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We love to answer questions about our work, and we noticed that many of the same questions come up again and again. So, we compiled a list of your questions along with their responses. If you don’t see your question on this list, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or email us at careercompass@careercompassla.org. 

Student FAQs

What can Career Compass help me do?

Career Compass coaches help students with almost anything you can think of when it comes to the post-secondary school application process. If you don’t know what you’d like to be when you grow up, we can help you with that. If you need help determining which schools and programs will help you reach your career goals, we know about every post-secondary school Louisiana, as well as others that are “beyond the boot.” If you need help paying for exam and application fees, we've got you covered.

Wait a minute - what does “post-secondary” mean?

Post-secondary means any education beyond high school. Some examples of post-secondary are: technical college, community college, proprietary school, advanced credential, or university education.

Do I have to pay for Career Compass?

Students and parents are never asked to pay for our services. Students simply need to be enrolled in a school that partners with Career Compass.

Where do I have to go for Career Compass? Do I need to stay after school?

All of our services are provided on site at your school, during the school day. You won’t need to come early to school, or stay late.

Do I need to go to a four-year university to get help from Career Compass?

No! We help students get access to any form of post-secondary education. We can help you go to technical school, community college, or a four-year school. We can even help you get more information about proprietary schools and military opportunities. All you need to do is be enrolled in a school that has a partnership with Career Compass.

How do I know if post-secondary education is right for me?

Earning a high school diploma is a huge accomplishment, but the majority of jobs today require at
least some form of specialized credential. At least half of all new jobs in Louisiana will require one to two years of specialized training and education. We believe that post-secondary education is a necessity for everyone, but since we’re all different, post-secondary will look different for each
student we work with.

How am I going to pay for my applications and tuition?

Applications: For many high school students, a huge obstacle to applying to a post-secondary program can be securing the money to pay for college and exam applications. For students facing this issue, a Career Compass coach can help you with these fees. Career Compass can help eligible students obtain application waivers for school and exam fees. We can also provide application fee assistance
to students that demonstrate a financial need. Just ask!

Tuition: Tuition doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Your Career Compass coach will help you figure out your college costs, and guide you to the various ways of funding your education. Our coaches know all about TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students), the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and different scholarship opportunities. Plus, we partner with experts at the Louisiana Education Loan Authority (LELA) to help our students navigate the FAFSA application process.

Career Compass also administers the Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholarship award, which helps eligible applicants with tuition, fees, and other costs of living.

What resources do you provide for my particular grade level? 

Career Compass works with students ranging from the 6th – 12th grade. We always meet with you at your school site so you don’t need to travel.

For students in grades 6 – 11, we offer college awareness seminars.

For students in grades 9 and 10, we offer small-group coaching that will help students who are pursuing the Jump Start pathway. Jump Start is a state-led initiative to put an increased focus on ensuring that high school students across the state graduate with the skills necessary to secure employment.

For high school juniors and seniors, we offer one-on-one college coaching.

Your school guidance counselor can help you access a Career Compass coach, if your school has a partnership with us.

Where can I go for help and information between visits with
Career Compass?

You can visit with your Career Compass coach as many times as you need to when they are on site
at your school. Your coach will provide you will their contact information so you can reach them
after hours.

Parent/Families FAQs

Do I have to pay for Career Compass?

Students and their families are never asked to pay for our services. Students simply need to be enrolled in a school that partners with Career Compass. 

What resources does Career Compass offer families? 

In some school districts, we offer parent/family-focused seminars that will help you understand how you can be the best advocate for your student in the post-secondary application process. We don’t currently offer this in all districts. Parents are always welcome to communicate directly with their child’s Career Compass coach.

Wait a minute - what does “post-secondary” mean?

Post-secondary means any education beyond high school. Some examples of post-secondary are: technical college, community college, proprietary school, advanced credential, or university education.

What should I be doing to support my student’s progress toward higher education while he or she is in middle or high school?

Career Compass can help your child develop a plan to apply to and enroll in a post-secondary program that meets his/her abilities and aspirations. We can even help them cover some of their exam fees and college application fees. Our role is to help them plan for applying to college, and then we help them stick with that plan. The things we can’t do include ensuring your child’s academic readiness, providing test prep, and tracking their attendance at school.

