Many families need to take loans to cover the cost of college. The borrowing process has changed slightly since most parents went to college. In 2010, the federal loan program was reorganized so that all federal student loans are now issued directly by the federal government to the school on the student or parent’s behalf.Continue reading “Understanding the Student Loan Process”
Tag Archives: scholarships
Do I need a research experience for admission
There is no formula that will ensure your admission to any college. But many companies have sprung up designed to help students form a not-for-profit or conduct research to strengthen their applications to highly selective schools. Conducting research in high school can be a helpful way to show your intellectual curiosity. But like any experience,Continue reading “Do I need a research experience for admission”
I had some students admitted to Ivy League schools. These are my takeaways.
Let me start off by saying, I don’t believe you have to go to an elite college. The pressure to get into elite schools is adding to an already challenging mental health situation for teens. I’m a proud state school grad. My four siblings range from state schools to brand name privates to a militaryContinue reading “I had some students admitted to Ivy League schools. These are my takeaways.”
Don’t Write a Generic Personal Statement
Highly selective colleges often receive enough qualified applicants that they could fill their class multiple times. As a result, they have the ability to truly build a community. They are looking for intellectually curious students who will contribute to their campus. The courses you took in high school, the activities you participate in after schoolContinue reading “Don’t Write a Generic Personal Statement”
Should I apply for the honors program?
High-achieving students are often invited to apply for honors programs at the colleges they are considering. While these programs are challenging and involve more rigorous coursework, they also have numerous benefits that students should consider. Honors programs can make a large school smaller. Students are often part of a cohort that takes classes together. TheyContinue reading “Should I apply for the honors program?”
You Can’t Chase Merit and Brand Name (usually)
One of the biggest struggles I face as a counselor is knowing a student can’t afford the tuition at a college they dream of attending. Many of the country’s most prestigious colleges only give need-based aid. As a result, most middle-income families don’t receive much if any aid. This is why these colleges are stillContinue reading “You Can’t Chase Merit and Brand Name (usually)”
You Really Should Visit Colleges During Sophomore and Junior Year
As decisions come in for seniors, those who visited colleges are having an easier time deciding where they want to attend next year. Those who didn’t are rushing to attend admitted student events and see the campuses that have offered them admission. While Covid made it hard for students to visit colleges during the heightContinue reading “You Really Should Visit Colleges During Sophomore and Junior Year”
Advice for high school parents based on the 2023 admission cycle
It is the time of year when students are turning in their course selections for next year, trying to build a schedule that will get them into college. I personally think students should take what they need to graduate as well as some courses that interest them. But in this day and age of highlyContinue reading “Advice for high school parents based on the 2023 admission cycle”
How to compare financial aid packages-revised
Two years ago I wrote a post with advice on how to negotiate financial aid. It’s still relevant, and that time of year. You will find the original blog below with a few new updates. If you need help understanding your aid or figuring out how to approach a negotiation, schedule an hour counseling sessionContinue reading “How to compare financial aid packages-revised”
No need to apply to more than 10 schools
If I could give juniors one piece of advice it would be to apply to fewer schools. Highly rejective schools are getting even more selective. Students are casting a wider and wider net in the hopes of getting into one “top” or “brand name” school. But all this really does is drive up applications, andContinue reading “No need to apply to more than 10 schools”
Your College Application is Like Baking from Scratch
Any of the students who worked with me this year probably heard my baking analogy so many times they got sick of it. But it’s a valid comparison. When you bake cookies or a cake, the ingredients you use are important. What you add, and when you add it, makes a baked treat that tastesContinue reading “Your College Application is Like Baking from Scratch”
Are you a senior who hasn’t started their applications?
Once upon a time, most college students didn’t start applications until sometime in the fall of senior year and submitted them in January or February. Now, the push is to have everything in early, by November 1st, to maximize scholarhips, early action and early decision. But those are technically “early” programs. Most colleges have aContinue reading “Are you a senior who hasn’t started their applications?”
