Anatomy of a College Essay

Rising Seniors--it’s time to start working on your college essay.  If that strikes fear in your heart, then I have some advice that may help.  I find the use of an analogy—comparisons that are easy to visualize and understand—and then breaking it down into smaller pieces simplifies this looming task. Let’s compare your college essay to basic human anatomy.  We can easily break the it down into 5 segments or parts of the body that represent essential elements of the…

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Getting Started With The College Search Process

Getting Started With the College Search Process

A common question posed by parents of college bound students is “when should we start the college search process?” The answer: “sometime before your child goes to college!” The point being is that there is no hard and fast one size fits all answer to that question- it is all about each family’s situation and capacity to take on the college project. Findings from the College Parent Readiness Questionnaire (CPRQ) that I developed provide some insight about when the families…

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Is This The Beginning Of The End For Scholarship Displacement?

Is This the Beginning of the End for Scholarship Displacement?

In an unprecedented move, Maryland has just ended a policy which has rattled scholarship recipients for years. It became the first state to banish scholarship displacement practices, and other states may soon follow. After a two-year battle against the practice, executives Jan Wagner and Michelle Waxman Johnson of the non-profit Central Scholarship welcomed the new law that took effect on July 1 and prevents public universities from lowering a student’s need-based financial aid package based on awarded scholarships. And while scholarship foundations…

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PSLF: Tips For Students With Large Government Loans

PSLF: Tips for Students with Large Government Loans

There has been a lot of uncertainty regarding the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program recently. That being said, we think it is likely to remain in place, although perhaps in a modified form.  Accordingly, it is important for borrowers entering public service employment to be prepared. Knowing what to do is especially important when student borrowers run into problems with their loan servicing company. As with any problem, the more you know, the sooner you can take action…

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Make Social Media Work For You!

Make Social Media Work for You!

There are many tips and articles on what you should not post on social media and the Internet, but let’s consider some ways that social media can be used in a positive way. LinkedIn LinkedIn is not only for your parents. This social media tool is an excellent way for you to promote yourself. More and more students are using this site to share their work experience, their successes and resources as well as finding a job. Start connecting with…

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5 Reasons Why Juniors Should Begin Their College Search NOW

Somebody recently told me that they thought talking to high school juniors this early about their college search was just a scare tactic.  The “scare” will be if you put off beginning your college search much past the Fall of Junior year.  Why the rush?  Here are just 5 good reasons:   It Takes Time to Figure Out Your Career Direction Sure, going into college as a “Still Deciding” major is just fine!  And, the more you know about your…

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Parent Adjustment To College

Parent Adjustment to College

Seeing your first child off to college is one of the more significant transitions parents face.   Advice abounds for parent adjustment to college, but as a parent who has been through this stage, I have some advice of my own to share. These tips will be most effective if you discuss them together as a family and agree on the decision. 1.  Accept that You’ll Miss Them If your child is going away to college and living away from home, this…

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College Illinois 529 Plans On The Brink

College Illinois 529 Plans on The Brink

As Illinois colleges come closer to the breaking point from the state’s fiscal crisis, it has just been reported that the College Illinois pre-paid 529 plan is also going broke. Illinois Universities Bond Ratings Downgraded Again MCPT believes the recent downgrade on Illinois’ Bond rating will result in even less students applying for admission at in-state universities in 2018.  This will likely result in lower financial aid offers at other Midwest universities because of the lower demand for Illinois students.…

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If You Don’t Ask The Question, The Answer Is Always No

If You Don’t Ask the Question, The Answer Is Always No

I just explained this quote to my 9-year-old son.  He was puzzled.  What does that quote mean and why should he care? I think it’s an important life lesson; don’t you? It's Always Best to Ask We all have moments where we wish we had asked a question.  For instance, I learned the hard way that I would never get a discount for auto services if I didn’t ask.  I now ask EVERY single time if there is anything that…

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Why Sleep Is A Good Study Habit

Why Sleep is a Good Study Habit

By Guest Blogger Sarah Jones Oops, did you hit another stone while sleepwalking? Do you realize how much your poor sleeping habits are affecting you at school? You might argue that you have lots of assignments and revision to do before retiring to bed but we all know that these are just excuses. If your plan your time well, then you won’t have to be the “last minute” type of student. Below are some of the reasons why you should…

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