Tips for Applying to Trade School

By | College, Education

If you know what specific career field you would like to enter and don’t think a four-year university is right for you, trade school could be the perfect fit. Trade school is a vocational school that provides the necessary training for your job of choice making it easier to secure a job quickly after graduation. Some trade school programs are less than a year long, and others can last up to 2 years, allowing you to graduate with an associate’s degree similar to attending a two-year college. Whatever career path is your goal, Educate Midland is here to support and assist you in getting there any way we can. If any of these careers sound right for you, follow these tips for choosing and applying to trade school. 

Careers obtainable with a trade school degree: 

  • Electrician
  • Dental hygienist
  • Plumber
  • Paralegal
  • Nurse
  • Graphic Designer
  • Welder
  • Computer technician
  • Aircraft mechanic
  • Cosmetologist
  • Chef
  • Marine mechanic
  • Construction manager
  • Massage therapist
  • Pharmacy technician

#1: Ensure that the trade school offers your desired program 

There are many different trade schools to choose from, and each trade school holds various programs for different career paths. Your first step is making sure that the trade school you are interested in has the program/certificate you are wanting. If you aren’t sure which program to apply for or what jobs it will qualify you for, call and ask the admissions office.

#2: A school with a good reputation is key

After ensuring that the trade school has the program you want, research to confirm that it has a strong reputation. A key factor for hiring employers is trusting that you went to a good school and are qualified to work there. When researching a trade school, read online reviews and talk to current and former students to get their input on whether or not they would recommend the program. Extensive research will ensure that you are getting your desired bang for your buck. 

#3: Make sure you can manage the cost and schedule

Finally, you need to make sure you can handle tuition fees. We encourage students to apply for FAFSA if needed so that payments can be spread out and made more affordable. Additionally, double-check that your class schedule aligns with that of your work schedule. If conflicts arise, look into switching to part-time or rearranging your class times. 

Applying to Trade School

Applying to a trade school is relatively simple. Most schools offer online applications that you can fill out, or you can call the admissions office for more information. Most trade school applications do not have an official deadline; however, you may have to wait until the start of your program to begin. After applying, some trade schools may require you to interview or speak with a representative to help with any questions and guide you through the program process. 

Most trade schools are open enrollment, making your chances of selection very high. Because of this, most trade schools do not require you to take the ACT or SAT and do not require an essay to be written to apply. Additionally, trade schools will not consider extracurricular activities or require recommendation letters when deciding admission.

Educate Midland is extremely proud of our students in anything they decide to do after high school. Whether it be a trade school, college, career, or the military, we want our students to feel supported and assisted in getting them wherever they want to be. For more information on Educate Midland and our involvement, visit

Applying for College: Where Do I Start?

By | College, Education

As the spring semester begins, it’s time to start thinking about your plans after high school or begin finalizing them. For some, applying to college can seem overwhelming at first. With so many options to choose from and steps to complete, where do you start? Keep reading to ensure that you’re on the right track to be college-bound after graduation. 

Step 1: Discuss plans with college/career advisor

Most high schools have a designated college/career advisor, or someone dedicated to helping students plan for after high school. While creating an appointment may not be required, it is incredibly beneficial to talk through your goals for the future and gain professional advice and assistance on how to reach them. Discussing plans with your advisor can help tremendously with choosing the college right for you, and the beginning steps to apply. 

Step 2: Visit your top schools

After speaking with an advisor, you should have a better idea of what schools you are interested in and want to explore. Every college has a number to call in the department of undergraduate admissions that can help set up an official visit. This will allow you to see the campus and get a feel for the school in person. 

Step 3: Start the application process

Once you find the school (or schools) that are right for you, you can apply online. Most applications will ask for a well-written prompt essay so that they can get an idea of who you are as a student. It is also a good idea to ask for recommendation letters from a previous employer, teacher, or leader of some sort. Additionally, most colleges have an application fee of around $50, so consider this when choosing how many colleges you want to apply to. 


After your application has been submitted, you will need to send an official transcript to the schools you applied to. We recommend simply speaking to the front office of your high school and asking for assistance in printing your official transcript and mailing it to the correct address. 

