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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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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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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Insider tips for the week of May 31, 2021

college magic

  College magic – Forbes has an excellent article on how college, if done right, can be a life-altering experience with lifelong benefits. Not enough students experience the most important elements of college, what researchers call the “Big Six.” The elements fall into two categories of relationship-rich and work-integrated. This is an important read as…

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Insider Tips for the week of May 3, 2021

student at internship

  3 things to do now for strong HS recommendation letters – Students have experienced online learning and cancelled or shortened extracurricular activities as a function of the pandemic.  Many report that they hardly know the teachers who have taught them this year, and worry that their core teachers don’t know enough about them to…

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Understanding the College Financial Aid Award Letter

  College Inside Track’s Cozy Wittman was recently featured in the Journal of Financial Planning, discussing ways to create transparency for families in the college funding process and better understanding the college financial aid award letter. Cozy explains in detail the college financial aid award letter, tips after receiving it, elements of good and bad…

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Insider tips for the week of January 4, 2021

mom worried about college

  FAFSA changes – The COVID relief bill passed at the end of 2020 also included some significant changes to the FAFSA, including how multiple students in college are treated and how divorced parents complete it. While the changes do not go into effect until the 2023-24 school year, that year’s FAFSA will use tax…

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Deferred at your Highly Selective School, Encouraged to Choose Early Decision II? Here’s What To Do

Deferred at your highly selective school, with an option to choose Early Decision II?  Here’s what you need to know. Colleges have seen record numbers of qualified applicants during the 2020/2021 application cycle, upwards of 25% at many Highly/Most Selective Colleges. Admissions officers have speculated a number of reasons for this much higher rate of…

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