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Post-Secondary Resource Database

The Post-Secondary Resource Database includes select information to help plan for life after high school. Use this database to find and learn about: Scholarships which can be used to help pay for college, professional certification programs which can prepare for in-demand careers, and gap year programs which can provide unique experiences before college.

How to save and edit/print your own copy

  • To navigate to the Post-Secondary Resource Database, click here.
  • To download a hard copy: go to  File ->Download as
  • To save a digital copy: go to  File ->Make a copy...

Note: you will have to be signed into Google in order to save a copy. Saving a copy allows you to filter among the options.


To help with the costs of college, institutions around the country give out millions of dollars in scholarships each year.  The money is waiting to be claimed but you need to know where to look, and how to apply.

The Post-secondary Database lists several scholarships in each of three different categories:

  • Nationwide scholarship programs. These programs are open to students across the country, and generally have a lot of application requirements. The scholarships we have included give out many large awards each year - often worth thousands of dollars. These applications can be tough to complete, but well worth it if you get one.
  • No-Essay scholarships. These are also open to students across the country, but they are easier to pursue -- they don’t require any essays! Some will ask you to submit a small project, while others simply ask you to sign up for their (free) services. Some of these are even fun!
  • Affinity group scholarships. These are scholarship programs for specific demographic groups - most often targeted for students with a specific racial or ethnic identity. Scan the database for scholarships that align to your identity. Like the nationwide scholarship programs, these programs can offer many thousands of dollars to students who are selected. Many of these scholarships also include excellent mentorship and networking opportunities.

This database is not comprehensive. The database includes a small set of high quality scholarships we think may interest you.

There are thousands more scholarships available, both nationwide and in your city or region (Bay Area, Chicago, New York CUNY and SUNY, or San Antonio).

Professional Certification Programs

If you are not planning to pursue a 4-year college degree right after high school, Professional Certification Careers may be a good option for you to consider.

Many promising careers require professional certification: a diploma or certificate that indicates you have the skills to perform the responsibilities of that particular career.  We have summarized information from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics in the third tab of the database called “Certificate Careers.

The Post-Secondary Database lists reputable certification programs for students who are interested in becoming:

  • Computer Support SpecialistsComputer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.
  • HVACR TechniciansHeating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers—often called heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians—work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the temperature and air quality in buildings.
  • Licensed Practical or Vocational NursesLicensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.
  • Nursing Assistants. Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.
  • Pharmacy TechniciansPharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.

These programs can be the first step in the path to a successful career.

Gap Year Programs

You may not know what you want to do after high school. A rigorous Gap Year program can help you build your resume, explore your interests, and perhaps apply to college later as a stronger candidate.  The database lists two types of Gap Year options:

  • Gap Year Travel: These programs can take you all over the country or world, to experience different cultures and expand your horizons. These programs can be expensive, but in many cases, financial assistance is available.
  • AmeriCorps Service: Closer to home, AmeriCorps programs provide stipends and benefits (~$1,000 per month) to volunteers who perform important work in the community. AmeriCorps volunteers can work in schools, build hiking trails, serve meals to the poor, and much more. AmeriCorps programs offer education awards worth almost $6,000, which which you can use for college.

A gap year can be a great experience for students who want to learn more about themselves and the world, and to try something new.