Brighter Futures

Welcome Mustangs 

Dual Enrollment and PSEO 

Have you considered Dual Enrollment and PESO? If you are on track to graduate you may qualify to participate in dual enrollment and PSEO. These programs help high school students earn free college credits while still attending high school. This allows students to earn credits that will count towards your general education requirements for college.


What is PSEO

PSEO is a program that allows 10th through 12th grade high school students to enroll in college-level courses while still attending high school. PSEO courses may take place on site, in the institution that offers these courses, or online. As a PSEO student you aren’t obligated to pay for any tuition, books, supplies, or support services associated with the class, however, you may be charged for any equipment that will become your own after the course is over. As a PSEO student you can take college courses that cover general education requirements or career specific courses related to your major.



Did you know you can earn free college credits while in high school? If you are on track to graduation this might be an option for you! Earn free college credits that you can use to fulfill general education requirements in college.

Advanced Placement 




PSEO Step by Step Application

PSEO Regestration

PSEO Reference Guide

Dual Enrollment 

Dual Enrollment FAQ’s

Dual Credit Comparison Chart 

College Admissions 


As a student here at MMSA, your teachers, counselor, and the administrative team are all here to help you succeed and advance in your future. If you ever have any questions about higher education don’t be afraid to ask, we are here to help. Here you can find resources on College admissions.


College Admission Terms and Their Meaning.









College Planning Checklist

No matter what grade you are, Big Future is here to help you with everything college related. Big Future has created an easy to follow checklist for high schoolers. Checklist are separated by grade, semester, and quarter, these lists are here to help you take the appropriate steps as you transition from your freshman to senior year.

Freshman & Sophomore Checklist

Junior Checklist

Senior Checklist


College Admissions and Career and College Readiness.

These resources break down college admissions and college readiness. These documents go in depth on the steps you need to take before you begin applying to colleges as well as the steps that take place after you apply. If you have trouble understanding the admission process these documents help students understand admission responses and figure out what steps are needed next.

College Admission Process

Career & College Readiness


Seniors! All the information and resources needed for graduation can be found here. Here you can find all the requirements needed for graduation as well forms for community service and college readiness material.


Graduation Requirements

Seniors in order to graduate you must have a total of 24.5 credits and 40 hours of community service.

View Graduation requirements


Community Service 

As part of your senior year you must complete a total of 40 hours of community service. You must propose a project to your advisor and it must be approved in order for it to count towards your graduation. You must keep track of the hours worked and have your project supervisor sign off in order to have your hours counted.

Access Community Service Forms



College Resources

College & Career Search Resources

Big Future’s Senior College Planning Checklist

ICATT’s Apprenticeship Program

Naviance & Rise Me Resources

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

Breaking down the cost of tuition 

Understanding the cost of tuition can be hard at times. Here we breakdown the costs involved with tuition and help you find ways in which you can save!


Cost of College

College isn’t cheap, and the cost of college might scare you but we are here to help you understand the expenses that come with attending college. When we break down the expenses that go into attending college there are two categories; Expected and Unexpected Costs. Expected costs like its name states are costs that we can expect to pay, these can be things like College Tuition and FeesRoom and Board, Transportation, and lastly Books and Supplies. These are costs that tend to stay relatively around the same price every semester, and you can expect to pay every time you signup for new classes or a new school year begins. Unexpected typically fall into the category of Personal Expenses. These expenses are expenses that vary every time, or come out of the blue, for example your phone breaking and needing to buy a new one, or going out to a celebratory dinner with friends.


College Tuition and Fees  

Tuition will vary based on what kind of school you attend, as well as the major you pick, and whether you have an assistance or scholarships. Colleges and Universities will typically charge a lower price of tuition for those students who are eligible to in-state tuition. In-state tuition, like it sounds, is offered to students who live in the same state or in one of the surrounding states as the school’s location. For Minnesotan residents, certain schools in Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, as well as Iowa will offer in-state tuition prices for Minnesotan residents. While this is very common for almost all schools, some schools will charge the same tuition price whether you live in state or reside in other states, an example of this being community colleges. Community colleges like Normandale Community College offers in-state tuition rates for every single one of their students, regardless of where they reside. Tuition will also vary on the school you pick as well as the major you pick. Bigger schools or private schools might be more expensive than those smaller public schools. The major you pick can affect your tuition cost as every major requires different needs. There are certain majors that require specific tools that the school offers to all students, a great example being lab equipment for majors involved in the science field like nursing, biology, and chemistry. In order to make equipment accessible to all students each student might be charged a small fee each semester in order to have access to those tools. Schools tend to also charge general fees that apply to all students like technology fees which make technology like computer and printers accessible to all students. Fees like these might be lower than those fees that are specific to your major.