Step 4: Apply for FAFSA

Once you apply to the schools of your choosing, make sure to check how much tuition is at each school. Picking a university that is in your budget is very important. Luckily, you don’t have to pay for college right away, or in full. Applying for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a great option to spread out payments and make college more affordable. Applying is free and encouraged. If you are qualified to receive financial aid, an amount will be offered, and you will be given the opportunity to accept or decline. 

Step 5: Wait for the news!

After your applications have been submitted, all there is to do is wait! Most acceptance or declination letters will be sent in the mail, so check frequently (emails too). After being accepted to one or more schools, you get to make your official decision. 

Educate Midland is extremely proud of our students in anything they decide to do after high school. Whether it be college, career, a trade school, or the military, we want our students to feel supported and assisted in getting them wherever they want to be. For more information on Educate Midland and our involvement, visit

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

By | College

Educate Midland is proud to assist our students from cradle to career, helping in every way that we can throughout their academic journey. November is here, which means this fall semester is almost halfway over, and students graduating high school in 2020 need to start finalizing plans for after graduation. For students going to college, now is the time to apply for financial aid for the 2020-2021 academic school year. If it’s your first time applying for financial aid, here is a breakdown of what it is, how to apply, and the available resources for assistance! 

What is FAFSA? 

FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an application completed annually by students to determine their eligibility for financial aid for the following school year. This form is required of all students for consideration of most types of financial aid at all higher education institutions. Many students are eligible for some form of financial aid, which is why we encourage all of our students to apply. 

Even if you are not planning on taking out student loans, it doesn’t hurt to apply! After applying, you will receive your financial eligibility, which could include grants from the government or the college you are attending, in which you do not have to pay back. Additionally, you are in charge of accepting the loan amount, which means you have the option not to accept the offer or lessen the loan amount to your needs. You never know what might come up between now and graduation, and that is why we encourage all students to apply now and make final decisions later. 

How do I apply? 

To apply for FAFSA, visit to begin your application or find more information about student financial aid. 

Need help filling out your FAFSA? Join MISD & Midland College during one of our free FAFSA assistance sessions. No reservations are required.


  •  Saturday October 19, 2019 9:00 – 11:00 AM – Cogdell Learning Center
  •  Tuesday October 22, 2019 4:30 – 6:00 PM – LHS
  •  Thursday October 24, 2019 4:30 – 6:00 PM – MHS
  •  Thursday November 14, 2019 4:30 – 6:00 PM – MHS
  •  Saturday November 16, 2019 9:00 – 11:00 PM – Cogdell Learning Center
  •  Tuesday November 19, 2019 4:30- 6:00 PM – LHS
  •  Thursday November 21, 2019 4:30 -6:00 PM – CHS
  •  Tuesday February 11, 2020 4:30-6:00 PM – LHS
  •  Thursday February 13, 2020 4:30 -6:00 PM MHS
  •  Saturday February 15, 2020 9:00-11:00 – Cogdell Learning Center
  •  Saturday March 21, 2020 9:00-11:00 – Cogdell Learning Center
  •  Tuesday March 24, 2020 4:30-6:00 – LHS
  •  Thursday March 26, 2020 4:30-6:00 – MHS

In addition, every Tuesday beginning October 29, Midland College will offer assistance by appointment. Contact to schedule an appointment.

Required Information

In order to fill out your FAFSA application, there are a few forms that are necessary for completion. Before beginning the application process, make sure you have: 

  1. Parent’s completed 2018 tax return & W-2 forms. Student’s completed tax return, if filed and/or student’s W-2 form if worked and did not file
  2. Student & Parent FSA ID—Students can sign up for an FSA ID by going to

Apply Now!

Now is the perfect time to apply for financial aid. To be considered for federal student aid for the 2020–21 award year, you must complete your FAFSA form between Oct. 1, 2019, and 11:59 p.m. Central time (CT) on June 30, 2021. Educate Midland is dedicated to helping students succeed, and applying for financial aid is an important step for our soon-to-be college students. 

