Monthly Archives: August 2015

College Application Management Tool

I came across makemeafreshman.com and it looks like a pretty handy tool for managing your college applications. (I also asked a couple of high school seniors to check it out and they said the same thing.) It’s a free website in which you enter the colleges to which you plan to apply and it tracks all of the forms and deadlines for each school’s admission and financial aid processes. If you’re working with a college counselor, you can share information with them via the site as well. Plus it tracks standardized test dates, FAFSA deadlines and more. Despite the site being free and offering such robust features, CEO Amy Jeffrey assures me that makemeafreshman.com does not share any user information with anyone except with the user’s permission.

Value-Added College Rankings

There is no shortage of college rankings. While US News & World Report’s ranking system may be the most popular, it might not lead you or your student to schools that are actual fits. After all, US News’ top 10 schools will only admit a total of about 25,000 students each year, so even if one or more of them is a fit, getting in to one of them is roughly equivalent to getting Continue reading Value-Added College Rankings

Elite Schools Without Elite Price Tags

Honors colleges– groupings of high-achieving students within a larger campus– are starting to gain more traction as acceptance rates at elite schools go down and price tags go up. Typically found at large public universities, these colleges aim to marry the benefits of selectivity and academic rigor with the diversity and resources of a larger campus and the price tag of in-state public schools. Continue reading Elite Schools Without Elite Price Tags

Grandparents’ 529 Plan Contributions

It is often more advantageous for parents to own the 529 plans for their students, rather than other family members. (Remember, the parents’ assets are assessed at 5.64% above the asset protection allowance, meaning a $10,000 529 plan balance would increase EFC for the FAFSA by a maximum of $564. Continue reading Grandparents’ 529 Plan Contributions