Uncategorized – ( College Prep Answer)

The average length of time to earn a bachelors degree is SIX years!!

By on Apr 4, 2017 in Newest Article, Uncategorized - ( College Prep Answer) |

Working during HS to set a goal is KEY to graduating in FOUR years  I was recently asked by a very experienced, elite tutor if making a goal really makes a difference. Here’s what I told him – and his colleagues…    Over the years, I have found it essential for students to have a goal, even if it’s a bit “fuzzy.” Having a goal in mind motivates students to improve their scores, more deeply explore a field (which also demonstrates that they are working beyond their regular schoolwork. Also, they look at colleges differently when they visit because they are much more engaged in the process and are better able to differentiate the type of learning environment they prefer.    The student’s desire to go to x,y, z schools because they have great programs in his or her field(s) of interest is a concrete motivator to keep grades up, take demanding classes, and to be well prepared for the various tests. If they have any tier one colleges/universities on their list, students will have a focus and a drive to go above and beyond the offerings of their high school, which is something the top schools expect. Sometimes the students learn that they don’t like whatever the field was as much as they thought they did. Sometimes they shift to an adjacent field, while other times they make a significant change. It costs you nothing to change your major while you are in high schools whereas it can significantly increase your costs to do so while you are in college (about $50,000 for one additional year of college and $100,000 for two).    In all cases, students come to better know, and be more comfortable with, themselves. Their confidence is boosted. Even learning what you don’t like and where you don’t thrive is beneficial self knowledge. I turn the college selection bit on its head, to some extent. Rather than thinking that the name brand schools (top tier or most highly ranked, or best reputation in their geographic area…) are the ONLY options, they more critically evaluate possible schools and the departments within them and only allow the schools best suited to their needs to be included on their...

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Catholic Colleges & Universities

By on Mar 29, 2017 in Newest Article, Uncategorized - ( College Prep Answer) |

Catholicism itself aims for a deep understanding of all creation in order to bring people closer to Jesus Christ.  Hence, intellectual pursuit has been a hallmark of the Church’s existence over the past two millennia.  Consequently, many scholars, Catholic as well as non-Catholic, attend Catholic educational institutions at every level from kindergarten to post-doctoral studies. The Catholic Intellectual Tradition began in the first centuries after Christ’s death. It is identified by two characteristics: the classic texts, art, architecture, music, science, and technology to be cherished, studied, and handed on as well as the holistic way of considering those things that is the fruit of centuries of experience, prayer, action, and critical reflection. The 264 American Catholic colleges & universities have a wide variety of strengths and specialties.   For some, adherence to the teachings of the Catholic Church is a very high priority.  These schools encourage living in a Catholic manner with their dorm and campus policies. Like all Catholic schools, these institutions are open to students of all, or no, faiths.  These schools include: Ave Maria UniversityBenedictine CollegeCatholic University of AmericaFranciscan UniversityUniversity of DallasWyoming Catholic College Some Catholic colleges and universities are highly selective and offer some of the most academically rigorous programs in the country.  These schools accept students with very high test scores, GPAs, and significant extracurricular accomplishments.  Among these are: College of the Holy CrossFordham UniversityGeorgetown UniversityMarist CollegeSanta Clara UniversityUniversity of Notre DameVillanova University Additionally, a number of highly selective non-Catholic colleges have strong Catholic communities on campus, including: Barnard CollegeColumbia UniversityCornell UniversityDuke UniversityHarvard CollegeLehigh UniversityMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyStanford UniversityUniversity of PennsylvaniaUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUniversity of VirginiaVanderbilt University Numerous Catholic colleges are generous with need based financial aid. Most or all of this aid consists of scholarships, grants, and work study, none of which needs to be repaid.  These are a few very generous Catholic institutions: Boston CollegeCollege of the Holy CrossGeorgetown UniversityThomas Aquinas CollegeUniversity of Notre DameLoyola U. of MarylandCollege of St. BenedictSt. John’s University (MN) Lastly, a number of Catholic colleges have highly rated online degree programs.  These include: 1 Villanova University2 Georgetown University3 College of St. Scholastica4 Duquesne University5 Creighton University6 Gonzaga University7 St. Mary of the Woods8 St. Joseph’s College (NY)9 Wheeling Jesuit University10 Misericordia University In conclusion, Catholic colleges &...

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New Financial Aid Rules & SAT date Add STRESS to the Application Season

By on Feb 14, 2017 in Newest Article, Uncategorized - ( College Prep Answer) |

New Financial Aid Rules & SAT date are Adding Stress to the already Stressful Application Season The Class of 2017 was the first to experience the new FAFSA schedule, with the federal financial aid application being available for the first time on October 1st rather than on January 1st. This change was touted to be beneficial to both families and the financial aid offices.  Another change was the use of the prior-prior-year’s (PPY) income information.  This alleviated the difficulties which arose when the IRS couldn’t process returns fast enough to get the information to the FAFSA processor and, in turn, to the financial aid offices, to ensure that financial aid awards would not need to be adjusted once the information was available.  By using 2015 tax return information in October, 2016, the IRS had sufficient time to process those returns. Because of those changes, financial aid awards were expected to be sent out to applicants much earlier, allowing families more time to determine how to take care of their portion of the bill.  Financial aid officers had hoped to have more time to counsel parents and students, helping them find a satisfactory solution.  However, as of mid-February, students are not reporting receiving their awards yet.  Most are still awaiting the news. Hopefully this is due to the adjustments needed in the financial aid offices and earlier awards will be forthcoming in subsequent years.  After all, many colleges and universities have long set their next school year’s tuition rates in January.  That process will need to shift to September or earlier in order to enable the financial aid office to create award letters as early as November.  Down the hall, admissions offices are already preparing longer marketing campaigns to entice admitted students to commit to their schools.  Families are often surprised to see the admissions letter contain information regarding submitting a deposit to commit to the school since the financial aid award hasn’t yet been received.  But this is standard practice.  Remember, colleges are businesses trying to attract customers/students.  Now that the FAFSA can be filed any time after October 1, this year’s seniors found themselves extra busy during the early months of the application season.  Since many schools with early action and/or early decision admissions programs required the FAFSA to be filed by November...

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