Room and Board

Room and board is a cost that can vary student to student, as well as school to school. If you are going to a school further away from home it might make more sense to move to the city in which the school is located, meanwhile if the school you attend is close to home, it might make more sense to live at home and save money. In certain situations schools offer on campus housing for their students, although this might be convenient for some students it might be a an unnecessary expense that you can avoid. If you do decide to live on campus, it is a great way to meet new people and make connections as well as avoid a commute to classes. It is also important to know that certain schools require students to live on campus either their freshman year or all four years, in certain situations schools that require students to live on campus might allow students to break this rule if they have a valid reason. If you’d rather live off-campus your school might be able to help you find off-campus housing. Off campus housing is a great way for students to pick housing that works for them, as well as save money by not living directly on campus but still stay close to their school. Certain schools also make it easier for students to find off campus housing by associating with certain apartment communities so that students receive cheaper rent and ensure that you are living amongst peers.


Average Cost of College Textbooks [2021]: Prices per Year
Book and Supplies

Book and supplies is another expense that varies based on student needs and their major. While some classes will require little to no books or supplies, some classes might require students to buy a few books and supplies in order to be successful in class. It is always smart to check in with your teacher or check on the syllabus to know what books and supplies are needed and which are provided or optional to buy or rent. Students typically get a list of books and supplies before classes start but one of the biggest mistakes students make is to buy everything before the class begins. While this seems like a good idea, unless your teacher specifically asks the class to buy the supplies before classes begin, it is always better to wait until the first week to figure out what supplies you might need in class, this also gives you time to ensure that this class is the right one for you. Another great way to save on supplies is to look online. Your school’s bookstore might price their books a little more than other retailers because of the convenience, however, certain websites like amazon might have your class required books for less. It is always good to do your research and compare retailers on their prices for books.

Personal Expenses 

When we talk about personal expenses we mean the needs and wants that are specific to you. As a student we know that school can be stressful at times and sometimes you want to treat yourself for all the your hardwor. One way that students can save on these expenses are student discounts! There are many stores out there that offer discounts to students, all you need to do is show your student ID or create a profile in which the store verifies that you are a current student.


Transportation What is a Campus Connector? | Study at UMN : University of Minnesota

Transportation expenses vary on your school and your living situation while in school. If you live on campus or go to a big school you might be charged a small fee in order to use buses, trains, or subways associated with the school. Typically this fee is small and allows you to use these forms of transportation for free, as long as you show your student ID. Even if you live off-campus you might still be charged this fee as these resources are for all students to use. If you attend a larger college or university you might need to buy a parking pass in order to park on campus, meanwhile smaller schools might include parking with your tuition. If you do need a pass to park one way you can avoid this is by using the forms of transportation that your school provides for you.

Types of Colleges and Universities 

Your educational needs are unique to you and not everyone follows the same college path. Here we breakdown the different types of schools and help you find which type of school is right for you


Types of Colleges and Universities

Life after graduation is different for everyone, depending your career path and your needs and wants, you might be headed in a completely different direction than some of your classmates. There are a wide range of schools to choose from, each with a different purpose, we are here to break down the information and help you choose the right school for you.


Two Year vs. Four Year Schools

Right off the bat the school that you choose will either fall into one of these categories, two year vs. four year schools. While in four year schools you earn your bachelors degree, in two year colleges you can earn an associates or a certificate that can allow you to start your career path. Two year schools are great for students who might want to save a up a little bit their first two years of college, or for those that might want a little extra time to figure out what they want to do. A few schools that fall into the two year category include community colleges, and trade schools. Community colleges are a great option if you want to save money or if you are undecided on which major you want to pick, but know that you want to get higher education. Students may take general education classes at a community college before they transfer to a four year college or university. Trade Schools or Technical Schools are another example of two year colleges. These schools focus on certain careers and teach you the skills needed to succeed. At the end of your two years you can either earn an associates degree or certificate that allows you to start working in your field. However, in some cases jobs might require something higher than an associates degree or certificate but will let you work in the field as long as you continue your education. In these cases you might have restrictions on what you can’t and can do. A great example of this would be Nursing. In the Nursing field students may start off at a two year to get their CNA license and or their associates degree in science. Once they have their CNA license and/or their associates degree they might have more opportunities to get a job in the area they are interested in. Now a days, many schools offer PSEO or college credits for students in high school that are on track to graduation. By choosing to do PSEO or college credits students can save some time and money as your high school typically pays for the majority of the supplies. Students who have the opportunity to attend college classes while in high school often are ahead than those that start college after high school since they get the chance to learn the expectations of college classes and earn credits that count towards their program.

