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Looking Beyond High School


Types of Schools

There are more than 4,000 institutions of higher learning in the United States. So, whether your child wants to be an astrophysicist or a zookeeper, he or she has lots of choices!

Below you can learn more about the different school options available.

Technical School

  • A two-year college focusing on employment preparation for trades such as the culinary arts, computer sciences, or automotive engineering.

Junior or Community College

  • A school offering a 2-year course of study, granting an associate’s degree, certificate, or diploma.
  • Some students transfer to a 4-year institution for a bachelor’s degree after graduating from a junior or community college.

Liberal Arts College

  • Often a 4-year undergraduate institution offering a bachelor’s degree and focusing on general knowledge based around classes in literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science.
  • Some liberal arts colleges are self-contained 4-year programs; others offer advanced study for graduate degrees.


  • Typically an institution with programs for both undergraduate and graduate studies. The graduate division is involved in teaching and research and may have designations such as School of Law or School of Medicine.

Graduate School

  • A 1- to 3-year university program offering either a master’s degree, professional degree, or a doctorate degree.
  • Doctorate degrees (also known as a doctorate of philosophy, or PhD) are the highest academic degrees in the United States. Doctorate degrees are based around research in areas such as law, education, or philosophy. Graduate education also includes professional studies in areas such as law (JD), medicine (MD), or dentistry (DDS).

Preparing for Higher Education

Support your child’s ambitions by jump-starting the planning process.

Here are a few simple things you can do to increase your support:

  • Talk positively about continuing education beyond high school. Support your child’s ambitions. You have a huge influence on your child at this age.
  • Encourage your child’s strengths and talents. Steer your son or daughter into activities that match his or her interests. Encourage your child to take part in the academic enrichment programs (including summer and weekend programs) available through school or local colleges. Encourage participation in extracurricular activities (volunteer, clubs, and sports).
  • If you son or daughter hopes to go to college, work with his or her teachers and counselors to get your child on a college-bound track. Explore electives and extracurricular activities that will enhance your child’s talents. Look over the Individualized Education Program (IEP) with the school staff to be certain your child is on the right track to achieve his or her educational goals. Think about having your child enroll in honors courses or other accelerated classes. Help your child to choose electives that stretch the mind and help develop new abilities.
For more information, go to Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • Encourage your child to read. Reading is great preparation for standardized school admission tests. It teaches vocabulary, comprehension, and sustained concentration. Make it fun! Work on vocabulary by having a family word-of-the-day. Visit your local library or bookstore.
  • Promote good study skills. Designate a welcoming and comfortable area in the home for schoolwork. Stock it with fun pens, pencils, paper, and pads. Make sure it is well-lit and quiet. Select a certain time of day for homework and make it a routine—turn off the TV, music, and computer to avoid distractions.

Health Care Transition

Whether your child decides to go to a college or other type of school many miles from home or in your hometown, he or she should learn as much as possible about his or her bleeding disorder. Your son or daughter will need to know how to self-infuse, where to get medical supplies, who to go to for treatment, and what to do in case of emergency. In fact, learning all of this as early as possible will benefit your child when venturing out on his or her own to friends’ houses, camp, and high school.

To learn more, go to Self-Infusion.


Scholarships can help ease the burden of paying for college.

  • Start learning about different financial aid programs and scholarships from your child’s school counselors.
  • Don’t just think sports scholarships. Check out some of the special scholarships for individuals with bleeding disorders or other chronic conditions, as well as scholarships for kids with talents in other areas, such as music or art.