Post-Secondary Planning Resources

Planning guides and resources

Use these guides to help you narrow down what you’d like to do after high school!

view the spreadsheet here!

The Fair Opportunity Project

The Fair Opportunity Project (FOP) provides information on planning for your post-secondary goals. The FOP’s Guide responds to feedback from the 200 rural high school counselors and numerous students that used the guide, with overwhelmingly positive results.

The guide includes lots of fantastic resources – including free SAT prep platforms, scholarship websites, and essays that worked – in one location.

Helena High School post-secondary planning guide

If you have an idea of what you want to do when your time at Helena High School is over, we can guide you through putting together a 4-year plan that will help you reach your goals. If you’re unsure about what comes next, we can help you figure that out too. This booklet is a great resource, but it’s not your only one. Make an appointment to work with your counselor on the best way to achieve your goals!


Every year the Montana Post Secondary Education Opportunities Council creates a great, quick-reference resource with information on all of the colleges and universities in Montana. Take a look at this guide and see what new things are happening on Montana campuses!

Alternatives to 4-year schools: Trade apprenticeships, military careers, and 2-year schools

A 4-year college is not the only type of education available to you after high school. Learn more about the options available below!

Trades & Apprenticeships

If you aren’t interested in going to a four-year college or university, but do want to continue your education after high school and work towards a career, then consider an apprenticeship program. There are many advantages to an apprenticeship: you will get paid for your work for the duration of the program, there is job security upon completion of an apprenticeship program, and so much more.

Apprenticeship is the way for a young worker to be introduced to the skills of the trades, to adjust to the work, and to advance steadily in both skills and earnings. It combines working on the job under the supervision of skilled workers with related instruction in the classroom. No two apprenticeship programs and identical, as each is tailored to meet the needs of its craft and existing local conditions.

Our Trades & Apprenticeship page goes into detail about what these programs look like, and has information about the many different types of programs available to Montana students.


If you are considering a career in the US Military, check out this page to get connected to local recruiters, view the websites of different branches, and more.


2-year schools

Getting a degree at a 2-year school is a great way to continue your education and avoid the debt that often comes with a 4-year program. Montana has a number of options for 2-year schools — click the button below and look for the “Montana 2-Year Schools Scholarship Links” section to view a list of in-state programs and the types of financial assistance they offer to their students.

Other resources:

Career Cruising

Career Cruising is a self-exploration and planning program that helps students track their progress as they explore post-secondary options, create plans, and continually reassess as they take in new knowledge, skills, and experiences.

Website username: helena
Website password: bengals
Portfolio username: HSD1- ID number (for example HSD1-12345)
Portfolio password: ID number+ cc (example 12345cc)

Click here to sign in to Career Cruising

MCIS – Montana Career Information System

Click here to access the Montana Career Information System (MCIS)  to learn about careers, search for scholarships, apply to colleges, financial aid information, and more.

MCIS username: helenahigh
MCIS password: plan7ing

Reach Higher Montana

Reach Higher Montana’s mission is to provide students and families with the knowledge and tools to finance and pursue their post secondary education. The organization does this by offering a range of programs that include grants, community outreach, counseling and training on education finance planning. Click here to access their website.