For today’s young workers, the surest path to a good job and satisfying career runs through college. - “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College”
Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work and watch over it.” The larger context of this verse suggests that work, one of God’s initial plans for humanity, is a blessing. The book of Proverbs teaches people to value education and its fruits: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. In light of these truths, the College and Career Office partners with CCS parents to help Warrior-scholars understand how God created them academically and professionally, so they pursue the best academic and career paths. At its heart, this website is a resource for that mission. In addition to the content here, the primary online platform that students use is Naviance, a premier college and career readiness tool. Specifically, the College and Career Office assists CCS Warriors with:
All questions related to college and career should go to the Director of College and Career: Dr. Riley.
The Warrior Institute (WI) is a university-style organization of CCS’s 8th-12th grade curriculum. Designed to give students voice and choice in their academics, the WI intentionally and systematically prepares CCS Warriors for success in college and career. When CCS graduates matriculate in college, they select a major that is housed in a particular school or department. Similarly, CCS students choose a specialization that is housed in a WI Academy (see the list below for the Academies and specializations). With that said, CCS realizes that some students prefer either to sample a variety of electives within an Academy (such students have an Interdisciplinary specialization within an Academy) or sample courses from several academies, never committing to an Academy at all (these students are simply Interdisciplinary). In short, the WI enables each student the opportunity to create a personalized academic pathway for graduation that aligns with their strengths and interests.
The WI is designed to prepare each student for higher education or with the skills to go immediately into a desired career. Further, the WI represents not only the chance for unique academic programs, but also a series of activities and experiences formulated to allow students to apply their skills as well as having the opportunity to become more self-aware of their unique qualities. For more information on the WI, available courses and their descriptions, course sequence guides, and more, see the Warrior Institute Course Catalog.
Academy of Business
Academy of Fine Arts
Academy of Humanities
Academy of Science & Engineering
Academy of Health Sciences
How will I pay for college?
My teachers say I should read more, but I dislike reading - why don’t I like it more?
CCS knows students are asking these questions, so tools that lead to answers are available. A university-style organization of the CCS curriculum, the Warrior Institute is designed to help students answer these questions well before they graduate from CCS. Naviance is the primary online program that students will use within the Warrior Institute. Throughout their years in secondary school, CCS students use Naviance to plan for college and career (What do I want to be when I grow up?), apply for scholarships - even in middle school (How will I pay for college?), take assessments on their personality type, career aptitude, and learning style (Why don’t I like to read more?). See the College and Career Office for log in credentials; log in here.
For today’s young workers, the surest path to a good job and satisfying career runs through college. -“The Rising Cost of Not Going to College”
Higher education is an exciting place, where innovation abounds. College students effectively exist in a goldmine: the physical and intellectual resources, specialists eager to help them, and benefits of being in higher education are unparalleled to many other sectors of society. Pew Research Center’s “College Graduation: Weighing the Cost…and the Payoff” estimates that bachelor’s degrees holders statistically earn $650,000 more over a 40-year career than the average high school graduate. When asked if college has been a good investment considering the cost, the same article reports that 86% of graduates answered affirmatively. “Is College Worth It?” shows that more education equals more stable employment. In view of these trends, CCS possesses a college preparatory curriculum and encourages Warrior-scholars to plan on higher education. But there is a right way and there is a wrong way to go to college. The College and Career Office is a resource that every Warrior should use to ensure they know how to do college correctly.
Warriors start the college research and application process on Naviance. Prior to a student’s junior year, Naviance’s college “SuperMatch” feature provides information on the admissions standards and profiles of most colleges and universities. Warriors should add every college they are considering (at least five) to Naviance’s “Colleges I’m thinking about” screen. At the beginning of their junior year, when Warriors narrow their focus to five colleges and universities, students should access the admissions homepages of their top five schools for the most current admissions standards, deadlines, and platforms.
The application process itself is extensive, requiring multiple components: letters of recommendation, essays, a high school transcript, standardized test scores. Students request letters of recommendation through Naviance. Immediately after submitting requests through Naviance, students should send a personalized follow-up email to the faculty/staff members to confirm they received the Naviance request. (Faculty/staff expect three weeks advance notice for letters of recommendation.) Click here for tips on getting great recommendation letters. Essays are also an important part of college applications. Use Naviance’s “Journal” feature (within “About Me”) to craft and solicit feedback on essays. Click here for guidance in essay composition. Students order transcripts in person in the College and Career Office. When students are ready to submit their completed application, they use various platforms: The Common App, Apply Texas, the Universal College Application, The Coalition Application, or, in some cases, the desired college’s own application. Naviance is linked with with The Common App, but none of the others. Students should use Apply Texas for application to all Texas public schools and some private. Parents, click here for a parent’s guide to the college application process.
