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561-509-0021 | 833.MY.ESSAY brabin@collegecareerconsulting.com

Greetings Students and Families,

Whether you’re a senior in the middle of college applications  and working on your college essays, or a junior getting ready to think about “Colleges and Majors That Fit You”, the cost of a college education is most certainly on your mind. First, a quick reminder on some factors to consider in selecting majors and colleges — please consider clicking on links above or view my video – a quick start to understanding how to learn more about finding college and major.

Financial Aid, FAFSA, Scholarships, Bright – Futures & Pre-Pay College Plans

Twice a year, I provide extensive details on everything you need to know to understand how your financial aid is determined, how to negotiate your financial aid and how to select colleges that will offer scholarships based on your profile. In case you’ve missed those three resources, please click here:

Financial Affordability-that was my message in COLLEGE PLANNING- YOU CAN AFFORD COLLEGE– FINANCIAL AID DISCOUNTS!  Every family faces unique financial circumstances and we factor those into the choices of where to apply and enroll.If you’re ineligible for financial aid, or find the cost daunting- understanding how to access scholarships and financial aid will reduce the stress that results from mis-information and yes, being an easy target for “scholarship and financial aid scamsters!” THERE ARE MANY CAMPUSES PROVIDING an EXCELLENT EDUCATION offering deep discounts on tuition given your “admissions profile”.

College advisor Bonnie R. Rabin with a client

In COLLEGE ADMISSIONS TIPS: FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS–PART 1- WHAT TO KNOW?!  I spelled out many of the important considerations and factors to understand how financial aid and merit based scholarships are awarded.  In particular, in Part I clarified the importance of early academic planning because doing so will increase a student’s chances of acceptances that will include scholarship assistance.   IN  COLLEGE ADMISSIONS TIPS: FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS–PART 2- THE DETAILS! FAFSA, EFC, CSS PROFILE?! The key take-away- early academic planning increases your chances of acceptances that will include scholarship assistance.

As noted, College Admissions is “need-blind”.  There is no adverse impact on admissions if you apply for financial aid. Likewise, you don’t increase your chances of admission being a full-pay student.
There are two sources of funds:
Need based financial aid
          and
     Merit based Scholarships.
If you’re a senior family getting reading to apply for financial aid when FAFSA opens– and whether your situation seems straightforward or there’s something unique (divorce, separation, high medical bills, downsizing, job loss, supporting an extended family member) – please reach out to discuss how to apply for aid and how to properly alert colleges about your extenuating circumstances.  CONNECT Bonnie Rabin, PhD.  

SHOULD I APPLY EARLY DECISION (ED)?

In my upcoming blog, I’ll be discussing some of the factors that influence whether to submit your college application as an Early Decision applicant- including myths about the unavailability of financial aid for ED  applicants. You can rest assured, if you are a qualified applicant and a college is truly and unequivocally your first choice, there will be no less of a financial aid package provided to you as an Early Decision (ED) vs. Regular applicant.  The risk you do run however of applying as an ED applicant is missing an opportunity to leverage and negotiate any financial aid package offer against comparable financial aid packages. If your family is eligible for financial aid, then ED may not be your best approach.  If your family isn’t applying for financial aid, and the cost of a clear first choice “Reach” college is on your radar, ED is a great college admissions strategy. I don’t recommend using your ED “raffle ticket” on a “match” campus.  Confused – let’s have a conversation- click to connect with College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD – 30+ years experience serving clients Nationwide in all majors.

Public Within-State Tuition vs. Private Out-of-State

Whether you reside in Florida with access to the Bright Futures plan, or have saved for your state’s tuition program within your state’s plan -including the NY 529 plan, Colorado Plan, or California State Tuition plan, every family faces choices about how to determine if the state public flagship university is the best “fit” compared to a more costly pricey institution.  Fit – again means academic, social and financial. This is why building a COLLEGE PLAN early is essential –doing so increases your chances of a college acceptance in more selective colleges and will better position you for scholarships overall. Scholarship funds are provided to attract quality students regardless of financial need.

Most public universities are large institutions- many provide an outstanding education.  But your student’s academic profile may not be strong enough for acceptance to the flagship or even a few other public universities within your state.  Maybe your student isn’t interested in attending and wants to leave the area. Maybe your student isn’t well-served by attending a larger (20,000+) campus.

Every family has to answer a few basic questions and in my subsequent blog, I’ll also be addressing this difficult issues not only from the financial perspective- but the wider academic issues of public vs. private education.

  • If the best available within-state public institution our student will likely gain an acceptance to costs “X” dollars — how much more  can we afford and are willing to pay if there are more selective and stronger educational options available at $ x+ y?   For example, your student can be accepted to SUNY Binghamton, UCLA or the University of Florida – but could attend an Ivy League or other highly selective and outstanding university.   How much will / can your family invest in this option? The early you’ve build your college plan- the more likely scholarships will become available to make this possibility a reality.
  • How much less selective or a comparable college relative to our state;s public institution might be on the radar if there were financial aid/scholarships available?  Maybe our state public institution isn’t a good social or academic fit–how much will /can we afford or how much might be needed to make comparable or other institutions viable choices.Let’s discuss your situation and find the best fit for your family!

Bonnie

COLLEGE ADVISING SUCCESS ISN’T LIMITED TO COLLEGE ADMISSIONS OUTCOMES. YOUR EXPERIENCES THROUGHOUT HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD ENSURE A SEAMLESS TRANSITION TO YOUR UNDERGRADUATE COMMUNITY. A SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL & COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PLAN CREATES OPPORTUNITIES THROUGHOUT HIGH SCHOOL FOR ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL GROWTH, PREPARING YOU FOR SUCCESS.

WHAT’S YOUR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PLAN?

Best wishes for a fabulous school year!
Bonnie
Bonnie Rabin, PhD
Educational & College Admissions Consultant
Serving Students of All Majors – In-Person South Florida & On-Demand Nationwide
833.MY.ESSAY or 561.509.0021
Professor Emeritus & Cornell Alumni Rep – 30+ Years Experience