The College Whisperer™ | Navigating The Road To College

Just Because You've Applied To College...

October 27, 2022

. . .Doesn't Mean There's Not More To Be Done!

If there's one thing that's true about the college application/admissions/financial aid process, it’s that IT AIN'T OVER UNTIL IT'S OVER! Soooooooooooo...

Keep Guidance in the Loop 
-- Let your Guidance Counselor know where you've applied. Ask that transcripts, Letters of Recommendation, the all-important Guidance Report be transmitted to all schools (make sure Naviance is updated, and any forms required by Guidance are completed and returned).

Read Your Emails 
-- This is the primary mode of communication used by colleges. They may be asking you for additional information, supplemental material, or any number of things that could impact upon your admission and/or financial aid.

Access Your College Web Portals
 -- Colleges ask you to create web portals for a reason: So you may log on and get additional information, complete forms, check your status, find and accept (or decline) your financial aid awards, and so much more. Check the web portal for every college you've applied and/or have been accepted to and do so often!

Complete College-Specific Forms
 -- Many schools have their own forms for financial aid, housing preferences, meal plans, etc. Be sure to fill them out and submit accordingly. [Another reason to visit your web portals regularly.]

Submit The FAFSA
 (and NYS* TAP Application, if applying to a college, public or private, in New York). If not already done, prepare and submit before year end to maximize financial aid awards. [Some schools require the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA. Check college websites for requirements, deadlines, etc.]

*
NYS also offers the Excelsior Scholarship, for students attending a SUNY or CUNY college, and an Enhanced Tuition Award, for those attending participating private colleges in NY. If you meet the eligibility requirements, APPLY when applications for 2023-24 become available.


Review and Compare Financial Aid Awards from All Colleges
 -- Financial aid is typically awarded in the spring for the following academic year. Who is offering what? Most schools offer a combo of scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. See what offers work best for your situation. And never be afraid to negotiate a financial aid award. The worst they can do is say, "no!"

You Have Until May 1 (sometimes later) To Say "I'm Coming"
 -- You don't have to wait until the last minute, but... Wait at least until you have all acceptances and financial aid awards in hand before you accept an offer of admission. The best financial aid offers, and the only viable means to negotiate, come while you still hold all the cards! [Remember: Acceptance and housing deposits are usually non-refundable. And, no, it is not wise (or ethical) to accept an offer of admission to more than one college!]

Once You Decide On A College... 
Congrats! Let them know you are all in. Formally accept the offer of admission (again, see that web portal). Complete and submit all necessary documentation (web portal). Accept (or decline) your financial aid awards (umm, web portal). Read all emails as well as any online instructions as may be received through your web portal (are you detecting a pattern here?). CELEBRATE!

If You Accept Student Loans...
 Student MUST complete online counseling at www.studentloans.gov (using STUDENT FSA ID) AND complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). ParentPLUS Loan? Must be applied for at www.studentloans.gov (using PARENT FSA ID), with an MPN submitted by parent. 

Keep on Searching And Applying For Those Scholarships
 -- Until there are no tuition bills on the horizon, apply, apply, APPLY. There is money out there just waiting for you to get your hands on it! Fastweb. Niche. Unigo. Scholarships.com. To name but a few of the legit college scholarship websites.

Above all, keep in mind that you never have
 to go it alone. Ever! At COLLEGE CONNECTION we are, as always, here to help! Call (516-345-8766). Email (info@collegeconnect.info). Tweet (twitter.com/GetCollege). Send a smoke signal (smoke signal rates may apply). Open your windows and shout (that won't get my attention, but you will feel better :-). 

 

Now Comes FAFSA Time!

October 26, 2022

DON'T LEAVE MONEY FOR COLLEGE ON THE TABLE!

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is required by every college for consideration of financial aid, including Federal Student Loans and Grants, college-specific need-based aid, and, in many instances, merit-based awards.