CCS recommends that students take the ACT and SAT twice, because they can open academic and financial opportunities. The latest to test for the first time is at the end of a student’s junior year. Ideally, a student will take either the SAT or ACT prior to that, so they have firsthand knowledge of the test and testing conditions. In most cases, the final time to test is at the beginning of a student’s senior year, when students submit college applications.
The cost to attend a university rises annually and includes tuition, fees, housing, food, books, and transportation. The College Board estimates that the average published cost for tuition and fees at a four-year public college is just over $9,000/year. Thankfully, that figure drops to about $3,000 after students receive scholarships, grants, and educational tax benefits. Private schools cost much more: $32,000/year on average. That figure falls to about $14,000 after scholarships, grants, and educational tax benefits. These high and daunting costs are tuition and fees only and increase significantly when room and board are applied. In light of these figures, there is a common belief in American culture that students must borrow money to pay for college. That is a lie. Warriors are not required to take loans, but they are required to plan. Use the content here to plan financially.
The Bible never labels financial debt as sin, but debt is certainly discouraged (Proverbs 22:7). Unfortunately, most college students do not take the advice of Proverbs. Gallup reports that seven in ten recent four-year college graduates have school loans, the average total of which exceeds $30,000. While this figure is substantial, it is not crushing. But current research shows Student Debt Linked to Worse Health and Less Wealth. Again, with planning, sacrifice, and hard work, loans are unnecessary.
Starting in middle school, Warrior-scholars should access “Scholarships and Money” within Naviance’s Colleges section to search for scholarships and grants. Depending on the award, applicants must meet certain criteria: grade, gender, class rank, GPA, religious affiliation, disability, family, military connection, hobbies, race/ethnicity, and other demographics and life/family experiences. Rejection is common to every applicant, so students should not get discouraged. But eventually the effort pays off. Middle school students should also begin saving a portion of all money received or earned for tuition. CCS’s Naviance homepage also has links to many financial resources. In high school, Warriors should intensify the money seeking and saving habits forged in middle school. Part-time employment during the school year in tandem with full-time employment during summer and holiday breaks can yield thousands of dollars toward college expenses.
In the fall of each year, the College and Career Office hosts financial aid night for seniors and their parents to discuss the details of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Even if a student is unsure about attending college, it is imperative that they submit the FAFSA, because it can open unanticipated horizons.
The Gallup research article “Do You Regret Your College Choices?” exposes the bright side of non-baccalaureate options, when it reports bachelor’s degree holders are more likely to regret their field of study than technical/vocational or associate degree holders. “5 Ways to Make College a Success” (Gallup) maintains associate degree holders are more likely than those with a bachelor's degree to say they have an ideal job and are very interested in their career path. “Gallup’s Top Education Findings of 2016” shows that the associate degree is more appealing than the bachelor’s, because the former is substantially cheaper. CCS realizes that a bachelor’s degree is not for everyone. Students, who are more excited about taking a break from the classroom or simply are unsure what their path should be after CCS, should use the content in this section to explore options.
The ASVAB is administered to seniors every fall at CCS. For students contemplating military service, the results are helpful, when selecting a branch of service.
Local/Regional Technical/Vocational/Non-baccalaureate Programs
Gap Year and Other Short Term Opportunities
These programs are varied. Most are designed for recent high school graduates to serve in a year long (= gap year) mission, sometimes Christian, sometimes not, sometimes international, sometimes not. Depending on the program, there may be a significant program fee that participants satisfy with the financial support of friends and family. The benefit to these programs is their brief duration, during which students live away from home, become more independent, and gain a greater sense of what they should pursue long term. Before applying to one of these programs, Warrior-scholars and their parents should research them (to learn application deadlines, costs, and other particulars) and then seek guidance in the College and Career Office.
During the fall semester, the College and Career Office hosts scores of colleges and universities at the CCS College Fair. College admissions counselors should use FairPlanner to join the event. If a college does not have a FairPlanner account, contact the Director of College and Career about participating. Other Christian high schools and homeschool groups are also welcome to contact the Director of College and Career about attending.
Warriors are solely responsible to maintain their academics throughout high school, but they need to collaborate with the Director of College and Career beginning in grade 9 to ensure they take NCAA approved CCS core courses. In grade 10, students register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. In grades 11-12, students work with the College and Career Office to ensure they are on track to graduate, submit their ACT/SAT scores to the NCAA, request their transcript for NCAA uploading, and so forth. Click here for more information.