Pathways to Success: College & Career Readiness

A Middle and High School Planning Guide for Students & Parents

Financial Aid

Financial aid is money to help you and your family to pay for educational expenses.

Types of Financial Aid

  • Grants or Scholarships - money that does not have to be repaid. Grants are usually based on financial need. Scholarships usually have specific criteria such as, academic achievement, test scores, activities, essays, etc. Sometimes financial need is one of the requirements for a scholarship.
  • Loans - money that must be repaid.
  • Work Study - program where the college or other post secondary institution locates a job for the student or the student may find employment on his own.
  • *Loans and Work Study are generally called "Self-Help Aid"
  • Financial aid that is awarded in combinations of the above types is called a "Financial Aid Package".

Sources of Financial Aid

  • Federal Programs
    • Pell Grants
    • Campus Based Programs
    • Federal Direct Loans
    • Federal Family Education Loans
  • State of Florida Programs
    • The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
    • Additional Programs Administered by the Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance
  • College/Post secondary Institutional Sources
  • Community Sources
  • Foundations, Corporate, or Organizational Programs

Click here for more information.

Community Service

High School Students engaging in community service projects earn opportunities for high sschool credit, Bright Futures Scholarships, and Graduation Recognitions. Students in Polk County provide over 100,000 hours of service to Lakeland communities every year through the Community Service Program. Community Service Coordinators at each high school coordinate the application process and approve the hours and locations where students serve.

Click here for more information. is Florida's official online student advising system! High school students, college students, parents, and even counselors can use the services provided on this website to help plan and track educational progress in Florida! is provided free by the Florida Department of Education to help students make informed choices about their education.

Click here to visit

Workforce/Adult Education

The Workforce Education Section has information on the following:

  • GED Information
  • Workforce Education Programs
  • Adult Schools
  • Career Student Organizations
  • Farmworker Jobs and Education Program
  • Tech Prep

Click here to visit Workforce Education

Work Waivers

Federal Child Labor Laws and Florida Statutes require that all students under the age of 18 who are employed must have a work waiver issued consistent with legal requirements. During the 2005-2006 school year, Student Services personnel issued approximately 336 work waivers to Polk County students employed on a part time basis.

Work Waiver requests for Polk County public school students are accepted via e-mail through school guidance counselors. If you need a work waiver contact your school guidance counselor.

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