College for the First Time

Continuing on to postsecondary education after high school, whether it’s for a certificate, or an associate or bachelor’s degree, is an exciting time. That "piece of paper" can open doors and a lifetime of higher earnings. Studies show that over a career span, a college degree holder earns, on average, $1 million more than a person with only a high school diploma. Plus, the college experience—whether you live on campus or off—is something you’ll never regret. Ready to get started?

Create an Account:

If you haven’t already, create an account to get connected to individuals in your community or at your college that can provide guidance and help.

Creating a WyoTransfer account will let you do the following:

Below are some great steps to take to get the ball rolling toward earning a college degree or certificate:

Talk to an Advisor

Get advice from the Experts:

Every college and the University of Wyoming has an advising office with individuals ready to help you navigate your way to and through college. They also can connect you to program-specific advising, campus resources and support systems.

Decide which school is right for you:

Check out our college profile pages for virtual tours and information about what college life is like at each one of Wyoming’s community colleges and the University of Wyoming.

Enlist your support system:

Deciding to go to college, selecting a major, finding the right school and figuring out how to finance school are all necessary steps to becoming a college student. It will be easier if you have people who support you. Identify your support system, both on and off campus. Family, friends and supportive co-workers can provide encouragement and understanding. There are also support systems on campus—classmates, instructors and student clubs and organizations. Getting involved once you become a student can make a huge difference in your ultimate success.

Choose your Path

What do you want to do in your life? What are you passionate about? What interests you? Use some of the following free resources to find careers that are in demand and interesting to you:

  • MyNextMove.org: Explore what you want to do for a living.
  • O*NET: Browse occupations that are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years nationwide, will have large numbers of job openings, or are new and emerging occupations.

Choose a program

  • Match your career goals to the available degree or certificate programs offered at Wyoming’s community colleges and the University of Wyoming. MyNextMove.org makes it easy to select the occupation of your choice and then under Education, click on the Find Training button and select “Wyoming” from the drop-down list of states.
  • Search for a Wyoming school that offers that degree program.
  • Visit Wyoming’s College Profiles to learn more about the state’s seven community colleges and university, who to contact, available flexible options, and if there’s a campus near you.
  • Consider a campus that is not only close to where you’re located, but is also military friendly. Such campuses have the resources available specifically for a military and veteran population. Look at third-party sites that rank schools based on if they are Military Friendly.
  • Remember to consider online options. If you have a hectic schedule with work, class and everything in between, online classes can help round out your class schedule. For more information about online options, visit WyClass to find the classes you need.

Create a Plan to Pay for College

Apply for financial aid!

Don’t miss your chance to receive grants – fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is required for all forms of financial aid at Wyoming Institutions.

Find ways to save:

  • Help from your employer: Some employers in Wyoming offer tuition and education benefits for their employees. Check with your employer’s HR office to determine if your company offers tuition benefits or flexible options for adults looking to return to college.

Investigate financial aid opportunities:

  • Veterans and Active Duty Military Benefits and Other Grants: The amount of aid you qualify for is dependent on the nature of your military service. Some service members may qualify for a percentage of their educational expenses to be covered, while others may qualify for all expenses to be covered.
  • The best resource for exploring your financial aid opportunities is your campus Financial Aid Office. They will be able to tell you if there are additional scholarships and grants available to you.

Apply for College

Apply to Wyoming community colleges and the University of Wyoming using online applications.

Each institution has an admissions application to complete and submit online. If your institution requires an application fee, that can be paid online using a credit card. You will need to submit your academic records (official transcripts from other schools, official high school transcript or GED).

Finish!

The journey does not end once you have enrolled. In fact, it is just starting! Here are some tips to ensure you’re on the right path:

Develop your academic plan

  • Meet with your academic advisor. Map out what courses you will need to take and when you will need to complete them for your program of study.

Take advantage of the academic support available at your school.

  • Seek out free tutoring services available through your school in courses where you need support. Also, visit your school’s writing center if you need assistance writing papers, personal statements, or other assignments for courses.

Keep on top of deadlines

  • Register early for classes each semester.
  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year starting in October at www.studentaid.gov in order to reapply for federal aid. You should also check with the school of your choice about scholarship deadlines. The earlier you apply, the better financial aid package you are likely to receive.

Celebrate your successes along the way!

  • Keep track of your progress and celebrate as you cross off certain milestones, whether that’s completing a particularly challenging course or walking across that stage with diploma in hand!