As spooky as Halloween can be, what may be even scarier are approaching college application deadlines! Non-binding Early Action deadlines for most colleges occur in November and may leave students scrambling to get all documentation in on time. Non-binding Early Action offers a great opportunity for students to submit applications early and learn about admissions decisions before those in the regular decision pool, typically by January 1st. In our "instant gratification" world, it can be so frustrating having to wait until March to find out about admission, so Early Action can be very helpful for students who have a strong transcript through junior year and are ready to apply. Be cautious of the difference between Early Action, which is non-binding and simply allows students to find out an admissions decision earlier than usual, and Early Decision, which is binding and requires students to commit to the Early Decision college if admitted and withdraw applications from other schools.
October also brings a frighteningly awesome new financial aid opening date for the Class of 2017. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on October 1st for the first time ever, giving families the option to apply for financial aid earlier than ever before. Most admissions offices I have spoken with are aiming for earlier financial aid package release dates as a result of this earlier opening date, with many hoping to release aid packages around the same time Early Decision and Early Action applicants are informed of decisions. We will have to see how it all shakes out, and admissions offices have cautioned these anticipated release dates are goals and not guarantees, but applying for financial aid earlier rather than later can only help students and families with need this year.
If you need help avoiding the tricks of the college admissions process, give yourself a treat and make an appointment with The College Scout today!
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Out-of-state Tuition Waiver Scholarships - Cypress TX Educational Consultant, College Consultant, SAT Test Prep, ACT Test Prep
When creating college criteria lists with my clients, many families request state colleges exclusively within the state of Texas because they believe the cost of attendance will be significantly lower than public schools in other states due to the high cost of out-of-state tuition. However, many public universities, especially in the south and mid-west, offer out-of-state tuition waiver scholarships to students with strong test scores and above average GPA's. For strong students who want to attend a public university, the best financial bargain may actually be outside of their home state, which is a surprise to many parents. Thoroughly exploring out-of-state public university options is always wise, especially when cost of attendance is a top priority.
How should students begin researching out-of-state tuition waiver scholarships? Information can be found on the homepage of university financial aid or scholarship departments. It is important for students to clarify with admissions representatives whether these scholarships are competitive in nature, require an additional application, or if they are automatically awarded based on test scores, GPA, and/or class rank. Of course, I would be happy to do the research for you! Sign-up for a free introductory appointment now!
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Tips for Appealing Financial Aid Packages - Houston TX, Cypress TX, Tomball TX, Klein TX, Spring TX, Katy TX College Consultant, Educational Consultant, Financial Aid, Scholarships, College Essay Writing, SAT Test Prep
Financial aid can be a confusing and frustrating process for all involved, and one that invokes great anxiety at the end of senior year when students are trying to decide where they will attend college. When it comes to scholarships and financial aid packages, I am a big proponent of pushing students to ask for exactly what they need and want, plowing ahead with the knowledge the answer may still be a big fat NO but understanding they will certainly never receive a positive outcome unless they try.
I used this strategy myself as a prospective college freshman when I did not meet the testing requirements to earn an academic scholarship to the school of my choice. I had cultivated a personal relationship with my admissions representative, and in April when no scholarship offer arrived in the mail, I gave him a call and asked for one, just because. The fruit of my labor was a small scholarship which covered just books and a few fees, but hey, every little bit helped.
What happens when a student's financial aid package and EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) is still not enough to cover the cost of attendance to a student's college of choice? There remains a financial gap which must be closed somehow. Though there are a variety of creative ways to attempt to fill that gap, the first thing I urge my students to do is attempt to negotiate with the college financial aid office. Time recently published an article succinctly summarizing some best practices for appealing financial aid. Being specific about how much is needed and giving details about the unique financial situation of a family is especially helpful for financial aid counselors trying to close the financial gap of prospective students. Providing proof of academic achievement in senior year and noting the college is a student's top choice for enrollment can provide further clarity for professionals evaluating a situation. Check out the article and good luck out there!
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Cypress and Houston TX College Consultant: Apply Texas Application Announces New College Essay Topics for Class of 2017
Apply Texas has announced three new essay prompts for students applying for admission to college in the fall of 2017 and beyond. The new topics mark the first change for Apply Texas in several years, and the application is used for all public state universities in Texas as well as many private Texas colleges.
The new essay prompts are as follows:
Topic A: What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family, home, neighborhood, or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
Topic B: Some students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. If you are one of these students, then tell us about yourself.
Topic C: You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?
Each university has different essay requirements for admission and scholarship consideration, so be sure to check the essays required for your specific college and major. The Apply Texas application goes online August 1st for the Class of 2017, but working on college essays well in advance of the application opening date is strongly recommended.
The College Scout offers Essay Writing and Application Packages to help Cypress and Houston area high school students prepare college essays and applications, in addition to Comprehensive College Consulting Packages which include essay and application help.
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