Posts Tagged ‘Admissions Advice’
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
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.
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!
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.
Michigan students who are planning to fill out college applications could be in for some good news. According to Fox News, lawmakers in Michigan are expected to announce a proposal that would provide free tuition for students in need.
Known as the Michigan 20-20 Bill, the proposal could provide free college tuition for students who spend their K-12 years in schools throughout the state. The bill is expected to cover the full median cost of tuition, or up to $9,500 per year. Officials in Michigan acknowledged the importance of education to the future of the state and the country.
"We can find the $1.7 billion to pay for kids to go to college because we know education is economic development and they did it in Minnesota and Kalamazoo and we can replicate that here," Senator Gretchen Whitmer told the news source.
According to WLNS News, the bill – which is sponsored by Democratic senators in the state – still has to pass approval by Republican lawmakers before it is passed. Senators have recommended that certain tax loopholes be closed in order to free up the money needed to fund the plans.
Even if you're not from Michigan, there may still be financial aid available to help you pay for college, such as scholarships. Talk to your college admissions adviser about which programs you might be eligible for.
Filling out college applications and earning a degree can be a real investment in your future – but it's never been more expensive, either. Millions of students rely on financial aid packages such as student loans to help them pay for school, but who's borrowing them? New data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reveals who is borrowing, how much they are taking on, and how many people are making their payments.
According to the data, almost 40 percent of the 37 million student loan borrowers in the U.S. are under 30 years of age. This works out at just over 33 percent of the $870 billion total outstanding loan balance. Approximately 43 percent of students borrowed up to $10,000, with an additional 29 percent taking out loans of between $10,000 and $25,000.
Despite an uncertain economy, many students are keeping on top of their repayments. The data suggests that almost 40 percent of borrowers had no past-due payments, and their balances were smaller in the third quarter of 2011 than the second. For students thinking of filling out college applications and taking out a student loan, this could be encouraging.
College-bound students can use the savings calculator at studentloans.gov to get a better idea of how much they need to put away to make their repayments. If you're considering going to school, talk to your college admissions adviser about the various types of financial aid that are available before you commit to any decisions. According to the website, the government provides more than $150 billion per year in scholarships, student loans, grants and other financial aid packages to students who want to earn their degrees
Another option that can help you pay for academic costs are work-study programs. These initiatives provide undergraduate students with part-time jobs that help them pay for educational expenses. Students are paid by the hour, and many schools offer individuals jobs on-campus to make it easier to balance their studies with part-time work. Some colleges might have arrangements with private companies, too. If this is something you're interested in, talk to your school's financial aid officer.
Financial aid, student loans and paying for college can be daunting. However, with some careful planning and help from your college admissions adviser, it doesn't have to be. When you're doing a college search, think carefully about how the cost of earning your degree will affect you further down the road.
Although many students are preoccupied with taking the SAT and ACT college admissions exams, a good essay will also make your college application stand out. Some high school seniors are intimidated by the admissions essay, but you don't have to be. Follow these tips and submit your essay with confidence.
• Keep it focused: Nothing can kill an admissions essay faster than wandering all over the place. Admissions officials want to see that you can make a clear, concise point and stick to it through the essay. Think of it as a chance to shine, and keep your main point in mind when you're writing. Trying to cram too much into an essay can make it sound scattered or vague. Don't worry about missing out on the chance to say something – that's what interviews are for.
• Be specific: A common mistake in some admissions essays is being too vague about what you want. If you tell admissions officials you want to help people, explain why. If you're talking about how you're a team player, give examples. Don't be afraid to go into detail. Some high school seniors are put off by this and think essays should be sweeping and broad. However, admissions officials want to hear about how you handled a particular situation or what you've done, not a grand overview of your life story.
• Don't repeat yourself: A lot of students waste a valuable opportunity to show admissions officials who they really are by repeating information from elsewhere in their college application. Don't waste time repeating things that are covered in other parts of your application – it's an essay, not a resume.
• Be yourself: Another mistake a lot of students make is writing what they think college admissions officials want to hear. Avoid trying to anticipate what they want and be yourself. Not only will you find it easier to write the essay, but it will also sound more sincere and genuine, which is exactly what college admissions officials want. Similarly, if you feel strongly about a certain topic and you're worried that your point of view sounds cliché, give a specific explanation backing up your point to keep it relevant to you and your perspective.
Above all, try not to worry. Be yourself, be sincere and keep it focused. Then, all you have to do is turn in your college admissions essay confident that you've done your best.
With the registration deadlines for the SAT and ACT college admissions exams approaching rapidly, many high school seniors are beginning to feel the pressure. Although it's important to study for the actual content of the tests, it's equally important to be prepared for the exams themselves. Follow these study tips to tackle your college admissions exams with more confidence.
