Do I apply for admissions or funding first?
Technically you will apply for admissions first (Fall of your Senior Year) and funding second (January of your Senior Year). However, you should start planning your funding strategies long before you actually apply to the schools. Also, private-sector scholarships vary greatly in their deadlines. You may be able to apply for some of these funds during your junior or even your sophomore year of high school.
Do I really need to decide on a career before I start searching for a college?
Deciding on a career path or at least an area of study before you start your college search is the best strategy for optimal college selection and funding. You will be properly equipped to find the college offering the best program in your desired area of study. Doing so will also prevent the loss of time and money that comes with a change of schools when a student discovers that his or her chosen school doesn't offer a quality program in the desired area of study.
How many colleges should I apply to?
It is recommended that you apply to six (6) institutions. These should include four good selections, one "long-shot" selection and one "safety" school.
My family doesn't have much money. Do I have to settle for a less expensive school?
It is recommended that you apply to six (6) institutions. These should include four good selections, one "long-shot" selection and one "safety" school.
When should I start looking at colleges and planning to finance my education?
The short answer to your question is NOW! Ideally, during your sophomore year of high school you should begin working on your career path and start researching the qualities that you are looking for in a college or university. Planning to finance your education should start at approximately the same time. This will give your family plenty of time to make any adjustments to the family's finances to give you the best eligibility for financial aid. Don't despair if you are already past your sophomore year - even seniors in their first semester can effectively choose a college and plan for financing an education but it will take a great deal of time and dedication in a relatively short period of time to do so. Your best plan is to start early!
I make too much money. Does this mean I’m not eligible to receive funding for college?
No, not at all. Financial aid comes from many sources including the Government, the College or University, and Private Sector Scholarship Sponsors. While your family may not be eligible for need-based funding from the Government, you are most likely eligible for other types of funding. In addition, there are a number of financial planning strategies that can place your family in an advantageous financial position when it comes to paying for college.
I was offered $12,500, but it will cost $22,000 per year to attend. Is that the best I can get?
In many cases you may appeal for a better offer of funding. Many schools will start low in their initial offers of financial aid. Knowing when and how to appeal can make the difference between receiving enough funding to attend and being turned away.
What is Cost of Attendance (COA)?
The Total Cost of Attendance (COA) is a predetermined number, the components of which are detailed in the college's catalogues and brochures. The Financial Aid Office labels this their budget. Before you apply for financial aid, it is very important that you know the exact costs for each college
When should I turn in the FAFSA form and do I need to have my tax return done?
You should turn in your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) January 1st of your High School Senior year. You do not need to have your tax returns done when you do your FAFSA form.
Can we get through this process on our own?
Can you get through it? Of course you can. Do you have the time necessary to do the research, devise a plan, and effectively stay on track? Most families don't! Please keep in mind that there are dozens of strategies for college selection, admission and funding that can put your family at a real advantage over the "crowd." A professional college funding consultant, with a proven track record, can advise your family on how to use applicable strategies to your best advantage.
Do we need to bring anything to the workshop?
You don't need to bring anything to the workshop with you. Everything that you need will be provided for you including pen and paper for notes.
How long does the free college planning workshop last?
Typically the college planning workshops run about 1.15 hours. If there are many questions during or after the workshop this time can be longer.
How will I know where to go once I arrive at the workshop location?
There will be someone standing at the main doors, or slightly in the main reception area, to guide you to the correct room.
Should my child(ren) attend the Free College Planning Workshop?
All college bound students are encouraged to attend the workshop as there will be very important college planning information presented that will pertain to them. We encourage parents not to bring their younger children as they might get restless during the presentation.