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Thinking Education After HS - Think Planning

Tis the Season

The joy of the holiday season is upon us all. Excitement and anticipation, the arrival of snow, and waiting to hear the reindeer land on the roof make December a wonderful time. For many, it is the exchanging of gifts, words of happiness shared with family, and blessings to remember those missing.
The excitement holds for high school seniors and those restarting their education pathways. Anticipating the arrival of college admission decisions, an offer of acceptance, and a merit scholarship can be more challenging than waiting to hear if one made the naughty or nice list. The holiday break is also when college students return from campus, many for the first time since departing home. Parents await the arrival in hopes of good tidings and joy.             

Best wishes to all during this joyous season. Keep listening for the bell!

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October PSAT test results have been released.
If your student took the test in mid-October 2021, you should look for your numbers.  
Log in to your College Board account and learn your individual information. 
First and foremost, remember the “P” in PSAT means preliminary. An early view into what results might be if and when the actual SATs are taken in the spring.
So, review them with a broad lens, whether they are off the chart or just below the waterline.



What's ahead – What's the Plan?

Journey Beyond High school
Gearing up for the most exciting time of a student college life, the Spring semester & walking at graduation needs to include the career search. Now and through the Spring semester, college graduates should take the time to kick start their job search and create a preliminary financial budget. Start networking, schedule informative conversations, and seek out introductions to the hiring manager. Also, remember if you financed your college experience through education loans, repayment begins six (6) months after you graduate!! Walking across the stage with a job in hand makes graduating even sweeter.

Exiting College
College, work, blend of both, what's the discussion at the kitchen table? In my private practice, graduating in May of 2022, some students are college-bound, still wrestling with the idea, another group pausing to enter the workforce, attend an apprentice, or serve their community. Today, the education to career pathway is opening up new options to meet the demands of family's and society. But and this is a big but, whatever the direction, it's essential to have a plan.


I've been writing about the FAFSA for the last few months. Numbers are still down as many as 30.3% have completed the application. So, even with my crazy math, 69.7% of this year's senior class does not need financial aid to pay their college costs? It takes 30minutes to complete. It is the door opener to tuition assistance.www.fafsa.gov.ed




But what about your grades? - Asked Mom and Dad?                          
For sure, the holiday break is a time when new, first-year college students return home for the winter break anticipating good food, long naps, and reconnecting with friends. I've navigated the "how are you doing" conversation more than once as the parent of four. I've learned (the hard way) as parents we need to have patience.  Yes, it is incredibly vital to know how the new college student is doing, especially if assistance is necessary; however, cracking the shell may require time. Trust me. You can watch and listen to nonverbal, but try to avoid the Q & A session on the travels home from campus. They're with you till January. 


College Planning Tips for the Month

December Checklist 
Senior Year 

  • January deadlines -  September 2022 college-bound students need to have their applications in before the holiday break. In my practice, I am recommending everything to the school counselors office by Monday, December 20th.
  • Hunting for Scholarships - once the applications are in, the idea of searching for scholarships should begin. Step One, make time to speak with your school counselor to get the list of local scholarships awarded. We'll be publishing our Scholarship Workbook - Watch for an announcement.
  •  Are You Still Thinking? – Pathways to education after high school are not always the traditional way, and families should consider the path best suited for the student based on interest, goals, and financial resources.
  • Engage Your Admission Representative – two students of equal character and academic profile. One has developed a relationship, shared thoughts on attending, and their talents and treasures…. who might get selected?  – Don't be an unknown applicant!

Junior Year

Along checking the list, planning February road trips, and crunching the numbers, high school Juniors and their parents have lots to do at this mid-point of the academic year. Consider:

  • Check academic progress and seek out extra help in a subject where potential can grow
  • Discuss thoughts on the post-high school journey, is the pathway still the same?
  • Sharpen the financing pencil; education savings strong, need for tuition assistance and credit a possibility?
  • Speak with returning college students to get their perspective on their semester. What have they learned?



Not to be forgotten, parents of middle school, ninth and tenth grades should be taking the time to begin road test plans for the future. It is amazing how fast the calendar turns and before you know it, it's cap and gown time. Are you ready for the road?

  1. Are you saving for college at the pace needed to cover costs?
  2. What financing strategies – moves might apply to your family now, and in the next six months?
  3. What post-HS education pathway is your student leaning towards now?
  4. Is it time to boost academics through tutoring - academic coaching?
  5. How much is known on how tuition assistance works at the college level?

Take the complete test – start here



A lesser-known provision created through the CARES Act signed into law in March 2020 allows an employer to make up to $5,250 in student loan payments for an employee annually. Funds traditionally tied to tuition benefits for new educational courses can now shift in this new direction. Until 2025, funds reallocated to help employees with education loan debt are considered tax-free and excluded from employer payroll tax. So if you're struggling to hire or retain employees, this might be your differentiator. https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/employer-pay-5-250-annually-190007628.html



Federal Student Loans Return to Repayment January 30th
Education Refinancing is Still Hot
Managing Repayment in General
Complete and File the FAFSA


Finally, in this season of giving, let's all make a donation to a local non-profit, an organization helping our citizens, next door or around the US.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to a fantastic 2022!!



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