If you’re among the estimated 3 million young Americans getting a high school diploma this year—Congratulations!
If you’re not sure about what to do next, you should talk with your parents, teachers and counselors about your career goals and get their advice. Spend time with people who work in areas of interest to you and find out what it takes to succeed. Then, put together a résumé you can use when applying for a job.
If you’re a young man, one thing it’s important for you to know is that registration with the Selective Service System is required by law within 30 days of your 18th birthday. If college is in your future, remem-ber, registration with the Selective Service is necessary for eligibility for Pell Grants, College Work-Study and Guaranteed Student PLUS Loans. It’s also necessary for federal job training programs and jobs in the executive branch of the federal government and the U.S. Postal Service. Plus, registering is the only path to citizenship for immigrant men arriving in the U.S. before their 26th birthday. Not registering could mean that a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison term of up to five years are in your future, instead.
Fortunately, it’s easy. Students can get help from the school registrar. Registering can also be done by checking the block on the federal FAFSA forms, by mail, at a post office or online with a computer or smartphone. Just visit www.sss.gov and click on the registration icon.