Did you know that college admissions are open now? As we write this, several students are sitting in our office receiving college admissions help as they fill out their Common Apps.
The Common App is a college application that can be used by any of the 693 participating colleges and universities in the U.S. With the Common App opening today, seniors across the country are logging on to get their leg up in applying to their desired colleges. That’s why it’s essential for students not to wait until the last minute–i.e., their senior year–to start their college planning process.
As a parent, you must begin talking about college during your kids’ mid-sophomore year…and actively planning during their junior year. That way, when the Common App opens during the summer between their junior and senior years, they’re ready.
If you’re not sure where to start, a good college planning firm is essential. Beware of college planners that:
- Promise a certain amount of scholarship money
- Claim to know the “secret formula” for admission into certain colleges
- Earn commission on selling policies or plans that are not IRS “qualified tuition plans”
- Offer to double or triple your financial aid eligibility
Rather a good college planning firm will help you find the right school for your educational path (which they will help you vet) at the right price. College is an investment–a tool you use to make an income for yourself in your adult life. It is essential that you find the right career path for you as an individual…but at the right price so you do not take on more debt than you can reasonably afford for the foreseeable future. (Read more about the consequences of that here.)