While in a two year school you focus on earning your Associates degree or certificate, in a four year college or university you work towards your Bachelors degree. Four year colleges or universities are typically larger than two year schools which means it is easier for students to be part of a larger community that share the same interests and passions as you. Four year schools will also offer career specific classes that your major might require, that you might not find in two year schools. Another main difference between two and four year schools is that that four year colleges and universities often offer programs to complete your graduate, and doctoral studies after your undergraduate. While four year schools are a little more pricy than two year schools, four year schools can also offer school specific scholarships for students who might need them and there might be more financial assistance available for students that need it. As you head off to bigger and better things it is always good to do research and make sure you are getting all the tools needed to be successful in your career.


Four Year Schools: Private vs. Public 

There are two different types of four year schools; Private and Public. The main difference between private and public schools is the funding and where the schools receive their funding from. Public schools receive funding from the state and typically offer lower tuition rates for students from the same state. Public schools are usually larger than private and offer a wide selection of degrees, programs, groups, and amenities for their students. Since public schools charge less for tuition and offer often offer more than private schools they do tend to be more competitive and certain public schools might be harder to get into than others. Private schools receive funding from the tuition and fees that they charge their students, as well as from private donations. Since private schools don’t receive funding from the state they tend to charge higher tuition and fees. Usually private schools tend to be smaller and don’t offer as wide of a selection of degrees, programs, groups and amenities to their students as public schools. However, because of the size of private schools they tend to have smaller classes and that allow for more one to one time with your professor. Your needs are unique and your choice of school should fulfill those needs.


Vocational-Technical and Career Specific Colleges 

Vocational and technical colleges are schools that focus on career specific skills, often these type of schools offer shorter programs than those in a two or four year university and college. These schools typically don’t require general education classes and instead require classes that focus on career specific skills. Vocational and technical colleges are a great option for students who know what exact job they would like do, or those that want to expand on theirs skills. Possible career paths for those that attend these types of school include culinary arts, dental hygiene, medical field, mechanics, IT and web development.


Special Focus Colleges and Universities

Although they are not very common there are certain colleges and universities that focus or specialize in one area or subject. These can include art schools, single sex schools, religiously affiliated schools, and schools with special missions. As you can assume, art colleges and universities focus primarily on the arts and fine arts, while general education might be offered in these schools the primary focus of this school is for their students to enhance their art skills, typically these schools offer degrees in areas like photography, design, fashion, etc. Single sex schools are like any other four year university, except their entire or the majority of their student population is made up of students of the same sex or who might identify as that same sex. Religiously affiliated schools are schools that focus on religion. Like art colleges and universities, religious universities and colleges offer general education but they incorporate religion either through daily life or through classes. Lastly there are schools with special missions, these are schools whose student population might be made up of students who share a similar background, this can be things like race and culture. Special mission schools offer programs, activities, and services that specifically benefit their student’s needs.

Paying for College and Financial Assistance

Finding funds to pay for college can be stressful but we are here to help. Find all of the financial assistance resources on the “Paying for College” page


College Savings Plan

The Minnesota College Savings Plan is a state-sponsored and tax-advantaged savings plan that is available to any citizen or tax payer in Minnesota. It helps families plan for college and allows just about anyone contribute to the savings plan.

MN Saves


FAFSA & MN Dream Act

FAFSA is a government funded program that rewards students with financial aid in forms of grants, loans, and work study. The Minnesota Dream Act is a form of aid available to undocumented students who are looking to pursue higher education. The MN Dream Act helps students get approved to receive in-state tuition rates, as well as help them earn grants that can be used towards their college tuition.

FAFSA & Dream Act

FAFSA Application Help


In Demand College Majors. Colleges and universities offer a wide selection of majors, often students pick majors based on interests. Students must keep in mind that some majors are in more demand than others and the major you pick can affect the feasibility of obtaining a job in the future. It never hurts to do research on your major and what the job outlook is like. Although some majors are very job specific, others open a wide variety of job opportunities.

Top 23 College Majors in Demand