Let's talk about the FAFSA— or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The most important thing to remember is that the FAFSA for the 2023-2024 school year opens on October 1, 2022, which means that by the time you’re seeing this it should be up and running (and keep that date in mind— it opens on October 1st every year).
You will be using your 2021 tax return to complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA— and make sure that you have your spouse’s returns handy too, as well as your child’s if they had a job in the last year.
The FAFSA will determine your need for financial aid based on your previous years’ tax returns.
The need based barrier is much higher than families expect. Last year, a family of four with a total family income of around $60,000 only received $448 for need based money. In addition to that, their child did qualify for the $5,500 in student loans, and $3,500 of it was subsidized, meaning...
College application season is upon us! The fact is that the more selective the school, the more likely you are to meet all of the requirements and STILL be denied. So you may be wondering: how can I set myself apart from everyone else?
I have interviewed dozens of college admissions reps from schools all over, and their recommendations allow us to better help YOUR child gain admission to their first choice school.
To provide the best opportunities, we encourage students to send their essay to ALL schools— even those that do not require an essay.
Providing an essay shows that you are willing to do extra work and adds insight to who you are as a person.
However, there are definitely some things that you should NOT write about— including your sports career, or your involvement in a volunteer activity that is already listed in the activities section of the CommonApp.
Why no sports essay?
The goal of an essay is...
Many parents forget that once their child hits 18, they no longer have legal rights to make decisions for their young adult children. This can become a major issue when it comes to medical emergencies or financial decisions. Our partner, Mama Bear Legal Forms, can shed some light on why getting your legal documents in order before the worst happens is so important!
Summer is an exciting time. For families, it’s time to take that trip they’ve been planning. For new college students, it’s a time of transition and preparation.
For parents, the summer months mean helping their students get ready for the next stage of their lives. For many, that includes living away from the home and city they were raised in for the first time.
As you take care of all the things, big and small, getting your child ready for school, don’t overlook a set of important legal documents that every parent should have in place for their young adult student – a young adult...
With the increase in security measures placed on the registration process, it is important to remember that these steps are being taken to make the test more secure and equitable for the students taking the test. However, this added security comes with a few more steps, and a few more challenges.
The attached sheet has the 2022-2023 test schedule and can also be found here. It correlates with the school year.
To begin the process, you must set up an account for your child. Be sure to use a PERSONAL EMAIL. Your child’s high school assigned email address will deactivate after graduation. If you need to send scores after that for any reason, you may not be able to retrieve a verification code or other important information sent to the email on file.
Use your child’s given name and that accurately matches...
I remember Mary walking into my office. She appeared calm and relaxed, while her son, Michael, was visibly stressed. Mary shared her goals for her son with many specific details: top three colleges to which he should apply, the major he should study, the type of career he should plan for, and the list of pressing items to be handled so everything else could fall into place. I understood her desire to ensure her son had all of the opportunities he deserved or wanted. I appreciated that she had researched schools and the college application process. But, I also felt concerned for Michael’s immediate future.
Throughout the conversation with his mother, I noticed him slump further and further in the chair, the web of his hand cradling his forehead as he gazed into his lap. I see this often, as parents wanting the best and imagining their children living a better life than they did, become the directors while children are merely actors.
We often wish our kids showed more...
Covid has had a really big impact on our children, especially when it comes to volunteer opportunities and applying to college.
In the past, students were able to sign up for volunteer opportunities and resume builders with very few barriers. We now see many students who don’t know what to put on their resume for volunteer work or extracurricular activities. They never had a chance with social distancing and everything being closed over the last few years due to Covid.
Across the board, we have heard that colleges are looking for students who will participate and add to their community. Volunteer work is crucial when applying to colleges because it shows them that you have already taken the initiative to get involved.
Here are some of the strategies we use with our students that have a big impact, in less time.
Senior Centers / Nursing Homes/ Assisted Living...
At KMAC, we use an assessment that's a little bit different to help students find their career or college major. Aside from a standard personality test, we have found it really helpful to make students think about the whole process in a different manner.
We want to ask questions other than, "what do you want to be?" That's kind of overwhelming! Does your child even know all the possibilities of what they could be? Or what they want to do? "I want to be rich. I want to have money. I want to help others." Those are pretty common responses that we get from students, but there are a lot of ways to help others. There are a lot of ways to make money.
Let's ask a different question: what do you want your life to look like?
It's a Wednesday morning. You're rolling out of bed. What time is it? Where do you live? What are you putting on? Are we putting on a suit? Are you putting on a...
Unfortunately, schools only have a limited number of spaces available in their early application pool. Based on conversations with many Admission Directors this fall, I learned that more than 50% of most schools' applicants exceed their student profile. But they still could not accept all of the equally qualified candidates— and some got moved to the deferred pool. These candidates are not denied— they will simply be reviewed again with the regular decision applicants.
However, as an early applicant you still have an edge: you were proactive.
Keep in mind that while you may meet all of their qualifications, schools are looking for students who look like their student body, who add to the class they are assembling. This is no easy task. They are trying to ensure that when they select an applicant, the student is likely...
Imagine: You head over to a friend’s house to help them with their landscaping project. You are greeted by a friend covered in mulch, dirt, and random pieces of weeds. She asks you to move her car from the driveway so the mulch truck can pull in. You happily grab her keys and get in the car, only to realize you cannot move her car. Sure, it has a steering wheel, the key fits the ignition, there is a brake pedal and gas pedal— but there is also a clutch, and you have never driven a stick shift!!
Even though you have driven for years and are a good driver, you cannot perform the simple task of backing out of the driveway and parking in the street because you have not been taught how to successfully manage the transmission yourself.
This is exactly why good students are not automatically successful on standardized tests: they have not been taught the strategies, tricks, or time management needed to crush the test!
Standardized tests intentionally bait...