For additional information regarding the FAFSA, check out the following resources: or

Summer Alignment Programs / After School Tutoring Programs

By | College, Education

Summer Alignment Programs / After School Tutoring Programs

Elementary school teachers have one of the most important jobs: teaching children how to read. From kindergarten to fifth grade, teachers work with students to improve their reading skills and get them fully prepared for the following grade. However, who is working with students to enhance their abilities during the summer months? Studies show that low-income students can lose more than two months of reading achievement over the summer. Although low and middle-income students learn at the same rate throughout the school year, middle-income students advance their knowledge over the summer. Meanwhile, with lack of access to learning materials, low-income students are often falling behind, increasing the achievement gap between the two income groups each summer. By the end of fifth grade, low-income students can be two to three years behind their middle-class peers. 

This ongoing problem will continue to cycle if efforts are not made to change it. Our goal is to create opportunities for all students to advance over the summer through Summer Alignment Programs and after school tutoring. MISD has joined with Educate Midland and a group of our community partners to share and utilize the school system’s online math and reading tools in a variety of summer programs for MISD students. Our goal is to support our partners to facilitate a summer learning environment where students not only maintain their reading level, but excel into the next school year. 

XTO Energy’s generous funding and donations have helped us in aligning seven partners for these summer programs. For students to access the available online resources, we have donated new and repurposed laptops to YMCA, Kaleidoscope Ministries, Casa De Amigo’s, Unlock Ministries, Breaking Bread Kitchen, and the Boys and Girls Club of the Permian Basin for a total of more than 100 laptops donated for students’ use. Our seventh partner, Greater Ideal Baptist Church, did not need any technology donated but will still be utilizing the reading and math resources to track a progression of students in their summer program. MISD will also provide technical support throughout the summer to ensure the successful use of these learning tools for our students. 

There were 900 participants a day in 2018, and we are currently up to 1600 participants a day in 2019. We hope that these numbers will continue to rise each summer and our list of Summer Alignment partners will increase, allowing us to help as many MISD students as possible. Advancing reading levels among low-income students over the summer is not only possible, but achievable. 

SB 1882 – Charter School Startup and Support

By | College, Education

SB 1882 – Charter School Startup and Support

Creating opportunity for more choices in education within the community is our number one goal and one that we are very passionate about. Of the ten in-district charter schools located in Texas, four of them are located in Midland, giving MISD students the opportunity to pursue passions of their own in a flexible and innovative environment. 

Educate Midland has recently decided to assist Ben Milam International School, Goddard Junior High, and Bunche Elementary through the process of obtaining 501(c)3 status. This change is very exciting for these three schools and our community, however, this process can be rather confusing. Therefore, we would like to shed some light on how this process will work and what our involvement entails. 

While we are responsible for the transition of these three schools from district to charter, we are not running them. They will still proceed as normal, and leadership will be handed over as soon as the process is complete. The Senate Bill 1882, passed in 2017, grants additional funding to school districts that agree to work collaboratively with nonprofit partners, are focused on continuing collaboration, enhancing educational opportunities and ensuring schools provide the best programs for the children served. This opportunity for potential funding opens new doors for a unique and outside-the-box approach to education. Our goal is simply to guide these schools through this transition so that families and children are given the opportunity for choice in the community. 

We see the importance of this opportunity for these schools because their structure and vision for the future lends itself to a change in structure to a charter school. In fact, the vision already being implemented through REACH Network, pioneered by Goddard Junior High, was a driving force behind the decision to seek charter school status for the schools in question. REACH Network’s mission is to graduate students from its PK-8 curriculum prepared to fully engage and excel in high school coursework and have a strong path to post-secondary opportunities of their choice.

For a currently operating school or academy to become an in-district charter, charter organization officials fill out an application, which is then reviewed by the district. From there, a performance contract is set up and a 501(C)(3) to operate the charter. Once this is complete, Ben Milam International School, Goddard Junior High, and Bunche Elementary will run as normal, with additional freedom and advanced school subjects for each child to choose from. With the approval of Senate Bill 1882, the REACH Network, and a 501(c)3, these three schools will have successfully transferred from a public school system to a charter system, and we are honored for the opportunity to assist them in achieving this goal.

