The College Adviser's Corner

College Adviser:

Ms. Hayley Smalec is our college adviser for 2019-2020

Ms. Smalec is here every day of the week and is available for discussions and information. There is an appointment sign up sheet outside her office (inside the HS Library).   

Phone: 231-821-1916; call anytime and leave a message

Email anytime:

Our college adviser works within the school to foster a college-going culture and increase the number of students pursuing their education after high school. Our adviser is part of the school community and works closely with the school counselor and school staff.

From navigating the college admissions maze to identifying and making students aware of available TIP funding that may pay for their tuition and assisting students and their families with FAFSA applications, our adviser is an expert, mentor, champion, and guide for students.  

K12 College Prep Checklists

Whether you’re a student or parent, years away from college or just about to start, the following checklists from the U.S. Department of education will help you get ready.

Elementary School Checklist: Student and parent checklists that start the student on the road to enjoying learning and point the parent to resources for college savings accounts.

Middle School Checklist: Student and parent checklists that get the student thinking about high school and possible careers and encourage the parent to keep an eye on the student’s progress.

High School Checklist: Student and parent checklists that help the student focus on succeeding academically and learning about financial aid and provide the parent with tips for supporting the student and participating in the financial aid application process.

9th Grade Checklist

10th Grade Checklist

11th Grade Checklist

12th Grade Checklist

Senior Timeline and Senior Checklist

Below is a quick list of action items and resources to help you have a great senior year and prepare for life after Holton High School!

Click here for a printable timeline for Holton seniors 

Apply now for your top college choices. To complete applications you will likely need: well written essays, competitive GPA, a list of your extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.

Order Transcripts

Holton High School has partnered with Parchment to order and send your transcript and other credentials securely. This link will open a new browser.

APPLY for scholarships!  Ask for help finding and completing applications - this IS something you can and should be doing.

Visit college campuses, especially those that interest you most. Finding the best fit for you is critical for your success. Let us help - see Ms. Smalec today.

Most ways of getting money for college involve applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application is available October 1, 2019. You will need your social security number, your parents’ social security number, and your parents’ W2 tax information. Please see our FAFSA page for details on information nights & how to get help in filling this out.

Make a DECISION about which college you'll attend by May 1st, 2020.

Pay your enrollment or housing deposit to secure your spot for the fall

CONGRATULATIONS!! Completing these steps are the best way to be ready for college.

Other Financial Aid Programs

TIP = cash for college program. Do you know if you are TIP eligible? Ms. Igl does! So if you are unsure, ask her. The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) pays for your entire two years of tuition at any Michigan Community College, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Northern Michigan University, and the Michigan State Agricultural Tech Program. This is called Phase I. During Phase II you are eligible for $2,000 over the course of your junior and senior year college. Click here for more information or call 1-888-447-2687 to see if you are eligible for this awesome program! 

Muskegon Area Promise. Eligible students will receive funding for tuition, books and mandatory fees up to the cost of obtaining an associate’s degree or its equivalent at the prevailing Muskegon Community College tuition rate. Promise scholarships will fund educational opportunity at the partnering institutions of Muskegon Community College or Baker College of Muskegon.

Scholarship Search

It is never too early or too late to start searching for scholarships. There are even scholarships out there for high school freshmen! See our separate page on Scholarships & Grants and check out the links below.



College Express


Tuition Funding Sources


SAT/ACT Testing

This is widely considered the most important factor for getting into most 4-year colleges after your grades. And it isn't an easy test, but with practice and hard work you can do very well. A good score can not only lead to acceptance into a college, but also better scholarship money. So don't put it off, start studying TODAY!

Seniors- if you are unhappy with your SAT/ACT score or you want a better chance at scholarships, retake the SAT or take the ACT. There is a cost and they are given multiple times a year. Give it a chance, most students get a better score the second time around. 

Juniors-It is never too early to start practicing, you will be taking the SAT with your class in April (you do not have to register for that) and it is pretty difficult and VERY important so check out these sites and start practicing right away!

Register to retake the SAT here
Register to take the ACT here

For more information on standardized testing in general and its effect on college admissions, click here

Khan Academy is great for preparing for the SAT. All students should connect their College Board account to Khan Academy for personalized test preparation.