PHOENIX - Arizona State University is heading into local high schools with a new program aimed at students as early as their Freshman year.
Future Sun Devil's Families will launch this fall in five school districts across the Valley. Its aim is to better inform families and students about the what's, when's and how's of applying to college.
"I want to know about college, you know that's my future, and at the point I had no idea what to do." said Westview High School Student Kyle Smith.
"We didn't know where to start." added his father Joe Smith.
Kyle and Joe Smith were part of ASU's pilot Future Sun Devil Families program last spring. Up until then, they were lost in the mystery of how to prepare for college with more answers than questions including how to pay for it all.
"If you even have an inkling that your kid is interested in college, I recommend you take part in this program." said Joe Smith.
ASU officials say they've been finding students aren't as prepared as they should be when they apply for college.
"Students are just missing information. Whether it's their overloaded counselor who just doesn't have time to go into the schools and give college prep information, or families who have never had a student go to college and they need the step by step process." said ASU Executive Coordinator Natalie Nailor.
That step by step process includes everything from preparing resumes and essays for students to financial aid and planning for parents.
"It was amazing to find out how many scholarships are out there and where to look for them. We even learned about which ones to avoid," explained Joe.
The program hopes to get students thinking ASU: but more importantly it's aimed at preparing them for their own road to success.
Nailor said you don't necessarily need to become a "Future Sun Devil Family" to take part, "We're just giving families more tools to give them a jump start."
"They focus on ASU but they say you can go to a technical school, junior college or any University you choose. They even tell you about all your options." said Kyle.
"Our goal is to keep the best and brightest right here in Arizona." explained Nailor.
Kyle and his father Joe enjoyed the fact they were learning about the road to college together.
"The workshops are interactive, you just don't sit and take notes" Joe told ABC15.
The program includes 7 workshops a year and is aimed at grades 9 through 12.
There's even an application process, but don't be intimidated. Nailor told ABC15, the application essay is just their way of getting to know you and your family.
Kyle's youngest sister Rebecca is only 10, but watching her father and brother get excited about college already has her thinking ASU and possibly carrying on the pitch fork.
For more information on Future Sun Devil Families, go to eoss.asu.edu/fsdf