7 Things To Do over Christmas Break

By | Activities, College, Travel

7 Things To Do over Christmas Break

Christmas break is here! This means a much needed, and well-deserved break from school. With extra time on your hands, you may be brainstorming how to put your time to good use. Here are a few ideas on how to enjoy your break to the fullest.

Spend quality time with your family

Once you go off to college, you most likely don’t get to see your family the way you used to. Use your break from school to enjoy quality time with your family.

Catch up with old friends

Chances are, some of your good friends may have ended up attending a different college than you. So, now that you’re home for break, it is a great time to make plans to catch up and hang out with some of your hometown friends.

Try new recipes

It’s the holiday season, which means there are plenty of seasonal recipes to try. With extra time on your hands, it’s time to put your cooking skills to the test. Pick a few of your favorite recipes and try them out. You’ll return to school with new and improved cooking skills under your belt.

Apply for scholarships

We understand school is probably one of the last things you want on your mind. However, with a break from the hustle and bustle of school, it may be the perfect time to tackle some scholarship applications. We know how hard these can be to focus on during the challenging school year, so it may be best to put forth the effort while things are a bit more relaxed.

Schedule out the remainder of the year

To finish out your school year strong, take some time to plan out your schedule for the Spring semester. Take another look at your class syllabi and ensure you are mentally prepared for the deadlines, assignments, and tests to come.

Read a book

No worries, we don’t mean a textbook. Pick up your favorite novel, or a new book you haven’t had the chance to read and dive deep into the story this break.

Netflix Marathons

This time of year is prime for new Netflix series. Park yourself on the couch, grab a snack and try tuning into a new show or re-watching an old one.

4 Tips to Survive Feeling Homesick in College

By | College, Travel

4 Tips to Survive Feeling Homesick in College

So you’ve spent the majority of your life under the same roof as your family. They were there when you needed them for 18 years, now you have left them. You’ve traded the comfort of their home and your room for a living environment that can be cramped and lacks privacy on campus. The idea of separation from home can be exciting for some and be disheartening for others. To help you survive this feeling of homesickness we have compiled four things to keep in mind.

Being Homesick Doesn’t Make You Weird

Homesickness for many college students isn’t a matter of “if” you will miss home but “when.” Home represents comfort, so when school gets tough or uncomfortable, you long for home even more. You aren’t weird for having these feelings as almost every college student has felt this way at one point. Homesickness is part of becoming independent and growing into young adulthood, so embrace it a little.

Give Yourself Breathing Room

Homesickness can make you feel like a fish out of water and may even tempt you to return home after a few weeks. Returning home is not recommended as these growing pains can be precisely what you need. Things as simple as staying busy with school work, reading, watching Netflix, going to school events, playing intramurals and having “me” time are perfect for keeping your mind off of home. A little breathing room may be all you need for your anxieties and fears to slip away.

Stay Connected But Not Dependent On Home

There’s a difference between staying connected with home and being dependent on home. It’s good to stay connected to old friends and family, but that shouldn’t become the extent of your social life at school. When you’re having a difficult time, there’s only so much a loved one can do from a distance. The best way to get through the tough times is to build a support system of friends at your school.  

Make a “Home Away From Home”

You may not believe it now, but in the near-future, you may refer to your dorm, apartment or house at school as “home.” You’re the only one who can make yourself at home. Whether you create bonds with people down the hall, down the street, or in an organization, it’s these connections that become the familiar place you call home.


5 Steps For FAFSA

By | College

5 Steps For FAFSA

Applying for financial aid is many students’ first step before they start the application process for colleges. The process deals with a lot of government documentation, parent/guardian help, and potential confusion that can be a bit overwhelming if not pointed in the right direction. To help get you or your student on track we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to “Free Application for Student Aid” or  FAFSA.


