Â Â Â How To Choose Colleges in Todayâs Economy:
The admissions and financial aid process from the perspective of a retired Guidance Counselor and a parent of four children. I spent 34 years in education with the last 22 years as a high school guidance counselor. I specialized in admissions and financial aid as two of my key assets as a counselor. I visited many colleges up and down the east coast and networked with many admissions/financial aid counselors in order to better service my counselees and their parents. I have successfully put three (3) of my children through college but I did this in an economy that was flourishing. In todayâs economy with our assets and investments down anywhere from 30% to 50%, it makes this process a lot more difficult. College admissions have become more competitive and more expensive since my last child graduated from college in 1998. My first two daughters graduated from college in early 90âs and the admissions and cost was very reasonable during that period.
In general, for those of you that are planning to send your sons and daughters to college in the next 2 to 5 years, you should begin to do your preliminary research right now. For those of you who will be sending your son or daughter to college in the next 2 years, you should have done your preliminary research and your financial planning already. Right now, you and your son or daughter should be visiting colleges, taking the PSATâs and SATâS in the junior year. The mindset and training begins a lot earlier than I have just mentioned. Financial planning also should be started as early as possible. Your sons and daughters will most likely get into 3 to 10 colleges/universities, depending on the number of schools that they apply to. Admissions will be based on what kind of profile that your son or daughter creates during high school and this will also effect what kind of financial aid package he or she is going to receive. After everything is done, what it comes down to is where can you afford to send your son or daughter. It comes down to money and the decision will be made between April 15th and May 1st of your sonâs or daughterâs senior year.
Now, I will get in to the specifics of college admissions and financial aid. I will also give you links to websites where you can get more information.
Admissions to colleges are based on your sonâs or daughterâs transcript, class rank, SAT scores, school activities/sports and letters of recommendation from teachers and his or her counselor (grades and activities from grades 9 to 12 are considered for the purposes of applying to college). The studentâs work habit is established early in years. Once your son or daughter enters high school, everything that he or she does will become part of his or her profile. For admissions you need to go to
Once you have your sonâs and daughterâs GPA, class rank and PSATâs or SAT scores, you should go to the collegeâs and universityâs website to see what the previous freshman classâs profile was to see how your sonâs or daughterâs profile compare. This will give you an idea of what kind of chances he or she will have when he or she apply. There many websites out there that you can use to do your research and your best resource is your sonâs or daughterâs guidance counselor.
You should work closely with your sonâs or daughterâs high schoolâs guidance office. Also, you can always call the collegeâs admissions office to get information specific to that college.
When your son or daughter does apply to college, he or she should apply to at leas 5 schools. You want he or she to apply to at least (1) one school that you have a real good feeling that he or she will get in and that you can afford. Your sonâs or daughterâs safety school is extremely important on your list of schools. He or she should also apply to at least (1) one reach school. The rest of the schools should be within his or her profile.
Financial aid or financing your sonâs or daughterâs college education, is to me, the most important part of this whole college search process. Because it doesnât matter where and how many schools that your son or daughter get into, if you canât afford to send him or her to one of those schools. You need to apply to schools in variety of price ranges. You should from the beginning, apply to at least (1) one school that you know based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), that you can afford that particular school with little financial help or no help at all (your financial safety school). The following websites will help you determine your EFC:Â
Your EFC is calculated when you file your financial aid forms (FAFSA and CSS Profile). In most cases, you only have to file the FAFSA, which is the federal form, and it is income driven. You should calculate your Expected Family Contribution as soon as possible so you can realistically do your college searches. You want to know how much the schools are going to expect you to come with financially and it always is more than what you think.
I hope that the information that I have given you is helpful in your college search adventure. For more information, please contact your sonâs or daughterâs guidance counselor.
Â If financing your sonâs or daughterâs education is a concern in todayâs economy and you are willing to investigate how you can pay for you childâs education with easy. You could possibly have your son or daughter come out of college debt-free. I will provide you with more free information on my website which will give you more details on how you can make a second stream of income in a risk-free and recession-proof business opportunity. We donât sell anything or make anything. We are the new millennium middlemen.
Good luck and God bless! I will not ill advise you. I was in the helping profession for 34 years and I have been blessed again with an opportunity to continue to help people but this time it is financial in nature.
If what I have just described to you is of any interest, click on the following link for more information!
FHTM Independent Representative