Monday, January 18

College Planning - Insider Tricks & Tips! {GIVEAWAY}

As the homeschooling community continues to grow, one of the biggest concerns we hear from parents is that they don’t know what to do for the transition from high school to college. Here are some lesser-known things to keep in mind...

Choosing a College

  • College Scorecard is a mandatory stop for college shopping.  It has a searchable database that is composed purely of facts and data.
  • If you’re transferring colleges, you’ll definitely want to read TheTransfer Playbook: Essential Practices for Two and Four Year Colleges for a smooth transition….bonus points for reading it before entering your first year of college!
  • When visiting, ask specific questions of your tour guide and any faculty you meet.  
    • What will professors do to make child’s life HARDER?  To push them to work harder and think smarter.
    • What percentage of undergraduate classes are taught by instructors who are not full-time faculty?  Does this vary by department?  (Specifically ask about the department your child is interested in attending.)
    • Ask the student tour guide about the biggest clash of ideas s/he has witnessed in a classroom and how diverse thoughts are handled on campus.
    • The student-faculty ratio is not a golden measure.  Some faculty go on leave, and some team teach (and only show up occasionally, but this lowers the ratio).  Some undergraduate classes are huge, while graduate classes may be one on one – again, skewing the ratio. 
    • Also, how is faculty defined when determining ratios?  Are graduate students and adjuncts included?
  • Personal preferences…
    • Are you more likely to skip class if you’re just a face in the crowd?  Do you need the accountability of smaller classes?
    • When you enter dining hall, do you want everyone to know you, some folks to know you, or no one to know you?

Making Financial Decisions

  • Every school maintains a Net Price Calculator somewhere on their website.  You input your financial information, and the calculator spits out an estimate of what the school would ask you to pay if your child attends.
  • publishes numbers on how sports scholarships stack up (and they are audited for accountability).  But keep in mind that only 2% of athletes get any kind of financial aid, and just a very tiny percentage get a full ride.
  • Use Financial Aid Letter  for help with understanding award letters, which can be very confusing!
  • You have the right to appeal a financial aid award.  Document everything, including short term disability (like pandemic unemployment), medical expenses, foreclosure, legal fees, natural disaster…anything that affects income beyond the black and white numbers…include homeschool out of pocket expenses, rising cost of living, and other children in college as well.

Look for more in-depth discussion of this topic and more in Through the Door: Homeschool to College Success! This book & worktext set will help you and your high school student breeze through the steps of college and scholarship applications, as well as brushing up on study habits and life skills. The worktext includes activities, worksheets, and planning pages, and accompanies the book.

Giveaway!!  One reader will win a copy of Through the Door.  Enter to win on the Homeschooling Upper Grades landing page!

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