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JUNIOR COLLEGE NIGHT COLLEGE NOW DAVID MINICH • DEVELOP A SPREAD SHEET DOCUMENT THAT HAS FIVE COLUMNS • COLUMN 1 – BEGIN TO DEVELOP A LIST OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES YOU’RE INTERESTED IN APPLYING TO • COLUMN 2 – ENTER THE WEBSITES OF EACH OF THE SCHOOLS • COLUMN 3 – LIST THE DATE BY WHICH THE SCHOOL YOU ARE CONSIDERING EXPECTS YOU TO FILE THE FAFSA • COLUMN 4 – NOTE IF THE SCHOOL OFFERS MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS. IF YES, LIST THE SCHOLARSHIPS THAT MIGHT APPLY TO YOU AND THEIR DUE DATES • COLUMN 5 – DOES THE SCHOOL REQUIIRE A SUPPLEMENTAL FINANCIAL AID FORM? THE TYPICAL SUPPLEMENTAL FORM WOULD BE THE CSS PROFILE AND/OR THE SCHOOL MAY HAVE THEIR OWN INSTITUTIONAL FORM. • DEVELOP A SAFE SENDER LIST ON YOUR COMPUTER WHERE YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED THE COLLEGE WEB URL’S. THIS WILL ELIMINATE THE POSSIBILITY OF INFORMATION LOOKING LIKE BULK EMAILING FROM GOING INTO YOUR SPAM FILE. • VISIT THE FAFSA (FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID) fafsa.gov. • Emphasis is on the free. Never pay anyone to do this for you. • Use the fafsa4caster.ed.gov to calculate an estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) • FAFSA INDICATED THE INDEX OF YOUR FAMILY ABILITY TO PAY – EFC • THE FAMILY HAS THE FIRST OBLIGATION TO PAY • ALL SCHOOLS CALCULATE THE COST OF ATTENDANCE THE SAME WAY • Tuition and fees • Room and board • Books • Personal expense • Travel expense • THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF ATTENDANCE AND THE EFC IS THE DEMONSTRATED FINANCIAL NEED AT THAT SCHOOL • A FAMILY CAN DEMONSTRATE NO NEED AT A LOW COST SCHOOL, BUT WILL HAVE NEED AT A SCHOOL THAT COSTS MORE • NEED BASED AND MERIT BASED AID IS OFFERED ON AN ANNUAL BASIS • FAFSA IS FILLED OUT ANNUALLY FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE • CONSISTS OF SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS, LOANS AND WORK STUDY VERIFICATION • IF YOU ESTIMATE YOUR FAFSA YOU WILL BE SELECTED FOR VERIFICATION. • COLLEGES AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL VERIFY 3 OUT OF EVERY 10 FAFSAS • YOU WILL BE VERIFIED AT LEAST ONCE IN FOUR YEARS NUMBER IN COLLEGE • USUALLY YOU WILL PUT ONE • IF MORE, PUT THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER • EFC WILL BE DIVIDED BY THAT NUMBER • PRIVATE SCHOOLS MAY ASK FOR VERIFICATION OF WHERE THE OTHER CHILD IS ATTENDING FINANCIAL STUFF • ASSETS – STOCKS, BONDS, SAVINGS, CHECKING - INCLUDED • EXCLUDES THE PRIMARY RESIDENCE • RENTAL AND VACATION PROPERTY INCLUDED IN VALUE • EXCLUDE THE VALUE OF YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS • 529 PRE- PAIDS ARE COUNTED UNDER THE PARENT’S ASSETS • ANNUITIES AND TRUSTS ARE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES • DEBT IS NOT A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE • ALIMONY, CHILD SUPPORT RECEIVED, CHILD SUPPORT PAID, SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICAL EXPENSES, YOUNGER CHILDREN IN PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS ARE PEARLS OF WISDOM • Keep an open mind • Do not stereotype people or colleges • Be realistic, but aim high • Seek advice, but make up your own mind • Do not rely on myths, rumors or anecdotes • Visit the schools where you are applying • Complete your applications thoroughly and on time DO THE MATH • THE SIMPLE MATH OF THE STORY IS THAT APPLICATIONS ARE UP AND SPACES AT COLLEGES ARE FIXED Perfect test scores? • In each of the past few years Harvard has received more than 500 applications with double 800 scores and has accepted just under half of them THE ESSAY – YOUR VOICE • The essay is the most difficult part of the application for most students • Ambiguous writing prompts are designed to elicit how you think and to reveal your personality to the admissions staff • Be sure to answer the question • Use your own “voice” in the process NOT GUARANTEE FOR THE MOST SELECTIVE COLLEGES • No one is entitled to admission to an Ivy League or Highly Selective School • The process is an art, not a science. There is not perfect equation that will equal admission • Many top students across the country are denied admission to the most selective colleges each year “LAST MINUTE THOUGHTS….’ • Remember, this college application process is unlike anything the student has experienced • The stress level for applying to college is high, but it is also an exciting time in students’ lives FINAL THOUGHT • College is a match to be found, not a prize to be won.
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