SCV For Parents
Apr09

SCV For Parents

Guiding your teens out the door and on the road to college: Moms and Dads, this section of the Smart College Visit (SCV) blog is for you! Here you will find a list of the top posts in our For Parents category. We wanted to make to it easy to access the content that is most relevant to the role parents play in the college visit, search, and admissions process. And, by the way, Hats off to you for being on hand should your teen need a nudge or guidance along the way! We love getting your stories! Click here if you’d like to share your story with us and please check out our Parent Advocate program. We’re to help! Choosing which Colleges to Visit: The 5-Hour Drive Limit When Your Child Turns 18 and Goes to College: What Parents Need to Know Western Michigan University – A College Visit Story College Tour Tip: Let the Kids do the Talking Don’t Pick a College Sight Unseen Top 5 Questions to Ask about Financial Aid: Parent-to-Parent If you have a question you’d us to answer, just click on Smart Q&A to submit and we’ll take care of the...

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High School Spring Break Campus Visit Planner
Mar13

High School Spring Break Campus Visit Planner

High school spring break weeks are fast approaching and if you are thinking about visiting colleges over break, it’s time to turn thoughts into action.

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Top 5 Questions to Ask about Financial Aid: Parent-to-Parent
Feb16

Top 5 Questions to Ask about Financial Aid: Parent-to-Parent

Planning to visit the Financial Aid Office on your next college visit? Here are the top five questions to ask according to Suzanne Shaffer, founder of Parents Countdown to College Coach. Shaffer, a parent-turned-coach on navigating the college maze, developed the Parent Countdown to College Toolkit to help families better understand the entire college admissions process. She suggests parents keep these questions in mind as they plan their next college visits and encourages them to take the time to schedule an appointment with the school's office of financial aid. 1. What are your financial aid deadlines? In addition to deadlines for the standard financial aid applications: the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and PROFILE, the financial aid application service of the College Board, colleges may also have their own deadlines and forms. Be sure to ask if the school's financial aid forms are different for need-based and merit-based aid when the deadlines are. Note many schools have declared March 1 as their priority filing date for financial aid. Be sure to confirm each school's priority filing dates. 2. What is your Cost of Attendance (COA) for the current year?  There are precisely six components to a college student's complete budget: Tuition Fees Room and Board College Textbooks and Supplies Personal expenses Transportation Many proposed budgets only include Direct Costs (which are the first three items listed) and typically what you will pay directly to the bursar's office. However, the U. S. Department of Education requires that colleges fully inform you as to all of the above costs, so find out specifically what those amounts are to establish a complete budget for college expenses. 3. How much of an increase in the COA do you project for next year? When you ask this question, be sure to request the specifics related to each cost component. Tuition and Room and Board increases are independent of each other. For example, one school may expect an increase of 5 percent in tuition and fees, but a 10 percent increase in Room and Board. This information will help with budgeting but also gives the financial aid officer the impression that you are an informed parent. 4. Are you able to meet 100 percent of financial need? If they say "No," find out why, and get details. Is the policy based on "first come, first served?" What's the average percentage of need the school can meet? What percentage is in the form of grants and how much is in the form of loans? Is there a dollar amount left as a gap (unmet need) for everyone? Do they include Parent Loans (PLUS) in...

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