Keeping The Faith In College

Keeping the Faith in College

Keeping your faith alive in college is as important as your intellectual, career and social development.  This can be an exciting, inspiring and challenging time to grow and mature in every area of your life.  In a secular environment, it is easy to overlook this critical facet of college adjustment: your spiritual growth.  A wise campus minister, Fr. Ken Irgaang, once told me, “College is your time to grow spiritually as a young adult, with your eyes wide open; not to follow blindly the ways…

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Find Your Dream Career

Find Your Dream Career

If you haven’t identified your dream career, deciding and major (and a college) can feel daunting. In reality, some teens have a solid idea of what they want in a career, but most really don’t. So, exploring options and finding careers that fit your interest, personality and abilities requires some strategy. So how do you find that right major/right job? Here’s a start: 4 steps to finding the right major: 1. Assess what fields of study you love. You know…

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Can You Trust The College Stats?

Can You Trust The College Stats?

This afternoon I was reading a blog by Jon Marcus (“In new age of college transparency, who’ s checking the facts?”) and was shocked by the number of major universities that are inflating their "college stats" to keep the applications rolling in—and, of course, to maintain their all important U. S. News rankings. Whether it’s average student loan debt, graduate employment rates, or average ACT or SAT scores, it appears that a lot of schools are “cooking-the-books.”  What really stunned…

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Capitalize On Your Extracurricular Activities

Capitalize on Your Extracurricular Activities

By the time my daughter was in eighth grade, she had changed her career choice at least a dozen times. In kindergarten she anxiously proclaimed that she wanted to be a dentist, and by second grade it changed to an architect. We found out later that she had actually grown tired of eating leftovers; she felt that if she became an architect, she could avoid eating leftovers by building a “food court” in her basement. As a parent, you want…

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Despite Savings, Three Year Degree Not Catching On

Despite Savings, Three Year Degree Not Catching On

Three year degree anyone? They are doing it in Europe where it’s routine for students to get their degree in three years. Yes, it means less socializing, fewer extra curricular activities and more homework. Every year, a couple of colleges somewhere in the country will announce that they are offering a "degree-in-three".  The announcement will create the usual buzz in the national press but, in the end, nothing much comes of it.  Even at the colleges promoting three-year degrees, only a…

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Door 1 Or Door 2: The SAT Or The ACT?

Door 1 or Door 2: The SAT or the ACT?

Great news! Unlike the game show set-up, behind either door lies a prize: the chance for your student to impress the socks off the nice folks in higher-ed admissions. With the bewildering array of choices scattered along the pathway to college acceptance, this is one area in which you can't make a terribly wrong move. And what a relief that is. That being said, there is little reason to take both tests. The overwhelming majority of schools require just one.…

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Some Additional Perspective On Outside Scholarships

Some Additional Perspective On Outside Scholarships

After reading Stephanie Kennedy’s blog on outside scholarships, I thought I would jump into the conversation and give some of my own perspective on using them as a valid money saving strategy for college. Know The Limitations Though Stephanie already mentioned that many schools will replace other grants with these scholarships, resulting in no benefit to the family, some will allow you to use them to reduce your student loans.  Still others will apply them to your “unmet need". No…

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Leverage Your Unemployment For Appeals In Financial Aid

Leverage Your Unemployment for Appeals in Financial Aid

If you were unemployed anytime during the three years preceding your base year, that period of unemployment can be leveraged to get you additional financial aid--if you appeal for a professional judgment. The additional aid can help you get through some difficult financial times. Take Action Fast If you want that additional financial aid it’s important that you act immediately after receiving your award letters.  Many colleges will have limited aid left to give out, simply because most of it…

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What If Your Student Is Not Ready For College?

What If Your Student Is Not Ready For College?

Many parents I encounter seem to have some blind spots when it comes to their student’s readiness for college. Their student’s lack of readiness is not usually an academic issue but, rather, a maturity issue. Many students have no idea of what they want to study by the time they arrive on campus.  This, of course, is the reason so many students are taking six years to graduate. If your student is going to be in college for six years because they…

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Third-Party Scholarships In Perspective

Third-Party Scholarships in Perspective

Once you’ve filed the FAFSA and are awaiting your financial award letters from each of your colleges, you can take some time to pursue what is commonly referred to as “Outside Scholarships,” meaning money awarded from outside the colleges. Until recently, I did not see much value in these scholarships for two reasons: a) lots of time invested in internet research and filing with relatively small monetary rewards; b) many colleges did not allow you to apply any outside awards…

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