Posts Tagged ‘Admissions Advice’

Ready, Set, FAFSA!


What Is The FAFSA?


FAFSA, which stands for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid, is a required application for college-bound high school seniors and current college students. In order to qualify for financial aid, students are required to fill out this application. As of January 1st, 2014 the FAFSA is available to fill out and submit for the 2014 – 2015 school year. But what does the FAFSA encompass? Keep reading!

Five Categories of FAFSA


The FAFSA requests information in five categories. Before you begin, grab your social security card (unless you memorized the number), your driver’s license (if you have one), bank statements or investment records, untaxed income documents, your most recent tax return, and then ask your parent’s to bring all of the same things.

1. Student Demographics: Basically, the FAFSA needs all of your personal information. Make sure to triple check it for accuracy!

2. School Selection: You will be asked to input your high school’s basic information. If you already know what college you’re going to attend or if you’re already enrolled in college, you will be asked to enter their basic information as well.

3. Dependency Status: If you have special circumstances (e.g. deceased parents or if you were adopted), this is where you will make those circumstances known.

4. Parents Demographics: This section will ask for your parent or guardian’s email address, marital status, and how many people live in your household. Make sure to get the correct information from your parent or guardian because these answers may affect how much money you will receive from financial aid.

5. Financial Information: In the last section, you will have to input your parent or guardian’s tax information to complete the FAFSA.

How To Apply For FAFSA

FAFSA Home Page

Visit this website to apply for the 2014 – 2015 FAFSA online, or you can apply through mail with a printed paper copy. Applying online is recommended and preferred by FAFSA because it processes immediately and assists with spelling errors. The application should take around an hour to complete, but you will have the option to save it and return to it later – but make sure you finish it!

If you’re still struggling a bit with all the forms, visit this page for additional assistance and resources.

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3 Things Leadership Experience Can Demonstrate to a College Admissions Board

You know that having leadership roles on your resume looks good to potential colleges, but have you ever thought about why? After all, not everyone wants to be a leader. Not everyone wants to own their own business, supervise a team, or have authority over anyone else. So why is indicating leadership important on a college application? Here’s some of the reasons why your job as secretary of the photography club, or editor of the school newspaper can indicate you’re ready for college!

You Have Interests

If you’re acting in a leadership role for a club or organization, you probably have an interest in that area. You care about something enough that you’re taking time out of your life to fulfill that passion. As the secretary of the photography club, you want your voice to be heard when it comes to deciding on issues relating to your group. As the editor of the school newspaper, you care about the finished product.

College students are expected to have a passion for their field. They are expected to care about issues related to their future career. Sometimes they’re expected to have to sacrifice an afternoon game of football or a Saturday night dinner with friends for the sake of finishing up a major project. If you’re the leader of a club, you’ve got what it takes to pick a major that interests you and run with it.

You Can Handle An Intense Schedule

As a leader in high school, you know how to manage your time and balance your schedule. In addition to the hours spent at school, doing homework, and hanging out with friends, you have the responsibility of managing an after-school activity. You’ve taken on more work than the typical high school student.

In college, your classes will be at all different times. You’ll have more homework than you have now. In addition, nobody is going to make you go to class or do your homework. Your professors won’t tell you when to start studying for a test. Your parents won’t tell you when it’s time to eat. Your schedule and your workload are in your own hands. It’s up to you to make it work. If you’re managing a complicated schedule in high school, you’ll be more likely able to handle yourself well in college.

You Go Above and Beyond

By taking on a leadership role in high school, you’re doing more than you have to do as a high school student, because you want to. For one reason or another, you chose to take on more responsibilities and more work.

In college, it’s all about self-motivation. You don’t have to go to college. Your grades will be what you make them, and your career will be what you make it. If you’re willing to go above and beyond in high school, you show a lot of promise in college!

With that being said, leadership roles are not the only ways to get into college, nor are they a guarantee.


Not sure if you’ll get into the schools you want? Cappex can help determine your chances of admission!

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Liberal arts colleges can encourage alumni networking

For some students, filling out college applications, balancing work and studies and successfully completing their degrees can be a substantial accomplishment. However, depending on a student's major, the search for work in their field can be even more challenging. To help current students make connections, some former alumni of Reed College have pledged to assist them by offering advice and networking opportunities, reports Inside Higher Ed.

The Reed Alumni Switchboard was created by former Reed students to help their younger counterparts find jobs in competitive industries such as television. As part of the initiative, every time a Reed student reaches out for help, alumni donate $40 to the school. Although this may not seem like much, it could make a difference in the long run.

Sonya Masinovsky, a psychology graduate, went on to found a nonprofit organization after she left Reed, in addition to working on the hit TV show Lost. She said that connections like the ones forged through the Switchboard could be invaluable to recent graduates.

"The possession of an alumni referral is a big one," Masinovsky told the news source. "If a Reedie comes to me looking for an internship, I’m going to want to hire them. We have a common background and work ethic."

Networking can be a vital part of the academic experience for today's students, no matter what school they attend. According to the Burlington Free Press, many students filling out college applications are placing more emphasis on the value of forging professional relationships with alumni. David Bradbury, president of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, told the newspaper that alumni are more than just former students – they are often employers and social connections who can provide individuals with access to internships, career advice and referrals to other professionals.

Liberal arts colleges are excellent places for students to take advantage of alumni networking opportunities. In a recent article for The Huffington Post, Christopher Nelson, president of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, wrote that the smaller class sizes and close-knit communities often observed at liberal arts schools were an ideal way for students to form bonds with alumni, something that could be tremendously beneficial in a competitive job market.

If you're considering filling out a college application for a liberal arts school, ask your college admissions adviser about alumni networking programs offered by your prospective schools. These groups might just help you make valuable connections with future colleagues, employers and mentors.

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