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...
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...
Test optional means you do not need a test score attached to your application for your application to be considered complete and reviewed for admission. It does not mean that students without a test score will be reviewed in the same way, despite what some colleges advertise. Unfortunately, human judgment will still play a huge role in admission decisions during this coming application cycle. So much so that many admission reps at selective schools have shared with KMAC that if they took all of their applicants and spread them out in a room again, they are likely to select completely different students because the majority of their applicants are so similar in grades, test scores, resumes, and awards.
What we have witnessed repeatedly is that students who submitted test scores, even when their scores were slightly below the average for a school, have been granted acceptance at a much higher rate than students who do...
One of the goals of high school is to prepare students for the “next level” of education, but the reality is that the "next level" is different for everyone. Not all careers begin with a 4-year degree. Some require a post-graduate degree (which means more than 4 years!), or maybe a 2-year degree, technical or trade school, apprenticeships, or none of the above! The question becomes, how do you decide what kind of school or training you should pursue?
You work backwards!
So many students assume that the next step for them is applying to college at a 4-year school, when they should really be thinking about what they ultimately want to do with their lives. By choosing a career end goal, a student can piece out what steps they need to take in between where they are now and where they want to be.
Your child has been asked this question since they could talk. And while their answers may have changed from the princess, dinosaur,...
Financial aid is money to help pay for college!
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 41% of students graduate college within 4 years. With each additional semester, tens of thousands of dollars add up. According to data from the University of Texas, those who graduate in 6 years instead of 4 spend 40% more than those who graduate in 4 years.
Multiple things can cause this, but a few of the most common reasons are changing majors, transferring, or taking unnecessary courses.
Many times students choose a college that they know little about. Their entire decision may be made based on a one-time visit or virtual tour. Many students forego the time consuming process of researching important information, such as:
Setting your child up for success this year is less about the trip to Target or Walmart and securing the box of Kleenex for the teacher and checking off the rest of the supply list! Instead, creating an environment that is conducive to learning is what you need to focus on.
So you have your kid registered for the One Week to Perfect essay writing class, but you have absolutely no idea when they should be done with their essays. While we aim to have at least three essays completely finished by the end of the week, some schools require a number of supplemental essays and application materials. When should you have those in?
Parents of seniors are feeling out of the loop right now. There may be some anxiety, some frustration, and a lot of misunderstanding the admission process. I find that parents are usually all over in the understanding of best practices— especially this year. It's been years since they have applied to college; since when did everything get so difficult?
I have interviewed dozens of admission reps from schools all over, and their recommendations allow us to better help your child gain admission to their first...
The last time I walked into Target, I knew something was different. Gone were the displays touting fun in the sun and red-white-and-blue. The pool toys were on clearance, and there was not a bathing suit to be found. It's the most wonderful time of year for an educator: back to school season.
But what does that mean this year? What does back to school mean in the era of COVID-19? Should you be factoring new masks and hand sanitizer into your school supply lists, or should you be getting ready for a new round of home schooling? We've taken the most common options that schools are exploring for next year and broken down what they might mean for your kid.
Virtual, In-Person, Hybrid, A-Day/B-Day, Option for In-Person or Virtual, etc... The options discussed have been all over the board, but why is there no consensus? Potential health risk to students, teachers, and the community, number of teachers on staff, quality of education, and cost all have a role in what administrators...