Determining your Financial Aid Eligibility – A Critical Step in the College Search Process
Could you imagine walking into a high-end car dealership with no idea if the price of the car is going to be $60,000 or $30,000 until after you have done the test drive, talked to the sales manager, and done a credit check? Well, that’s somewhat like what the college financial aid system is like except it can be multiplied by 4-5x of those amounts or more for the 4 years of college.
I heard myself say, “Don’t worry about checking your email. I will send you a text to let you know when you have an email in your inbox from me.” And then it struck me: what’s next? I’ll send a carrier pigeon to notify the student when he has a text that notifies him when he has an email? Professors in college aren’t going to do that. His boss at his job won’t do that. Why am I?
By Gregg Cohen, Campus Bound Founder and President
At Campus Bound, we believe that finding a college that ‘fits’ each individual is extremely important. There are 3 core areas to determine if a college will position a student for a successful college journey and beyond. The first two – the academic program and non-academic factors such as size, geography and school culture, tend to get a great deal of attention and discussion. The third, the financial fit, often times does not receive the due diligence it deserves.
As the title of this blog suggests, I allow my 6 year old to walk to school. In this era of parents driving kids to school, or even bus stops, I get some serious side-eye when I tell other parents that. Now, let’s be clear. He has an 8 year old brother that he walks with. School is about a quarter of a mile from our house with all sidewalks and no major streets to cross. Still, it’s a decision, much like allowing children to play at a playground alone, that could get me thrown in “mom jail.”
You’re walking through the hall when you overhear a group of seniors talking about where they’re going next year. And at soccer practice, your junior friends are talking about the colleges they are visiting next month. It reminds us of a fun quote: “college is the reward for surviving high school.” Yes, you too will be researching and visiting colleges, but you’ve been told it’s not your time yet. There’s good reason for that, as we will explain below. However, there ARE things you can do now to make the college process easier later, and increase your chances of being accepted. Read on!
Taking a gap year before college is something every high school student should at least consider. Even if it’s quickly dismissed as not the right path for you, it makes sense to have a discussion with your Campus Bound counselor about what it is as well as the pros and cons. We have explained more previously in this blog post. In this blog, we will go over the different types of gap year programs, and if you are considering it, how to decide which might be best for you.
Many juniors are well into the research phase of the college admission process. This is the time when students have to do some deep soul-searching, often with the help of parents and counselors, to determine the qualities of a college that are most important to them. Every student’s wishlist will be different. But oftentimes, students don’t know where to start. Of course, meeting with a Campus Bound counselor will help, but we also present in this blog the four big questions to ask yourself as you begin exploring different colleges.
The Decision is in… But What Does it Mean?
It’s admission decision season! Once upon a time, applicants were either accepted or denied to a college. Then came the waitlist. Now, students can hear one of many different “answers” from colleges, and it can be confusing. It can also make the final decision process more difficult. In this blog we will try to shed some light on these different college responses and point out the potential pros and cons of each one.
One of the biggest mistakes parents and students can make in the college search and application process is listening to the advice of unqualified people. The title of this blog is meant to be humorous, but in reality, it happens quite a bit. Someone who went to a particular college years ago may have strong feelings about and memories of the school that just aren’t relevant now. Or, a family member may have heard something about a college once that left a bad taste in their mouth. But that information is completely unrelated to what your experience would be like there. The point of this blog is, take what others say with a huge grain of salt.