2019-2020 school year (including this year's graduating seniors), will use income and tax information from 2017.
- Grants - Money from federal and state government or a private organization that does not need to be repaid.
- Scholarships - Money from a public or private organization that does not need to be repaid. Examples include: child care assistance, military benefits, merit aid for good grades and academic achievement, or scholarships based on race, ethnicity, or a special talent or life circumstance.
- Loans - Money from federal and state government or private banks that must be repaid with interest after you are no longer enrolled in college.
- Work-Study - Earnings from an on or off campus job that can be used to pay tuition expenses.
You can access Study.com's in-depth and expert-verified Guide to FAFSA and Financial Aid as well as the Pell Grant Guide published by University HQ for additional information on financial aid options.
Scholarships and grants may also be available through the college or university to which you are applying. Check with your college's admissions or financial aid office to learn more about any programs they offer and the deadlines for application.
The first step to finding out if you and your family are eligible for need-based financial aid (grants, loans, and work-study) through the federal government is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or download, print, complete, and return the fillable PDF for FAFSA / Dream Act Application.
Students interested in pursuing local or national scholarships should log on to their Naviance accounts.
To learn more about the Two Rivers Dollars for Scholars program click here.
To learn more about available scholarships for students of color, click here.
ONLINE FINANCIAL RESOURCES
- Complete your FAFSA Online
- Minnesota Office of Higher Education
- College Board - Big Future Paying for College
- Student Financial Aid
- Fastweb Scholarship Search
- Financial Aid Calculator
- ACT's Financial Aid Need Estimator
- College Planning Workbook (English)
- College Planning Workbook (Spanish)