The College Whisperer™ | Navigating The Road To College

Browsing Archive: June, 2010

And The Best Blog Goes To. . .

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, In : College Planning 
P.N. of Searingtown, NY writes:

Are there any reputable and straightforward blogs or online forums offering advice, information and discussions for prospective college students? If so, could you recommend one?

The College Whisperer responds:

Given that blogs and online forums are essentially the opinions of their authors and/or participants, one's mileage, with respect to reputation and straightforwardness (let alone reliability), may vary greatly. Every piece of information happened upon online...
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Late Doesn't Mean Never

Posted by College Connection on Monday, June 28, 2010, In : College Admissions 
S.F. of Syosset, NY writes:

My son, who graduated high school last week, has yet to apply to college. Is it too late to get into college for fall 2010?

The College Whisperer replies:

While last minute applications are frowned upon, and often mean forgoing a college of first, or even second choice, there are literally hundreds -- yes, hundreds -- of top-ranked colleges and universities still accepting applications for admission in the fall of this year.

And not just third and fourth tier universit...
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So Many College Websites, So Little Time

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 17, 2010, In : College Planning 
The Internet is a tangled web, indeed, particularly when it comes to the plethora (SAT word ;-) of college websites, each professing to be the best, to offer the most, and to be the last word in all things college.

Some college websites are great. Others less so. And everyone has an opinion on where to click when researching colleges, developing admission strategies, looking for college planning advice, or hunting down scholarship money.

Higher ed journalist, speaker, consultant, author of The ...
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Who profits from "for profit" colleges?

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, In : College Planning 
E.B. of Lattingtown, NY writes:

What's the story with so-called "for profit" colleges? I thought all colleges were into making profits? Are these institutions legit?

The College Whisperer responds:

With what colleges and universities charge for tuition these days (never mind room and board), one would think they are all "for profit." Just what do they do with all that money, anyway?

Alas, most traditional colleges are not-for-profit as opposed to for profit (not to be confused with the dis...

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A Sherpa's Guide to College Admissions

Posted by College Connection on Monday, June 14, 2010, In : College Planning 
M.S. of East Williston, NY writes:

Do I really need a college planning counselor for my child? Aren't the resources available through her high school guidance counselor, the colleges, and the Internet, sufficient? It all seems so expensive.

The College Whisperer responds:

Back in the day, when the earth was young, and college applications were written by hand and mailed to one or two schools along with a check for $15, a visit to your guidance counselor, along with a thumb-through of the college...
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Beyond Fastweb

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 10, 2010, In : Paying for College 
M.T. of Glen Head, NY writes:

I will be starting my junior year of high school in the fall. Is this a good time to start my search for college scholarships?

The College Whisperer responds:


While most students wait until they are firmly entrenched in their senior year (if then) to begin the critical scholarship search, the earlier the better.

In fact, while scholarships, in descending order of eligibility, are most widely available to high school seniors, college grants and scholarships...
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Move Over, Dr. Phil

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 10, 2010, In : College Planning 
Oprah writes:

Thoroughly enjoy your interesting and informative college planning and admissions blog. The information and guidance you provide is invaluable, and your wit and humor are priceless. In the circles I travel, you are considered the Dr. Phil of the college planning circuit. Keep up the great work, and thanks for the advice!

The College Whisperer responds:

Accolades from Oprah. Wow!

Of course, this is not Oprah Winfrey, but rather, Oprah Silverberg of Munsey Park, NY.

Hey, we'll take th...
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Shop until you SAVE for college

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, In : Paying for College 
M.G. of Jericho, NY writes:

Aside from the 529 plan, which I am currently funding, what other ways are there to save for college?

The College Whisperer responds:

Short of that Trust Fund from a rich and generous relative, one must be creative, as well as diligent, in putting away money for college. This is particularly so in an economy that is less than robust.

Glad to hear you've started saving in a 529 Plan. As discussed in an earlier blogpost, the savings options and tax advantages of a 529 ar...
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A Healthy Mind And Body

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, In : College Life 
R.S. of Woodmere, NY writes:

My child will be a college freshman this fall and is covered under our family health insurance plan. Do we need to purchase health/medical insurance through the school?

The College Whisperer responds:

While one would surmise that a covered person, including a student dependent, would be similarly covered for routine health care and medical emergencies while away at school, as he or she is at home, this is not always the case.

Just as not all health care providers -- w...
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UGMA, UTMA, Uughh!

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 3, 2010, In : Paying for College 
K.B. of Lake Success, NY writes:

I have an UGMA account for my child, who will be entering high school this fall. Should I also have a 529 account? Which is better? Can I rollover the UGMA into a 529 Plan?

The College Whisperer responds:

The old "UGMA versus 529" debate.

Not much of a debate, really, when one looks at the benefits of a 529 account juxtaposed against the drawbacks of an UGMA or UTMA account.

UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act; UTMA -- Uniform Trust -- in some states) is an irrevocabl...
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Uncle, Can You Spare A Dime?

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 3, 2010, In : Paying for College 
T.F. of Glen Cove, NY writes:

What's the difference between a subsidized Stafford Loan and an unsubsidized Stafford loan?

The College Whisperer responds:

Interest, my friend. Interest.

Stafford loans are low-interest loans (5.6% for undergraduate, subsidized; 6.8% for graduate and all unsubsidized), the lender nowadays being the federal government (Direct student loans) through the Department of Education, private lenders having been legislated out of the Stafford loan market.

Aside from interest ...
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I Am My High School Resume

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, In : College Planning 
Jeff of Lynbrook, NY writes:

I am completing my junior year in high school. I've been hearing quite a bit about high school resumes, and how critical they have become to the admission process. Just how important is the high school resume, and what should it contain?

The College Whisperer responds:

Remember when your teacher told you that your high school record would follow you throughout your life?

While most of us are still waiting for that record to catch up with us, the high school resume, o...
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Sink the Senior Year of High School?

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, June 1, 2010, In : College Prep 

Walter Kirn, author of the novel Up In The Air, wrote for The New York Times Magazine:

Class Dismissed

According to the unwritten constitution that governs ordinary American life and makes possible a shared pop culture that even new immigrants can jump right into after a few movies and a trip to the mall, the senior year of public high school is less a climactic academic experience than an occasion for oafish goofing off, chronic truancy, random bullying, sloppy dancing in rented...

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