Steps You Might Miss in the Application Process
You have hit submit on your college application and that feeling of “I did it” comes over you. Then a few days later you log into your applicant portal only to see big red X’s saying you missed something causing your heart to race. Sometimes these X’s don’t impact the application deadline and you haveContinue reading “Steps You Might Miss in the Application Process”
To Ed or Not to ED, That is the Question?
Many of the students I work with are really struggling with whether to apply Early Decision and to which school. Early Decision is a process where you can complete your application to ONE school by an earlier deadline and commit to attend THAT school if admitted. It is considered binding–you have to withdraw your applicationsContinue reading “To Ed or Not to ED, That is the Question?”
The world of test optional admissions is somewhat of a moving target. Many schools went test optional during Covid, and plan to stay that way. Many were test optional before. But many are evaluating it on a year to year basis. Georgetown and MIT are requiring test scores for 2023 and Purdue just announced theyContinue reading “Testing Plans”
Don’t add to those rejections
Many students have a dream college, and its often an Ivy or a highly rejective college like Notre Dame, Stanford or MIT. Many of these colleges have admission rates in the single digits, as low as 3%–meaning they deny 97 of every 100 applicants who apply. The applicant pools are filled with incredibly smart andContinue reading “Don’t add to those rejections”
I don’t understand what “Early Action” means
Saturday night, I hosted an application workshop for some local seniors (including my son). It was incredibly inciteful to hear their questions and concerns. One question that came up a lot that, and in multiple follow up email since, is “what is Early Action” and “Should I apply Early Action?”. Early Action is called anContinue reading “I don’t understand what “Early Action” means”
How to write a “Why this college” essay
August 1st is around the corner, which means you can start submitting the Common Application and other college applications. While many schools only require the personal statement from the Common Application, others have supplemental essays that are required. One of the most common additional essays is the “Why are you applying to this school?” question.Continue reading “How to write a “Why this college” essay”
Jobs That Help Pay For College
Working while in high school (and college) can teach a teen time management, customer service and communication skills as well as how to work as part of a team. It can also help them pay for expenses and save for college. There are many companies that off their teenage employees educational benefits. Between hourly part-timeContinue reading “Jobs That Help Pay For College”
What Activities are Colleges Looking for?
There was a time where colleges wanted to see a really active student, involved in lots of diverse clubs and activities. Now colleges are more interested in seeing you have an interest or passion that you are exploring more deeply verses superficial involvement in lots of different activities. While many students choose to do theirContinue reading “What Activities are Colleges Looking for?”
Are College Fairs Still Worth Attending?
Back before the days of the internet and before College Board and ACT would sell your information to colleges so they could send you (lots of) marketing materials, families had to attend college fairs. Many colleges would visit a high school gym, hotel ballroom or convention center–each with their own table. Families would go fromContinue reading “Are College Fairs Still Worth Attending?”
It’s hard to be the parent in the college process
At dinner with my brother recently, he (not so jokingly) said I must be a nightmare on college visits. Its definitely hard to remain neutral. I have strong opinions on what should be included by the college to help the student learn the most about the school. And because my recent visits are for myContinue reading “It’s hard to be the parent in the college process”
Should you visit colleges in the summer?
Finding time to visit colleges during the school year can be challenging. Students are busier than ever, and often don’t want to miss classes to visit a college. They worry they will fall behind. But is summer a good time to visit, since many college students go home for the summer? Yes, if summer isContinue reading “Should you visit colleges in the summer?”
Paying for College-Scholarships
This time of year, I often get messages via social media from parents asking for tips on where their students can find scholarships. The majority of scholarships most students receive come from the colleges themselves. Scholarships are more of a marketing tool or an incentive to get students to enroll than actual financial aid. SomeContinue reading “Paying for College-Scholarships”
Paying for College–so many acronyms and terms
No one can use a TLW (three letter words) like a financial aid office at a college. They also work under many state and federal regulations, causing them to be very process oriented, and not always relational or warm (even though they are great, and often very caring, people). The Financial Aid Office can oftenContinue reading “Paying for College–so many acronyms and terms”