The FAFSA for the 2023-24 school year is now available. Regardless of State or college deadlines, the FAFSA should be completed and submitted as early in the process as possible in order to maximize financial aid, particularly school-based awards.

For those filing the FAFSA on their own, or simply interested in getting a better understanding of how the FAFSA works, here is a useful resource:

Filing The FAFSA | A Step-By-Step Guide

https://www.parentingforcollege.com/2022/09/21/step-by-step-fafsa-filing/

Whether you prepare and file the FAFSA on your own, or entrust same to our care, both the student and one custodial parent will need FSA-IDs (Usernames and Passwords), this to log in to the FAFSA Application, and then to sign and submit the FAFSA.

Create the FSA-IDs HERE.

If you would like an assist in preparing and/or submitting the FAFSA, or other financial aid forms, give a holler. 516-345-8766. Or email College Connection at info@collegeConnect.info. We are always here to help!

 

 

Got College Plans? Get A College Plan!

October 25, 2022

COLLEGE CONNECTION, Home of The College Whisperer and Official Sponsor of College Admission Success, offers comprehensive college planning and counseling. Guidance and support in choosing a college, getting in to college, and finding the money to pay for college, all while taking the stress, the worry, the frustration and the madness out of college applications and admissions.

At COLLEGE CONNECTION, we’ve not only got your back, we’ve got your best moves forward! 

From college matching to admission strategies, application enhancement to essay development, there is a difference between simply applying to college and actually getting in. That difference is COLLEGE CONNECTION!

Remember, there’s more to applying to college than filling in the blanks on Common App, and more to getting your hands on the money to pay for college than just submitting FAFSA.

So, before the college admissions and financial aid process gets to you, you need to get to us -- COLLEGE CONNECTION!

Call for a FREE telephone consultation. 516-345-8766.   
Visit us on the web at www.CollegeConnect.info

 

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

December 23, 2021

...To Search And Apply For College Scholarships!

While the best time to begin to look for college scholarships was yesterday, the second best time is right now.

Sooooooo, to get you started, here's a short list of scholarship search engines. Sign up. Complete all profiles. Search. And apply, apply, APPLY!


Keep in mind that most scholarships are little more than sweepstakes and contests (all legit on these sites), and take little more effort than completing a simple form. Sure, you can (and should) go for the big money where you qualify. But remember, $500 here and $100 there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money!

There's tons of FREE money out there. Go out and get some for yourself.

Yes, as with anything else worth doing, the process takes a bit of effort and lots of time. And no, I can't guarantee that you'll score enough in scholarships to pay for four years of tuition, room, and board. But I can guarantee that, if you don't apply, you won't get one red cent. As the old saying goes, "You gotta be in it to win it!"

Best of luck in your scholarship search.

Seth Bykofsky
The College Whisperer
516-902-2056
 

COLLEGE CONNECTION

www.CollegeConnect.info

Home ofThe College Whisperer

516-345-8766

 

What High School Juniors (and even Sophs) Should Be Doing Now

December 21, 2021
At COLLEGE CONNECTION, we help you navigate the college application, admissions, and financial aid maze. We welcome the opportunity to work with you, should you choose to use our College Planning & Counseling Services.
 
Meanwhile, you can get a jump start on those college plans.

It's not too early to start planning and preparing for college. In fact, the time is just right...

READ, High School Juniors, This Is Your Moment!

Questions? Concerns? Leftover Mallomars? Give a holler. We are always here to help. 

 

College Connection Nominated As Best College Advisor

October 14, 2021



Who knew? Well, we surmise our clients gave us away. More than a quarter of a century helping students, and their parents, successfully navigate the college application, admissions, and financial aid mazes. So thank you, one and all! [PLEASE CLICK ON LOGO ABOVE TO VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN! :-)]

As for those who have yet to wade into the treacherous waters that are the college admissions game... Whether you're planning for college, applying to college, paying for college, or just thinking about college, COLLEGE CONNECTION, home of The College Whisperer ™, is here to help.

