Should My Teen Take the SAT?

Should My Teen Take the SAT?

Now that many colleges are going test-optional, parents and teens wonder if they should be concerned about taking the SAT or ACT. Especially if their teen has good grades but performs poorly on standardized tests. Is it worth the risk? Is it worth the extra time and effort to study?  The answer is yes if they plan on going to college.  If colleges were not going to consider SAT or ACT scores in the application process, then they would say, “We no longer accept test scores in the admissions...

How to Organize an Extra 200 Hours in Your Teen’s Life

How to Organize an Extra 200 Hours in Your Teen’s Life

Do you have an extra 200 hours in your life? I don't. Does your teen? Probably not. Yet, that is how much time you should allow for the college application process. These hours do not include visiting colleges, researching majors, or SAT/ACT prep. These 200 hours are just the time it takes to write essays, fill out the applications, gather financial information, complete supplemental essays, and much more. I get stressed just thinking about it! If you have a very organized teen who stays on...

How To Get Your Teen To Stand Out In the Sea of College Applications

How To Get Your Teen To Stand Out In the Sea of College Applications

One of the biggest questions I get from parents is, what should my teen have on their college application to help them stand out from the thousands of other applicants? What are the "magic" words or activities that will increase their chances of getting accepted?  Unfortunately, no magic word or particular activity will have the admissions person say, "Yes, this is the one we have been looking for to come to our school!" It will vary by college, and it can vary from year to year, depending on...

When Your College-Bound Teen Gets Deferred

When Your College-Bound Teen Gets Deferred

You and your teen spent thousands of hours researching colleges, visiting different schools, studying for the SAT or ACT, writing essays, and filling out applications. You probably also spent thousands of dollars on travel costs, tutors, and college application fees. All that blood, sweat, and tears, only to get a letter from their college of choice, stating their application has been deferred. I get many calls from parents this time of year whose teen has been deferred. The student feels...

Simple Searches for College Scholarships

Simple Searches for College Scholarships

Have you heard about the latest way wealthy families are receiving college aid? Parents are transferring legal custody of their teenage children to another relative or party to improve their eligibility for financial aid. (Click here to learn more.) Fortunately, such extreme measures are not necessary for regular families like ours. If you're researching ways to pay for college, focus on finding scholarships. There are thousands of college scholarships out there, and your teen has a good...

Yes Son, Colleges Do Look at Your Social Media

Yes Son, Colleges Do Look at Your Social Media

According to experts, colleges want more than just high test scores and a solid essay from applicants. They also want students with good character. To that end, many colleges check an applicant's social media and/or online "footprint."  I recently saw this quote:      What should your teen consider when using social media? Here are some do’s and don’ts to share with your teen:   DON’T Share images of people drinking and smoking, even if you are not Post a bunch of selfies – you...

The Why and How of College Essays

The Why and How of College Essays

In my previous blog, Motiving Your Resistant Teen to Write Their College Essay, I provided ideas on how to help your teen when they’re reluctant to write their essay. I fully empathize with these teens, as writing does not come naturally to me. Remember, the process doesn’t have to start with a blank screen or a piece of paper. Let’s talk about why colleges ask applicants to write an essay. Think of a college like a business. They bring in candidates for open positions. For each position, they...

Motivating Your Resistant Teen to Write Their College Essay

Motivating Your Resistant Teen to Write Their College Essay

For rising seniors, it's time to start gathering necessary items for college applications -- SAT or ACT scores, volunteer and work records, a list of extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, college aid forms, and so forth. Getting this information can be time-consuming but relatively easy, especially if your student was organized through high school. But there is still one daunting task that your teen needs to do for the college application – writing the essay. I know parents...

The High Price of Applying to College

The High Price of Applying to College

When we think of college planning, we think about saving for tuition, textbooks, or living expenses. What I am focusing on is when it’s time to actually identify, visit, and apply to college. I hear from parents who have been through the process who say, “I wish someone had told me how much money goes into just finding the right college.” Let me break it down for you. College admission advisors suggest a child apply to 6 – 8 different schools. This is a combination of stretch, target, and...

Understanding Your Student’s Financial Aid Options

Understanding Your Student’s Financial Aid Options

Awhile back, I interviewed Educational Consultant Jim Anderson of Making College Worth It.  One of the biggest ah-ha’s I got from my meeting with Jim was learning about the CSS Profile. I didn’t know about it at all before I met with him. It turns out for financial aid that some colleges require FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and some require a CSS Profile. CSS stands for College Scholarship Service. FAFSA provides federal aid through grants and loans. The CSS Profile...

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