Posts Tagged ‘scholarships’

Why Should You Fill Out the FAFSA?

November 18, 2020

Many families do not realize that it is time to apply for financial aid and scholarships. Most students are relieved to be finishing with their college applications and the thought of filling out more forms is the last thing on their minds. Families will not receive financial aid if they 
do not ask for it. Some families may not have financial need, but circumstances can change.The FAFSA is the first step to ask for financial aid. And if you have no already applied, it is the time to do it.

FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an online form which determines which students are eligible for federal financial assistance. No one should be intimidated by the FAFSA form and everyone who feels that might qualify for federal, state, or institutional grants or loans should definitely apply.

Applying for financial aid is not as overwhelming as it used to be, but it does require time and accurate answers to allow the government to determine what your Expected Family Contribution toward college will be. This is known as your EFC. The FAFSA form is filled out by the parents of prospective and continuing students on an annual basis. Read the instructions carefully. The name on your Social Security card is the same name you should use on the FAFSA. Make all of your corrections online. If an answer applies to you, it should not be left blank.

Since financial aid is often given out on a first come, first served basis, it is important to fill as the FAFSA form as soon as you can. The form for the 2021-22 school year is now available online.. The amount of financial aid a student receives is based on your previous year’s tax return. Every state and college or university has a specific deadline for the FAFSA form to be submitted. The federal deadline is June 30, but the state and school deadlines can be as early as February 15. Most college websites list the deadline for their schools.

Paying for college is one of the biggest concerns parents have today. Last year more than 80% of the parents who had students applying or returning to college filled out the FAFSA form. You have nothing to lose by filling out the free form and some families are pleasantly surprised that they actually qualify for at least some financial assistance. Every little bit helps.

What Can A College Admissions Consultant Do For You?

April 24, 2018

Most families would agree that the college application and admissions process is both stressful and overwhelming. There are so many questions parents and students face when trying to find the right colleges. They can be equally confused with the different applications, deadlines and required information for financial aid and scholarships. Unfortunately, most high school counselors do not have the time to devote to these matters. Some families think that a college admission consultant is out of their budget, but many don’t realize that in the end, they usually save money because they have received the guidance and correct information to make the right decisions. This is what a college admissions consultant can do for your student and family.

1.   Individual help most students do not receive in high school

2.   Availability for your child and family when you need it

3.   Expertise in the college admission process 

4.   Decreased family stress and more peace of mind. Try to eliminate parental nagging about college applications.

5.   Specific knowledge of colleges, their admission requirements and SAT and ACT testing updates

6.   Get help from an objective third party to brainstorm and read applications and college essays

7.   Gain a competitive edge in the college admission process

8.   College visits that provide first-hand knowledge of schools and their suitability for different students

9.   Save money ​by helping your child enroll in one college, stay there, and graduate in four years.

10. Increased financial aid and scholarship opportunities

Look for the College Fit, Not the Ranking

April 4, 2018

For many high school juniors, college planning has begun. This, of course, includes the college search. College Direction suggests that students put rankings at the bottom of their considerations and concentrate on researching schools that are a good fit for them. This fit should includes academic, financial and social as well. Rankings just add to the hype surrounding college admissions and rarely have little to do with the educational experience a student will receive. When College Direction is researching schools for a student, we are much more concerned with the undergraduate experience and the four-year graduation rates at different schools. To find colleges with the best fit, students should do some self-reflection and write down a list of qualities they consider important when choosing a school. The colleges they choose to explore more completely should have as many of these qualities as possible.

 

 

 

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.

 

Financial Aid for College: Why Most Families Need to Apply

February 9, 2012

Most families are overwhelmed with the thought of paying for college.  They find the financial aid process confusing and some don’t even bother to apply.  Parents need to be encouraged to fill out the FAFSA form, and the CSS if applicable, even if they think they make too much money to qualify for financial aid.  Families with college-bound students need to understand the fundamentals of applying for financial aid.  There are so many myths surrounding the financial aid process and they need to be demystified.  Parents need to understand that a financial aid package consists of a combination of loans, scholarships and grants, and work-study programs.  Private scholarships are available, but they usually make up a very small percentage of money for college.  Helping students find schools that are affordable is not always as difficult as it may seem.  Some colleges are definitely more generous with financial aid and merit scholarships.  Click on the following link to clarify some of the misinformation about financial aid. http://wildammo.com/2011/10/19/8-myths-about-financial-aid-infographic/