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Five Steps To Appealing a Financial Aid or Merit Award

Now that students are receiving their financial need-based and merit scholarship awards, it is important to look at the fine print. Colleges typically lump together grant aid, which is money that does not need to be paid back, with loans. When comparing awards, it is important to compare grants to grants and exclude loans from the comparison to truly evaluate which colleges are offering the best financial packages. Once you do this, you might find that your preferred college…

For Seniors: Coping With Financial Uncertainty And Evaluating Options

Evaluating College Options in a Time of Financial Uncertainty

The events of the past few weeks have disrupted plans for a smooth transition to college. Students’ best intentions to complete rigorous courses, take standardized tests on schedule, and participate in meaningful extracurricular activities are all expectations that we now find challenged. Parents’ plans to pay for college using long-term investments may need to be revised. While we are educational consultants,

Financial Aid Changes For Class of 2017: Prior, Prior Year

Members of the Class of 2017 are the guinea pigs for several new initiatives in the college application process. There is the new SAT that debuted in March, the new Coalition for Affordability and Access application platform and now the Prior, Prior FAFSA. So what exactly is a Prior, Prior FAFSA?  

The FAFSA (Federal Application For Student Aid) is the US government’s application form for federal financial aid. College institutional grants, federal grants such as the Pell …

Educational Advocates College Consulting

College Endowments and the Student Experience

“Which college is better?” This question came up in a recent conversation with a family about two universities, one a large state university and the other a large private university. It is a good question to ask, but a hard one to answer since so much of what makes a college “good” for any individual student is so dependent on that student’s needs and interests.

So let’s assume for a moment that a family is evaluating two colleges that they already think are a good fit academically …

Educational Advocates College Consulting

Class of 2013 Admissions: Lessons Learned

Colleges continue to make admissions decisions based on their quest for the best possible students, those who they think will actually matriculate and to some extent, those who are able to pay. Here are some lessons learned from this year’s admissions cycle:

Many Applicants Accepted Early Decision. Many colleges admitted a significant percentage of the class during early decision. While many students try to use early decision to gain an advantage at a college where admissions…

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Decisions, Decisions

On April 1st, the world shifts for high school seniors. April Fool’s Day is generally the final day by which seniors receive their college decisions. Then the tables turn as admissions officers begin their campaign to convince seniors to matriculate at their college next fall. Making the decision about where to attend college is significant. Here are a few considerations for students and families to consider.

1. Understanding the merit scholarship. If you are a strong student…

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College Costs, Part II: Merit Aid and Best-Value Colleges


The current state of the economy has left many college-bound students and their families more concerned than ever about how they will pay for college. In a previous post on college costs, we discussed financial aid and scholarships. In this article, we examine college options for those who are seeking value, and what it takes to be considered for merit scholarships.

Merit Scholarships
Merit scholarships are awarded without regard to a family’s ability to pay …

Worried about College Costs? Tips for Finding Scholarships and Applying for Financial Aid

With the ongoing problems in the economy, it is no wonder that families are becoming increasingly nervous about the cost of college, even if their own jobs and future seem secure. Here are some resources and links for finding scholarships and applying for financial aid.

1. Scholarship search engines. The following search engines require that students complete a questionnaire about their grades and test scores, college and career interests, extracurricular activities …

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