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College Chronicles: Ready set Educate!!

Updated on April 22, 2015

Thinking is Believing & Believing is Achieving!

College Bound!

Here are some tips when you have a college ready child preparing to transition from high school to college. First tip, it’s never too early to start looking into to colleges. You have heard the saying the early bird catches the worm and it is true in this cases especially when it comes to acceptance, scholarships, fellowships, and many other things. Acceptance letters come in a couple of ways you can apply for early action, which simply means you are applying to this college at the earliest deadline. Then there is regular admission, where you apply with a greater pool of candidates that which to be enrolled in that particular college. So as you have it the odder are a lot higher for those who apply early admission. Now applying early can only get you so far, those grades, activities, interests, and essay take you the finish line.

Don’t be discouraged if you are not an academic genius, maybe that’s not your forte, maybe you are a B-C student, but you very artistically talented in music, chorus, band, drama, or art. Most colleges will require you to audition for scholarships and admission or require a portfolio of your work. Also if music is not your thing, maybe you’re an athlete, then you need to apply for a sports scholarship and should talk to someone preferable in a head coach or someone over the Athletic program as well as admissions and financial aid. Which leads me to tip number two, you must become very familiar with the admissions counselor, financial officer or bursar office, and your department (the name of the school in which you’re major is located under.) Admissions will be able to guide you on deadlines and what they are looking for in their prospective students, because that is what you are until you receive your admission letter of acceptance.

They will be able to give you the heads up on a lot of things. Also financial aid will guide you on things such as scholarships tailor made from the university, there are merit based scholarship and competitive scholarships. Once you have mailed in all your materials to admissions, some schools will offer you scholarships based on your grades, SAT scores, and ACT scores. Bear this in mind if you are offered this scholarship you MUST follow their instructions to accept the scholarship. You may have to turn in a resume, transcript, etc. There is a deadline and if you do not turn in those materials by the deadline the scholarship offer can be resented, meaning it is null and void. Deadlines maybe a meaningless to a teenager, but as a parent, grandparent, older sibling, aunt, or uncle we know their importance and if not met only the prospective student suffers and the adult will incur the financial loss.

Before I get into the financial aid office for your college choice, let me add that one very necessary little big guy we will call him Fafsa, is very important and should be completely as early as possible and treated with the same importance as the admissions deadline and scholarship deadlines. You may qualify for a grant, which is something that does not have to pay back upon graduation, unlike student loans. But as I stated early, the early bird catches the worm, so do them as early as possible. That website is www.fafsa.edu.gov. You will also have to provide the school or prospective school/s you will attend on the online process. You will be asked to create a pin and password. It is very important to make the deadline. You will also have to fill out a section which you may want to have your tax papers handy to make this part of the process smoother.

So, before I move forward with financial aid, let’s recap, there is the admissions application, little big boy Fafsa, and your scholarship deadlines. Now that you have completed those necessary evils thus fare, you are almost there. Financial aid will help you to understand the costs of attendance, what scholarships, full tuition programs, grants, and payment plans if necessary are available for your child. I would strongly recommend you lean if at all possible for full tuition scholarship and other high paying scholarships. They offer away for you to at least pay all or a huge chunk of your child’s education, which will alleviate you of having such a financial burden when sending your child to school. If they have worked hard and busted their butts for four or more years, why not allow them to reap the benefits of their hard work with a free or nearly free education.

Now I will also warn that tuition and fees scholarships and programs are one aspect of student fees, there is also room and board, which may or may not be covered. This is where you may have to absolve the cost, but also a grant or scholarship could come in handy. The monies are out there people, but we have to do the research and work to find them and make the necessary calls to make these things possible. Scholarships can be found in so many different arrays of places from your prospect college financial aid office, the newspaper, your high school guidance office/student services, fastweb, uncf.org, naacp.org, dar.org, etc.

There are scholarships for single mothers, for children with deceased parents, sororities and fraternities participates, children with military parents, people that live in a certain region /state/ county, etc. , There are scholarships for pretty much anything; you can find them online or in your community news. Companies such as At&t have scholarship for employees and their children, so you may check with your job to see what is available, because there may be something in place you do not know about, also banks do scholarships, McDonalds, Walmart, etc. I ascribe to the saying if you don’t know ask somebody who knows.

Now that we have discussed the college acceptance process, I want to suggest that we are not all English majors or possess perfect grammar 24-7, so before your child turns in their essay for the essay portion of their admissions process or scholarship process, PLEASE look over their essay yourself and have an English teacher give it a look over. Then, you give it a once more glance, before you turn it in. And one more tip, take the SAT and ACT as much as possible and be prepared. You can take it more than twice a year, when it may be offered at your school. You can find the other locations on the sat.org website or act website. Also if your school participates in the free lunch program, then your child qualifies for taking the SAT, SAT subjects, and ACT for free twice.

Also, it is possible they will waive your admissions application fee, but you must print out the fee waiver and contact the school to see that they accept it. This is a way you could save anywhere from 50 to 300 dollars from the start. Also there are some colleges that offer the waving of the enrollment fee, because you are a scholarship recipient, but you must check with the college to see if that is available and that is another 150 or 300 you can save. There are some colleges that offer a waving of their application fee on a specific month, but you have to call the school to inquire about whether they do that or not.

Well, folks that brings my rap session to a close for now. I had to learn as I go with my baby sister. So I will say you can do! If you have any questions feel free to comment or contact me directly on my messages Last time bear in mind these months SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER/JANUARY/FEBRUARY/MARCH! Well that ends this segment of College Chronicles I will update you as I learn during this process.

HAPPY HUNTING!!!

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