Getting the Best Education With a College

Are you prepared to send your child to college? Knowing which academic institution can hone the talents of your child is challenging if you have no direction about the current college admissions landscape. There is no use starting the admissions process early if you do not know which colleges can offer vast opportunities for your child. In addition to this, the college entry process can be complex. For students and their parents to go about this correctly, they will need to hire college counselors.

Reasons to Hire a College Counselor

A college admissions counselor can help you in many ways. This professional can make sure you have a good choice of college for your child. A professional counselor can also lessen the stress brought about by the long and tiring admission process. It is no wonder many families seek the help of private consulting companies.

You may have specific requests with academics, athletics, and other learning needs. A college admissions counselor can check various colleges with special programs for your child. This assures your kids that they will go to a school that best suits them. Part of the duties of college consultants is attending many conferences and visiting campuses regularly. They should have a wide array of professional resources and a wealth of experience with high school preparations and organizing admissions requirements.

Counseling Services Outside School

The ratio of counselors offering college counseling to students in many high schools is extremely high. In most cases, they reach 500 students to one counselor. Because of this, school counselors do not have enough time to individualize the process for their students. Even the most experienced high school college counselors may have difficulty dealing with too many students. They may not provide enough care and attention your child deserves.

Most of the time, schools assign in-house college counselors to do other additional tasks at their high schools. Some of these include guidance counseling on personal formation, scheduling appointments, conducting career and personality tests, and record keeping. They do not have time to attend conferences and college tours. This results to poor relationship with admission representatives. As a result, they are outdated on recent college admission news and admission requirements.

This is one reason parents have to look for college admissions counselors outside the school. Most prefer working with both in-house and private counselors. Most professionals offering counseling services in high schools follow strict rules, requirements, and job description of their schools.

The additional insight private consultants offer can be a good asset to in-house counselors who must write hundreds of recommendation letters. The relationship maintained with a private consultant can remain confidential depending on the discretion of the family. The release of any information is also dependent on the family’s decision.

Useful Reminders

If you are planning to hire reputable college counselors, get those who visit different colleges. Get one who knows how to prepare college lists, assist with college essays, and work on activity resumes. Your chosen consultant should know how to advise on campus visits, letters of recommendations, interviews, summer programs, and internships. They should also have an understanding of what admissions personnel want in their candidates.

Financial Aid For College

If you are looking for college funding sources, the first thing you need to do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA). This is the form used to apply for all types of state, college and federal grants, scholarships and student loans. You will receive a report showing the amount your family will contribute towards your college education. The financial FAFSA office in your college of choice also uses this report to determine your eligibility and calculate your financial aid package.

If you want to improve your options and the total amount of funding you receive, you need to be careful when selecting the college you wish to attend for the overall FAFSA application process. You can also request a review of your funding package if you feel that it is less than the total amount you deserve based on your family’s situation or other economic factors.

Excelling in academics and other extracurricular activities will improve your chances of funding. Throughout your high school career, strive to achieve above average grades and test scores so you will be able to meet the standards for merit based scholarship programs. Most colleges and universities have personal finance options for the best performers but you have to maintain top grades throughout to qualify for the scholarship programs every year.

If you excel in a certain sport or any other extracurricular area, this can increase your chances of winning scholarships and financial funding as it makes you stand out from the rest of the applicants. You will also be eligible for athletic scholarships and other special programs.

Your choice of college will also affect the college financial aid you get. If you are willing to pursue your studies anywhere, consider enrolling in colleges and universities located in more remote locales. You may find that these colleges and universities charge lower and offer more attractive college financial aid options to attract more students. You will also face less competition in these colleges than if you were to attend popular and competitive colleges such as Harvard. It is also not wise to ignore private colleges altogether. Some of these are willing to make significant tuition fee reductions especially if you are an above average student.