Doorway to College Blog

Why You Should Start the College Prep Process ASAP

Posted by Allison Wignall

Dec 28, 2016 2:06:22 PM

Shutterstock/Antonio Guillem

There is a common myth floating around that serious college prep starts junior or even senior year—but this is a dangerous mindset that could make you late to the game. In truth, there’s no year “too early” to start preparing for a college education, and we’re here to prove that!

Crunch Time

One of the biggest benefits of starting the prep process early is that you don’t leave everything to the last minute. It can be a major pain to scramble around researching different colleges, compiling applications, writing essays, filing financial aid forms, studying for the ACT or SAT/PSAT (not to mention taking them), and keeping up with regular schoolwork while application deadlines approach.

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Topics: college application, financial aid, scholarships, college visits,, college application essay, PSAT, sat, ACT, College Essay

College Costs: Sticker Price vs. Net Price

Posted by Allison Wignall

Dec 1, 2016 1:22:02 PM

When looking at potential colleges, families often look first to the price-tag associated with the institution—and it makes sense, considering tuition prices have gone up in the last few decades. Some students don’t bother applying to colleges that are “out of their price range,” because even if they got in, they wouldn’t be able to pay for it ... right?

Sticker vs. Net Price

People oftentimes look at what’s called the sticker price, or the published price, of attending a college. The sticker price can frighten off potential students with its high amount. For example, Stanford’s published annual sticker price (as of 2016) is nearly $65,000. That number alone would cause many great students to cross Stanford off of their college list. But hold on, because there’s another, more important price to consider—net price.

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Topics: financial aid, scholarships, college costs, tuition

It's FAFSA Time!

Posted by Karen Nichols

Jan 1, 2016 7:00:00 AM

It’s a new year — time for high school seniors and college students to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for 2016–17. The mother of all Financial Aid forms, the FAFSA is required to access aid from federal, state, and college sources, both need- and merit-based. It is to your advantage to apply, whether or not you think you will qualify. Most college students receive some form of need- or merit-based aid — if they apply.

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Topics: financial aid, FAFSA

Top 5 FAFSA Mistakes

Posted by Julia Wasson

Feb 3, 2015 3:37:53 PM

It's not too late for high school seniors to apply for financial aid for the 2015–16 academic year. To obtain the best financial aid package possible, students must complete all aid applications thoroughly and accurately. This is particularly important for The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which is required to qualify for almost all college aid. Providing incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the application process, allowing others to sprint ahead in the race for a limited pot of aid dollars.

When a student completes the FAFSA, the information is assessed by the agencies and institutions from which aid is requested, so accuracy is important. Following are some of the most common mistakes that students and parents make regarding the FAFSA. 

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Topics: financial aid

11 Things You Need to Know About the FAFSA

Posted by Karen Nichols

Jan 8, 2015 1:54:00 PM

Has your high school senior filed for college financial aid?

The time for high school seniors to apply for college financial aid is now, if you haven't done so already. Most students will receive at least some financial aid — either need- or merit-based — so it’s to your benefit to apply, even if you don’t think you qualify.

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Topics: college tuition, student loans, financial aid, work study, scholarships, grants

The Top 5 Tips for Receiving the Best Financial Aid Package Possible

Posted by Julia Wasson

Dec 2, 2014 9:35:00 AM

Affording college tuition is a top concern for many families with high school seniors approaching their freshman year of college. But increasing your odds of funding your child’s college tuition with a lucrative financial aid package requires taking certain steps — many of them early on in the process.
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Topics: college tuition, financial aid

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