What information will my student need from me in order to complete college application forms and financial aid applications?

Financial Aid: If your student applies to college as a “dependent student,” he/she must report your information, as well as their own, on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The FAFSA is required to apply for any federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans. Louisiana uses the FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid. Other private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

You should NEVER be asked to pay money to get assistance in filling out the FAFSA.  

For more information, please visit the following resources:
Federal Student Aid website
Louisiana Education Loan Authority (LELA)

Applications: Your high schooler won’t need anything from you in order to complete their college applications. Feel free to offer to review your student’s application, but remember that the work is supposed to be their own. Your student’s Career Compass coach will help determine and track application deadlines, and can cover application fees for students in need of financial assistance.


Student  |  Parent/Families  |  Schools/Districts  |  Higher Ed Partners  |  Supporter

School/District FAQs


How is Career Compass’ work different from what our counselors are
already doing?

Career Compass coaches don’t replace guidance counselors; we simply supplement what they are doing. Most counselors are overextended, with too many assignments and not enough time, juggling substitute teaching, exam proctoring, and even monitoring the lunchroom, all while helping kids in crisis. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of 250 students to one counselor, yet the state average ratio in Louisiana is 407:1. Our role is to support school counselors and administrators, not to replace them. 

How much does it cost to bring Career Compass into one or more of
our schools?

Organizations seek assistance from Career Compass because of our track record of success, proven best practices, and our cost-effective, sustainable model to increase access to post-secondary education. We work with school systems to ensure that our services are not cost-prohibitive.

Career Compass service costs vary depending on the type of service (one-on-one coaching, small-group coaching, or college awareness seminars) and the number of students served. The school systems we work with provide a portion of the funding, and Career Compass works to leverage the remainder of the funding from corporations, private foundations, and individual donors. The ratio of local district funding to external funding is different for every school system.

Please contact Kacy Edwards at kacy@careercompassla.org for a cost estimate.

What facilities, materials, or resources do schools need to provide?

For one-on-one college and career coaching, a Career Compass coach needs the following:

• A private area with little to no traffic;
• A computer with access to the internet; and
• Access to student schedules.

We provide all of the materials that students need. You won’t need to make copies for us, or spend any additional money for our services.

How do we know whether our school is a good candidate for Career Compass’ services?

All schools with students in grades 6 through 12 are excellent candidates for Career Compass services. If your high school underperforms its peers in terms of college enrollment rates, you would be an ideal candidate for Career Compass college and career coaching. Anecdotal data suggest that Career Compass services may help decrease dropout rates, too.

How many of our students will Career Compass be able to serve?

We work with every student in a given grade level, and provide the appropriate number of coaches to ensure that students get the attention they deserve. Career Compass coaches will support 50 students or 500 or even more, depending on your needs.


 Student  |  Parent/Families  |  Schools/Districts  |  Higher Ed Partners  |  Supporter

Higher Ed Partner FAQs


What does Career Compass offer institutions of higher education?

Career Compass helps institutions of higher education by enrolling students in the right program for their goals, which helps increase retention. Career Compass analyses indicate that school systems that partner with us have greater post-secondary enrollment rates than other districts. In addition to driving increased enrollment, we help high school students apply to and enroll in a program that aligns with their aspirations and abilities. That’s why 75% – 80% of Career Compass students remain enrolled in their programs a year after high school graduation!

How can a post-secondary institution support Career Compass?

Our collaborative funding model leverages local school system participation, as well as support from regional resources – higher education, businesses/employers, and philanthropic dollars. We would love to talk with you more about supporting our work in your region.


Student  |  Parent/Families  |  Schools/Districts  |  Higher Ed Partners  |  Supporter

Supporter FAQs


What is the impact of Career Compass on Louisiana communities?

Please see “Why Invest in Career Compass”

How exactly are donated funds put to use?

Less than $2 of every $10 in our budget is spent on management and administrative items. The remainder of Career Compass’ expenditures is put directly into program services.

Is my donation to Career Compass tax-deductible?

Yes. Career Compass will provide you with a written acknowledgement of your donation.


Student  |  Parent/Families  |  Schools/Districts  |  Higher Ed Partners  |  Supporter