Been quite a week for kids in high school (and the parents who love them).
In the past few days…
– 9th, 10th and 11th graders who sat for the PSATs got their scores (here’s a link to a short video we created so you know how to interpret them)
– 12th graders who applied ‘early action’ or ‘early decision’ went into College Admissions Hyperdrive – hitting ‘refresh’ over and over again waiting to learn their fate at some of their top choice schools (see below for partial list of where Your College Concierge (YCC) kids will be headed next Fall)
And that just got us to this afternoon (Thursday)…
Yup, we’ve been buried.. But here’s the pay off:
Though it is still VERY early and pre-appeal, our 12th grade students are already receiving offers that range anywhere from $3,500 per year from a popular public university to as much as $50,986 PER YEAR (from a Northeast private school) in Institutional grants and/or scholarships. (see actual list of schools below)
So, how did they do it?
How did these seniors, in the midst of testing, studying, working, applying to college and submitting financial aid applications, get offers before many of their peers have submitted their last (or maybe even their first) college application?
More importantly…how can YOU do it, too?
The answer is simple (not easy, but it is simple).
What they did is this: they took our classes and participated, followed the instructions, had really great attitudes about the process and realistic expectations of their prospects… and they took action.
That’s what really sets anyone apart, right?: doing something with the information you receive – taking action.
Most of you know that the one thing that we drill into all of our families’ heads is to be early on everything.
– Education plans in place by the end of 10th grade.
– Testing strategies implemented in 11th grade.
– A focused, targeted list of colleges and programs that meet both academic and career needs AND family’s budget identified before the end of 11th grade.
– First application essay written BEFORE 12th grade starts (we offer a summer program that enables YCC students to get ‘submit-ready’ before the Fall).
It’s always advantageous to get your stuff planned, completed and submitted early when it comes to post high school educational options. Not only will you get the decision makers when they’re fresh and less stressed, but frivolous mistakes are known to happen when you wait to do things for college at the last minute.
And acting early (like many of our students did) is also the best way to stack the admissions and financial odds in your family’s favor. Which you need, both to avoid a slippery slope of onerous student debt and to mitigate disappointment (yes, disappointment is a part of this process – and a part of life – but with appropriate action it can be mitigated)!
The reality in higher ed today is that there are more applications submitted than ever before, and therefore there will always be some head-scratching moments when it comes to what moves the needle on multiple, equally qualified candidates. BUT, MANY schools will also compete for you as much as you will compete for them. How they compete is in the form of scholarship and grant offers. So, if you implement the right strategy, there will also be multiple great colleges competing to match your criteria and your budget. Remember, all colleges discount – just not for the same reasons or for the same students.
Consider, for example, that 2/3 of students will pay less than the sticker price for an education, often a LOT less. In fact, 40% of families who earn more than $100,000 are eligible for financial aid and other institutional financial inducements or discounts. If you know where to look…
But the rules are complicated. Most families leave thousands on the table because they don’t understand the nuances of those rules (or they don’t take advantage of them in time).
By breaking down the process and learning the rules of the college game before you fall in love with a school, families can ensure that their children will get a great post high school education.
You can graduate from a school in 4 (not 6) years, with a degree that fits your strengths and that you can use in the real world… and save thousands off the sticker price. But this does not happen automatically.
For most families, regardless of income or student academic prowess, there are a number of strategies to increase your child’s odds of having multiple good and AFFORDABLE educational options to choose from.
As with most things, the earlier you start, the more strategies you will have at your disposal.
Our students know that many of the best scholarship awards are given on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which colleges will do this for you?
You can, but if you want to get multiple good offers, with the maximum discount you can achieve, then you must have all of your academic and financial information organized WELL BEFORE you even think about submitting an actual application.
In this sense, if you’re in high school and are planning to go to a 2-year, 4-year or vocational college, you are already on a deadline. 10th graders are about to enter the ‘prior prior’ financial aid look-back period. Most of the scholarship and grant offers you’ll receive will be based on your income from January of your 10th grade year to December of 11th grade.
Bottom line: before you fall in love with a school, you need to take control of the process.
After more than 10 years and 1200 students, we know that a great and appropriate post high school education, one that will meet your child’s unique needs and your family’s budget, is out there for you.
Here’s a small sampling of where this year’s YCC class may be heading next Fall. Congrats to All!:
Babson College, Boston College, Boston University, Chapman University, Drexel University, Emory University, Flagler College, Florida Gulf Coast, Fordham University, Hofstra University, Indiana University, Loyola Chicago, Loyola Marymount, Loyola New Orleans, MIT, Notre Dame, Oglethorpe, Penn State University, Pitt, Rutgers University, Stanford University, Stetson, Syracuse University, Tulane University, University of Arizona, University of Central Florida, University of Chicago, University of Delaware, University of Denver, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of North Florida, University of Tampa, University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin
We encourage you to learn about how the process works today and take action to make sure it winds up working for you!
Finally, an important note on getting ‘deferred’.
Getting deferred does NOT mean the same thing as being rejected. We have already had two students go from ‘deferred’ to ‘accepted.’! That said, it does mean you’ll have to live with the ambiguity of ‘wait and see’, which we know is much easier said than done! There are many reasons for a ‘deferred decision’. Among them: they want to see your 1st semester grades, they had more applicants than anticipated and they’re waiting to see the size of their overall applicant pool to manage their ‘Admit Rate’. Perhaps they are waiting to see who withdraws now that binding Early Decisions have been received to manage their ‘yield.’ Or perhaps we’ll never know.
If you have been ‘deferred’ AND it is truly a school that you want to attend, you should a) let your school counselor know and b) send a brief, polite note to your Admissions rep (you should already have been corresponding) that lets them know that you are still very much interested in attending. YCC students should contact us and we will review your options together.
We want to wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas, and to all our readers a New Year filled with good health, good fortune and good times…and admission to your first choice school.
Peter and Jill