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Case Study - A Need-Based Aid Award

Today I am sharing a story of a student I recently worked (I'll call him Sam)  who was eligible for (and received) need-based aid.


Before I share Sam's story, I’d like to explain that college financial aid can come in 4 main forms:

1. Grants - grants are FREE money, they do not have to be repaid.


Grants can be either need-based or NON-need based (non-need-based aid is not dependent on a family's financial situation and is typically given for GPA and SAT or ACT scores).


Grants can come from a college’s own funds (private...

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The 3 Biggest Sources of Free Money for College

 

It’s an easy mistake.

You’re bouncing around the internet, wildly searching for assurance that college is NOT going to be as expensive as you think it might be.

You’ve heard (time and again) about the awesome scholarships your neighbor, niece, cousin’s kid or  ____fill in the blank___ got for college.

And maybe your first few Google searches have turned up listings for scholarships from companies, service groups, and charities.

So, you’re thinking that your first move should be to get your child...

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The PSAT/NMSQT

 

 

On October 16th, 2019, high school students across the country will take the PSAT/NMSQT (yes, that last part is weird...no vowels!).

Lots of families are confused about just what the PSAT/NMQST is and have questions, like:  

  • Why is my student taking the PSAT? 

  • Why is the PSAT important? 

  • How are my PSAT scores used in the college admissions process? 

  • Do I need to prep for the PSAT? 

 I've got you covered! 

Here are the 2 main things you need to know:


 The PSAT/NMSQT...

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The Case for a Small School

One of the most important considerations in choosing a college is size.  

Here’s the case for a small college.

A small college (which means a college of around 1,500 - 3,000 students or so) will give you a very different experience from that of a large university (of 10,000 plus students).

Going to a small college is like living in a small town versus a large city.

People say hello when they see you. 

Professors greet you by name and stop to chat.

The main responsibility of professors at small colleges is to teach and...

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15 Questions to Ask College Representatives (so you can make better decisions)

 

Are you planning to visit a college campus soon?

Do you have a college fair coming up?

Is a college representative visiting your high school?

All of these are great opportunities to ask questions about the things that matter to you most, which can help you get a “feel” for the campus culture  - both social and academic.

When you have a chance to meet a college representative, pick their brain!

Doing so will give you new information about the school that can help you decide if it really is a place you are willing to...

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SAT or ACT? Which Test Should I Take?

 

Not sure whether to take the SAT or the ACT?

Good news…

All US colleges and universities accept scores from either test - there’s no advantage in taking one test over the other.

That means that either test is fine... and you get to choose!

And which one you choose can be a pretty important decision. That's because, along with decisions to accept or deny, most colleges also use test scores to determine how much merit aid you will receive. 

Yes, test scores can determine how much merit aid you may receive....

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How Letting Colleges Know You're Interested in Them Can Help You Get Accepted

No doubt about it – getting into college is a competitive process.

Every year, tens of thousands of students set their hearts and hopes on attending their “dream” college...

...and then receive the dreaded denial letter.

There are lots of things that make  a student a good fit for a school (or not) and those factors make you more likely to be accepted to a certain college.

But there's one strategy that I've realized most students, families, and high school guidance counselors don't know about...

 

THE STRATEGY...

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How Private Scholarships Can Reduce Your Total Aid

 

You may be surprised to learn that OUTSIDE scholarships could actually reduce the amount of need-based financial aid you receive from the colleges you choose to attend.  

(OUTSIDE SCHOLARSHIPS: those scholarships given by sources other than a college itself or the federal or state government.) 

Why?

Because colleges have financial aid award policies that determine how much and what types of financial support they’ll provide students.

 

IF YOU WIN AN OUTSIDE SCHOLARSHIP YOU'RE REQUIRRED TO REPORT IT TO THE...

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How to Plan for College in High School

Navigating high school AND planning for college at the same time can be tricky.

There’s lots to consider and it can be really hard to figure it out all on your own.  

There are some things it’s just, well, pretty essential to understand when you want to make sure you are…

  1. academically prepared for college and

  2. setting yourself up to be ready to take advantage of many options.

So I’d like to give you a hand with that.

Here are some of the top questions that I get from families about preparing for...

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What Your FAFSA Number Means

 

One of the biggest problems I hear about when families start the college planning process is…

(drumroll, please)

THE MONEY.

As in…

  • Will our family qualify for financial aid?

  • Will we actually be able to afford college!?

  • Are private schools always more expensive than public schools? 

  • How come my cousin’s kid got a “free-ride” but our neighbor’s son is paying full price?!

  • Do public and private colleges award financial aid in different ways?

COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE, AND MOST OF US WANT...

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