Give us a call at 516-345-8766 for a FREE telephone consultation. And let's get started down that long and winding road (oh, the mixed metaphors :-) to college!

COLLEGE CONNECTION
www.CollegeConnect.info
516-345-8766



 

Today, Long Island. Tomorrow, The World!

August 11, 2021
COLLEGE CONNECTION GETS NOD FOR BEST COLLEGE PLANNING & COUNSELING



For the 7th Consecutive year, College Connection, Long Island's premier college planning and counseling service, has been voted BEST in the category of COLLEGE PLANNING & COUNSELING by readers of Blank Slate Media's publications in Nassau County, NY. 

Check out all categories at BEST OF NASSAU COUNTY for complete list of First Place winners.

Of course, as we always say about those BESTS -- whether colleges, pizza, bagels, or running shoes -- BEST FOR WHOM?

Well, in this instance, whether you're applying to college, planning for college, paying for college, or just thinking about college, COLLEGE CONNECTION has your back, and your best moves forward.

But please, don't just take our word for it. See what our clients have to say. [Click HERE for testimonials.]

Call us today at 516-345-8766 for a FREE telephone consultation. Check out our new virtual Plans and reasonable rates, designed to successfully guide you through the college application, admissions, and financial aid mazes without stress on your psyche or strain on your wallet.

Thank you for the accolades, your votes, and your recognition, as we continue to strive to be the very best in college planning and counseling for our most important clients - YOU!


 

VIRTUAL COLLEGE TOURS | Know Before You Go!

January 28, 2021
Yes, you can (and should) take virtual tours of colleges when you can't otherwise visit campus in person. They're fun. They're informative. And you don't even have to get out of your pajamas (not that you were planning on doing that, anyway).
 
 
 
 
COLLEGE CONNECTION

www.CollegeConnect.info

Home of The College Whisperer

516-345-8766

 

Only The Best!

September 1, 2020

COLLEGE CONNECTION VOTED “BEST OF THE NORTH SHORE*”

And while that and $2.75 may only get us on the NYC subway (maybe), it will get you the very best in comprehensive college planning, counseling & support.

College Matching | Admission Strategies

Application Enhancement | Essay Development

Scholarship & Financial Aid Sourcing

Free Telephone Consultation – 516-345-8766 | Virtual Sessions www.collegeconnect.info

*Best In College Planning & Counseling | Blank Slate Media, Long Island, NY

 

TESTING 1-2-3

May 6, 2020



IMPORTANT | ACT/SAT TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR FALL 2021

Many colleges have changed or are in the process of changing their testing requirements for students entering in the Fall of 2021. Some are waiving ACT/SAT tests entirely, while others are "Test-Optional" or "Test-Flexible." 

You should check the websites (typically under Admissions/Prospective Students) of respective colleges of interest for specific testing requirements.

While not necessarily the gospel, here is a link to colleges that are "Test-Optional" for Fall 2021 admissions. Again, the situation being fluid and subject to change, always check college websites for latest information regarding testing and admissions. https://fairtest.org/university/optional [Current as of May 4.]

Please pay close attention to the particulars. There are sometimes waivers for minimum GPA or class rank, and some schools that are "Test-Optional" or "Test-Flexible" still require testing for specific programs and/or course placement.


In any event, now is a good time to explore all options as you move forward in the application process, such as it is or as it may evolve. Simply putting this out there for those who may have schools on their college lists that, at this time, still require the ACT/SAT for Fall 2021 admission, so that you may plan accordingly. [Assuming there will be ACT/SAT tests in the Summer and/or Fall of this year. Stay tuned...]


Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We are always here to help!


Stay safe. smart. Keep calm.

COLLEGE CONNECTION

www.CollegeConnect.info

Home of The College Whisperer

516-345-8766

 
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