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Get College Going - August Insights and Thoughts

The College to Career Season is On
College to career planning begins even before the drop of leaves and the shift in the winds. Summer closes, and the seriousness of the Fall returns to households and all who support the education-seeking student. This year, by all indications, will be another fun and exciting experience. To help, I'm flying above the crowd to identify what's on the radar. 


Calming the Waters
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Forty-six million borrowers will return to making their monthly loan payments as the freeze on Federal Student Loan payments ends. Borrowers should assess their financial budgets and eligibility for repayment relief or forgiveness. 

A new group of high school seniors are now entering the three-stage, admissions application cycle, hoping to join the incoming Class 2024. Prepare and apply early. Colleges and universities are now making offers to the highest percentage of applicants who apply in November.

Pop Quiz – How should you begin the college search process? Answer below

Families complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for financial aid from all sources. This year, the application filing date is pushed back from the traditional October start to an anticipated late December-early January 2024. Families should still get a jump on estimating their investment by visiting sampling public and private schools and using their Net Price Calculators. 

The Invisible Student

The Webster's Dictionary defines Stealth as a way of moving or proceeding intended to avoid detection—a term used to describe many college applicants. Today, students must demonstrate their interest in a college or university. 99% of college Admission Counselors, the representatives for students and families, are unaware that they are under consideration until an application hits their virtual mailbox. Students need to use many of the action steps and activities available to show their interest and separate themselves from the field of applicants. Leave the stealth to the military.

Scheduling campus visits is historically a Fall and Spring activity critical to the evaluation and investigation process when learning about college options. It is an excellent drive by experience for 9th/10th graders, mandatory for 11th grade, and necessary as 12th-grade students and families decide on the final cut.   

After paying the tuition, college-bound and currently enrolled families should pause and check resources. Recalculating a family's ability to finance future semesters is critical. Meeting college costs is one of the common reasons students leave school.
Communicating with college-age students can strain parents, especially moms. Creating a plan for when and how to stay in touch can account for the dead space. 

Pop Quiz Answer: Traditional guidance given to 10th and 11th-grade families is to run a college list, visit, apply, and hope for financial aid. The first three are accurate steps, but only after pre-determining a family's ability to meet the cost of education, public and private. You would not buy a $300,000 home without knowing your payment. Finding the college starts here.

Looking for a speaker for your next group, organization, or employee enrichment program? College planning isn't sexy but can raise a parent's blood pressure. Knowledge is power  - Consider the needs of parents of high school and college-age students. They'll thank you!! 

Pivotal College Years
If you're tired of surfing through millions of websites, check out the college planning platform Pivotal College Years. Created by experts who are also parents, the e-library offers reference information, instructional videos, checklists, and workbooks. Use PCY30 for a free 30-day trial at www.pivotalcollegeyears.com

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