College & Career Readiness

Whether you are a parent or a prospective student, it’s never too early to begin planning for college and thinking about a career path. Selecting the right school – whether it’s a two-year institution, a four-year university, or a trade school – is an important step in the post-secondary educational process. When thinking about choosing a college, you must consider: the cost, the environment, do you like large class sizes or small, your interests, do they have the right major, and location. And finding the necessary funding to pay for a college education is a critical – and at times daunting – task for parents and students alike.

College & Career Readiness Guide

The Look Forward to Your Future College and Career Readiness Guide, an undertaking of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), is a resource for students and parents who are facing questions and decisions about college and student debt.

Download the College and Career Readiness Guide
Download the Spanish Version


Investing in yourself with further education after high school benefits your career and life. People who complete a post-secondary degree have greater earnings potential in their lifetime than people who do not. So how do you achieve your educational dream? You’ll need to make important decisions about the career path you want to pursue, the academic institution that’s right for you, and the best combination of financial resources and tuition reduction strategies. This is about you and your journey. Learn more on the Students page.


As you ponder your child’s educational future, there are important decisions to be made about what career path your child is going to pursue, what academic institution is the right fit, and what mix of financial resources is necessary to help your child attain his or her educational dream. There’s no better time than right now to get started on developing your plan as you "look forward" to your child’s future. Learn more on the Parents page.


Helping students understand their potential and interests is key to career exploration and post-secondary success. Along with students, parents, and community partners; educators are an essential stakeholder in guiding learners to determine the best path for their future. Learn more on the Educators page.

Paying for College

Most families use a mix of savings, grants, scholarships, and student loans to cover the cost of college. Learn more about saving for higher education with one of Wisconsin's 529 College Savings Plans here, search for grants and scholarships here, and find information on responsible student loan borrowing here and student loan repayment information here.


An education beyond high school is an investment in your future. Going to college is an exciting time for high school graduates and often an expensive one. Scholarships and financial aid are a common aspect of a college student’s life. Find some information to help guide you through these tough decisions on the Resource page.

Contact Us

Cheryl Rapp
College Investment Program Finance Officer
Office of Financial Capability
Phone: (608) 640-6161
Mailing Address:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Office of Financial Capability
4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705
Physical Address:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Office of Financial Capability
4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705