• Plan ahead: A lot of students feel stressed because registration deadlines take them by surprise. Get a calendar and make a note of the deadlines. If you want to take the next SAT test on May 5, you need to submit registration paperwork by the close of regular registration on April 6, or April 20 if you're submitting your application late. The next ACT exam date is April 14, so you'll need to send in your registration form by March 9.
• Establish a baseline score: A baseline score is your SAT or ACT test result with no studying time. Pick up a study book and take the sample exam without studying. This will give you your baseline score. As well as providing you with a better idea of how much of the material you know, establishing your baseline score will also help you identify the areas you're not so strong in.
• Work smarter, not harder: Once you've figured out which areas you're good at, you can spend more time studying for questions you found difficult when you took your baseline practice test. Again, preparation and planning will make studying easier and more effective, so keep a calendar of when you plan on studying, and what you'll be covering. Not only will this make it easier to keep to a schedule, it can provide you with a sense of accomplishment, which can boost confidence. Don't forget to pencil in time to take additional practice tests to see how you're improving.
• Approach the questions logically: For multiple choice questions, use the process of elimination. Figure out which options are incorrect before answering. Be careful and thorough – you are penalized a quarter of a point for wrong answers on the SAT. If you have any time left at the end of the test, go back and review your answers for mistakes. Although you should focus on answering the questions, try to allocate a roughly equal amount of time to each one so you don't fall behind or feel rushed toward the end of the test.
Above all, stay calm, plan ahead and good luck!
With more students filling out college applications for the nation's top schools than ever before, many students from wealthier families are choosing to attend community colleges after graduating from high school, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Increasing costs at private schools and the high quality of education provided by many community colleges are changing attitudes toward two-year schools among students from wealthier families. Financial pressures on families who may be unable to send their children to private four-year colleges are making community colleges an increasingly attractive option.
"A lot of folks in the middle class are taking a look at community colleges," Walter Bumphus, president of the American Association of Community Colleges, told the news source. "The increases are significant."
According to a report by student financial giant SallieMae, 22 percent of students from families earning more than $100,000 per year attended community colleges last year, an increase of 6 percentage points from four years ago. The number of families taking advantage of educational grant programs also rose significantly, up from 30 percent in 2010 to 46 percent in 2011.
If you're thinking about filling out college applications, two-year schools can be a great way to explore new majors and experience college-level work at a more affordable rate. Ask your college admissions advisor about the kinds of programs offered at community colleges.
Students hoping to be awarded need-based financial aid such as scholarships at Maryland's St. Mary's College could be in luck, following a donation of $1 million by philanthropists Joe and Kathy Garner.
The money will be used to provide students in need with scholarships to help them pay for college. Donations for this kind of student aid are less common, as many donors provide schools with money for merit-based financial aid.
"St. Mary’s College of Maryland has a historic mission to make affordable an academically rigorous program to all students, particularly those with limited financial means," Joseph Urgo, president of the university, said in a statement. "The Garner donation ensures full participation in the liberal arts experience by providing scholarship recipients the opportunity to attend St. Mary’s College and to learn beyond the boundaries of the classroom."
If you're considering filling out college applications, don't be discouraged from applying to prestigious schools. Many universities offer scholarship programs to talented students, especially those who come from economically challenged backgrounds. Discuss your plans with your college admissions adviser to see what kind of financial aid programs are available at your prospective schools.
For many students, the SAT and ACT college admissions exams can be daunting. Although there are other things that universities look at as part of their admissions factors, a good score can make your college application stand out. If you have a smartphone, there are a number of applications that can help you prepare for the tests to give yourself the best possible chance of earning a high score.
Most apps that are available focus on specific parts of the exams. For example, you might feel confident in your math skills but could use some help with the vocabulary sections. The SAT Remix application, which is also available for some regular cellphones, offers users vocabulary lessons set to music. The software could help you brush up on your word skills, and features more than 300 of the most commonly missed words on the SAT.
Another useful app for improving your vocabulary is ACT Vocab Prep. This application sends you two words often featured on the ACT every day, complete with the Greek roots of the words and how to use them in sentences. Prefixes and suffixes are also featured, as well as a weekly word review to help you go over what you learned during the week.
For students who need a little help with their math skills, the SAT Math application from Adapster is a must-have. As well as providing a series of math problems for you to solve, it adapts to your learning style. For example, if you're great with fractions but not so good at angles, the app remembers questions you get wrong and bases future questions around your level of ability. The software also explains the reasoning and methods behind correct answers, helping you grasp how to solve similar problems on paper.
Michael DeRosa's 411 Prep: SAT Math app is another useful tool to add to your studying repertoire. Designed personally by DeRosa, an SAT tutor, this app features more than 500 math-based flashcard problems, their solutions and principles to solve them, and up to 2,600 different answer combinations.
There are literally hundreds of apps available to help you take the SAT and ACT with confidence. Before downloading any of them, check their pricing – some are free of charge and others are free for a limited time before a subscription or monthly fee is required.
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