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Surviving the College Application Process

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February, 2017

Every year brings a new host of changes in college admissions. This year we're hearing about new standardized testing dates (August SAT being offered in 2017 and ACT just announced a July test beginning in 2018) and a more streamlined process for requesting testing accommodations. While this eliminates a forced downtime from testing, we support the move by Collegeboard and ACT as it will allow students to take the tests when it is best for them, and for some, that's during the summer. 

The most immediate question on most high school students' minds is what classes should I take next year and how should I spend my summer?  See below for some tips.

What Classes Should You Take?


As you begin planning your schedules for the coming year, the goal is to create a schedule that will challenge, but not overwhelm you. We have a few tips to help you manage the process.


Balance Is Key When Planning Your Classes 


Making the Most of Your Summer


Now is the time to start planning your summer. Here is a link to a presentation we gave about the subject.   


Making the Most of Your Summer 


SAT vs ACT? Which is best to take?


As Independent Educational Consultants, we are often asked to weigh in on this question. Since colleges accept both tests equally, we typically advise students to determine which test suits them best and prepare for that one. 


Click to read the full article.


Demystifying Financial Aid


We often get asked about whether or not a family will get financial aid. Last year, Forbes published an outstanding article that digs into the real skinny on who qualifies for financial aid based on methodology. 


Key points to consider:

  • Income counts nine times as much as assets when determining financial need.
  • Colleges expect families to pay up to 47% of their  after tax income  for college. So if your family makes $150,000 after tax, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) would be approximately $70,500.  However keep in mind with two kids in college, you could qualify for need based aid.
  • For class of 2018 (current juniors), EFC will be determined using 2016 income data (prior-prior year). This allows for families to submit financial aid forms in October of senior year.
While this article is long, it is well worth the read.


Seniors:  You will be hearing from most of your schools by the end March. We are thinking good thoughts, and please keep us updated.


Juniors:  Keep up the great work to finish the year strong. We understand that junior year is tough, and we are proud of your efforts to date.  Please keep us updated on your visits, or call us to help you schedule your visits during spring break.


Sophomores and Freshmen: If you haven't already, let's set up a time to plan for the coming year classes, activities and summer.




Lisa, Beth, and Abby
College Bound Mentor, LLC 

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