Archive for the ‘How to pay for college’ Category

Test Prep for the SAT and ACT – What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

September 14, 2017

Since the SAT and ACT are important criteria for college admissions, you should not assume that your student can take these tests with no preparation.  Test scores can make or break a student’s chances for college acceptance and scholarships.  Most experts believe that a good test prep course can help to improve students’ SAT and ACT scores.  Here are 5 tips to find a good SAT and ACT test prep course near you:

 

  1. The teaching is most important. Most test prep courses offer similar information, but a good course will have a teacher who can motivate the students.  The course should be taught by an experienced test prep coach, not a high school teacher or someone who has only scored high on the SAT and ACT.

 

  1. The test prep course should be affordable. There is no reason why parents need to spend $1000 for a test prep course.  Paying more does not make a course better nor does a big name make it more effective.  Parents should contact local, small test prep companies and inquire about what they offer before they sign up for another SAT or ACT course.

 

  1. Students should practice and take real tests. Students should only take test prep courses that utilize tests that are published by the College Board and the ACT.  Practice should also be done on real tests.  This helps students to know exactly what to expect and makes for a less stressful experience.  What good is practice if you are not using the real thing?

 

  1. The test prep course should focus on content and strategies. Parents should inquire about whether a test prep course focuses on test-taking strategies or also includes practice materials with review and explanations.  Students need to understand the content of the test, but they also need to know how to approach each part of the test and some test-taking techniques that will help them improve their scores.

 

  1. A test prep course should fit the needs of your child. Is the test prep course small enough to be beneficial? A course should include no more than 8-10 students.  Does it take too much time away from homework and other activities?  Students should spend only as much time as they need and once a week classes should be sufficient.  Will your student learn how to handle anxiety and gain confidence?  Stress relieving practices should be introduced and practiced.

 

Parents should always read the fine print of any test prep course.  There are no score guarantees in spite of what you may be told.  Students are usually given the opportunity to retake the course, but parents do not receive their money back.

Small improvements in test scores can make a difference in college admissions.  That’s why test prep can contribute to the overall success of a student’s chances for college acceptance and merit scholarships.

 

Advertisements

Why Hire a College Admissions Consultant?

August 18, 2017

Here are nine reasons why your family could benefit from using a college admissions consultant:

  1. They are experts in the college admission process and visit colleges and universities extensively every year to determine the unique qualities in each school.
  2. They help students with the college search and are not just interested in brand name schools, but want to find colleges that fit your student’s academic, personal and financial needs.
  3. They do not have an emotional attachment to your child and this allows them to provide unbiased, professional advice.
  4. They get to know students on a personal basis which enables them to help students become stronger college applicants.
  5. They help provide direction for students on their applications and essays. This assures students that they are adhering to deadlines set by their high school and colleges.
  6. They assist students and families in finding schools that are affordable. They also provide information on financial aid and scholarships.
  7. They are not limited in the number of hours they can work with students. This allows them to be available when students need them, with the answers they need.
  8. They want to help students find colleges that are committed to seeing their students graduate in four years, rather than the usual five, six or more. This can save parents a considerable amount of money.
  9. They are members of professional organizations like the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and Independent Educational Consultants (IECA). College admission consultants attend state and national conferences to continue their professional development.

Most college admission consultants charge affordable fees and are very generous with their time. Many families believe that hiring an independent educational consultant is the best investment they have made.

9 Financial Aid Tips for First-Timers

January 12, 2016

Paying for college is one of the hottest topics having to do with college admissions. Almost every family should apply for financial aid, the sooner, the better. Don’t be intimidated by the FAFSA, your first step in the financial aid process. Here are some great tips for first-timers and the FAFSA.

Source: 9 Financial Aid Tips for First-Timers

Student Loans 101

November 27, 2012

Student Loans 101.

Paying for college is an overwhelming concern for families with students heading to college.  First, every parent needs to fill out the FAFSA online.  This can be submitted anytime after January 1, 2013.  If you have a student who is applying to private colleges or universities, you should also fill out the CSS form.  Financial aid is a combination of  scholarships, grants, work-study and loans.  Families need to know the best loans available if they need additional help with college expenses.