Insider tips for the week of October 4, 2021

campus visit

  10 things to know about getting into your dream college – Eric Hoover shares 10 takeaways from his hundreds of interviews with admission deans. Our favorites: Express your authentic self, don’t take rejection personally because admissions officers aren’t looking for students that just fit one description, and colleges want to be your first choice.…

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Insider tips for the week of September 6, 2021

admission road map

  Mission drives admission – Rick Clark writes a wonderful piece explaining why certain students get admitted when others don’t, and encourages students to consider what their mission in admission is before applying anywhere. An important read to share and discuss with your student.   Why undecided is a great college major – Dr. Deborah…

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Jay Benanav Q and A: Your High School Senior and Imminent Financial Aid Tasks

  College Inside Track founder and nationally recognized college admissions financial aid expert Jay Benanav responds to a few of the moment’s most pressing financial aid issues, in this wide-ranging interview:  The need for conscious student responses to financial aid questions on college applications, how need- and merit based aid configure with financial form (FAFSA…

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Insider tips for the week of August 2, 2021

writing college essay

  3 college statistics to know if you want to pay less – Many families only look at college statistics in terms of getting into college, when they are just as important in determining how much they pay for college. DIY College Rankings covers three big ones to understand.   5 best essays – The…

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College Inside Track Alumni Newsletter – Summer 2021

woman reading book

  6 things you should never do as the parent of a college student – Check out Lori Smith’s advice on how to let go of the bicycle seat and allow your college student to be independent.   Moving off campus – how to help your student do this well – Deborah Porter shares 5…

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Insider tips for the week of June 28, 2021

girl pretending to be scary

  FAFSA changes delayed – The significant FAFSA changes recently approved by Congress will be delayed by year, due to the complexity of overhauling the entire system. Federal Student Aid (FSA), the agency in charge of implementing the changes, said they will now be rolled out for the 2024-25 school year. The earliest families can…

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FAFSA changes

FAFSA changes passed by Congress

  The COVID relief bill passed at the end of 2020 also included some significant changes to the FAFSA. While the changes do not go into effect until the 2024-25 school year, that year’s FAFSA will use tax information from 2022, so there are nearer-term considerations. And because the FAFSA is completed each year a…

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College Planning Changes for Grandparents

grandparent happy about fafsa changes

  The stimulus bill passed at the end of 2020 also included some significant changes to how grandparent contributions are treated on the FAFSA. According to financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz, cash contributions from grandparents, including distributions from grandparent-owned 529 plans and direct tuition payments to colleges, will no longer hurt a student’s eligibility for…

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FAFSA change for families with multiple students

multiple students

  At first glance, the recent changes to the FAFSA appear to be a good thing: A simpler form with far fewer questions, increased financial aid eligibility for low income families, and a formula change reducing any penalty for grandparents who contribute to college. But another formula change could prove to be extremely painful to…

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ACT canceled – What am I supposed to do?

ACT canceled woman showing frustration on her face

Your high school student wants to apply to Flagship U, which despite the growing list of test optional colleges and universities, still requires the ACT.  She was registered for an earlier test, but a global pandemic rudely interrupted our lives and the ACT got canceled. Okay, you thought, we’ll just sign up for the June…

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