  1. To begin, you will want to start by creating an FSA ID at (Be sure you’re going to this web address to prevent entering financial information on a scam website) Your FSA ID will serve as your legal signature when submitting for financial aid. During the application process you will need to reference these materials:


  • Your driver’s license and Social Security number
  • Your parents’ Social Security numbers and birthdates
  • Your family’s latest federal income tax returns.
  • For example, if you’re applying for financial aid for the academic year 2017-18, you’ll likely use your family’s 2015 tax return.
  • W-2 forms
  • Bank statements
  • Information on your family’s investments (real estate, money market funds, stocks, etc.)


  1. It’s of the utmost importance to submit your financial aid as soon as possible. FAFSA opens on October 1st and the application period ends in February or March depending on your state’s deadline. A first-come-first-serve basis determines the amount of aid you’re rewarded, so the sooner you submit your application, the better.


  1. The online application is the fastest method of processing your request, taking only 3-5 days. If you decide to submit your application through the mail, it can take as long as 7-10 days.


  1. Soon after submitting your application you should receive an SAR report which summarizes all of the personal data you provided in the application. Following the SAR, you will receive your financial aid award letters from the schools you’ve been accepted to. The letters indicate how much aid you are eligible for at that school.


  1. You will need to fill out FAFSA each year that you are enrolled in school. The FAFSA is used by your University to determine your financial aid for each year of schooling.


Do not be discouraged to apply for financial assistance for any reason as any support is beneficial to funding your way through college. For more information visit:

Career Alternatives to College

By | College

Career Alternatives to College

After you step off that stage at high school graduation, diploma in hand, you are faced with only one question: what next?

Though some people will argue that higher education is the only next step for a good future, there are plenty of high-paying career options that do not require a degree. If the world of academia does not appeal to you, do not worry: continue reading to find a wide variety of legitimate and successful college alternatives for your future.

Attend a trade school

Though American media occasionally portrays “blue collar” jobs in a negative stereotype, this portrayal is far from the truth. The reality is that skilled labor jobs are paid very well, occasionally even better than college graduates. Trade schools require less schooling than a traditional college, often two years or less, and have a greater job stability than college graduates. Trade schools offer training in a wide variety of career options, including construction, welding, landscaping, photography, electrical, forestry, painting, woodworking and much more. is an excellent resource for finding trade school options near you.


Take a job and work your way up the company ladder

If you’re completely unsure about what you want for your future, consider simply taking a job and working for a year while you decide your future path. Even minimum wage positions offer promotions to management. Having a strong work ethic, respecting your customers and superiors, and being proactive is the best ways to help you move up the chain.

There are many life-long careers that you can earn simply by working hard and moving up the ladder, and they require no formal education beyond high school. Some examples include: Construction Supervisors and Claims Adjusters make an average salary of $60k; Power Plant Operators make an average salary of $66k, and Elevator Installers have an average salary of $77k.


Become a real estate agent

Real estate agents earn an average salary of $57k in Texas and have an even higher income potential for those that work that much harder. Though you do need to take a few real estate courses to pass the state licensing test, the education costs are generally less than $1000, which is far less than the debt you would incur from a 4-year university. Visit the National Association of Realtors website for more information on this career option.


Start a business

An estimated 10 percent of the U.S. workforce is self-employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2015. This equates to about 15 million people who have started businesses and work for themselves. Many highly successful entrepreneurs do not have a college degree, including Steve Jobs (founder of Apple), Richard Branson (creator of Virgin Mobile), Dave Thomas (founder and CEO of Wendy’s), and David Green (founder of Hobby Lobby).

With today’s access to the wide range of information on the Internet, paired with the ease of instant and mobile communication, starting a business has never been easier than in our day and age. If you have strong interpersonal skills, and a business idea you are fiercely passionate about, you could be well on your way to being your own boss.

Though college isn’t your only option for a successful future, there are many benefits to receiving a secondary education. With so many career options available, it’s important to understand the impact of your educational choices. Educate Midland empowers students to achieve their highest educational potential, and has partnered with over 40 local businesses to impact education in Midland. Visit our website to learn more.

Educate Midland Newsletter Sign Up