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Associate Director of Admissions Radford University Douglas Brady.

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Presentation on theme: "Associate Director of Admissions Radford University Douglas Brady."— Presentation transcript:

1 Associate Director of Admissions Radford University Douglas Brady

2 How college can change your life

3 College is important Unemployment rates are directly tied to your level of education Studies consistently show that attending college adds to your lifelong earnings Difference between a high school graduate and a four-year degree – between $800,000 and $1 million 3

4 College is important 4

5 People who have attended some college Report higher levels of job satisfaction Typically live healthier lifestyles Enjoy benefits such as insurance, paid vacation, a retirement plan, etc. Are more involved in their communities through higher levels of volunteering and voting It’s true—college is important! 5

6 Choosing the right college

7 Many choices There are over 6,000 colleges to choose from in the United States With this many choices, where and how do you start to look for the college that is right for you? Before you start searching, think about your goals 7

8 What are your goals? Some students already know they want to Learn a trade or enter a specific profession Obtain a degree, maybe in a specific field Not sure about your goals? College is a great place to explore your options Goals can change while researching colleges About 80% of college students change their major at least once 8

9 Choosing a college Narrow down your list of potential colleges by identifying the characteristics important to you Factors some students consider Program or major you are considering College size Class size Location or distance from home Support programs 9

10 Choosing a college Additional factors to consider Campus culture Extracurricular activities Religious or cultural affiliations Cost of attendance Ultimately cost matters but Think about cost when making your final decision, not as much when starting your search Consider your net out-of-pocket cost, not just the sticker price 10

11 Researching college choices Parents and school counselors can help There are many college search web sites All these sites allow you to search for colleges based on the factors that are important to you 11

12 Your college applications Each college has its own requirements for completing the application process These can include Completing a short form and taking a placement test at a community college Submitting test scores, essays, reference letters and a portfolio at some colleges Check each college’s web site for requirements 12

13 Your college applications Determine college application due dates Postmark date or arrive by date Note on your calendar Read the directions carefully Ability to follow directions correctly is part of the acceptance criteria Meet the application deadlines Each college sets its own deadline 13

14 Your college applications Application fees Most colleges have an application fee Many colleges will waive the fee You may have to submit SAT or ACT scores Transcripts References/recommendations Essays Other evidence of talent 14

15 College entrance exams For many students, the admissions process includes taking college entrance exams PSAT or PLAN – “Practice” tests for the SAT/ACT Placement tests SAT or ACT Disability accommodations and fee waivers are available 15

16 College entrance exams SAT Measures conceptual thinking rather than facts Critical reasoning, math, and a required writing test ACT Measures what you learned in high school English, math, reading, science and optional writing test Depending upon your learning style, you may perform better on one test versus the other 16

17 Your college applications Transcripts Official high school transcript needed for each college application College transcript also required if you’ve taken any college courses Transcript is used to document your GPA, class rank and the rigorousness of your high school program Many acceptances contingent on maintaining GPA Most require a final high school transcript 17

18 Your college applications References Usually from teachers, other adults and peers Allow plenty of time Give as much information as possible Include stamped, pre-addressed envelope Write thank you notes to your references and let them know when you get accepted 18

19 Your college applications Admissions essays Stay on topic Essays should be error free Don’t exceed the word limit Be yourself 19

20 Your college applications Other evidence of talent Portfolio Audition tapes Writing samples Contact specific program for more information 20

21 Any questions?

22 Paying for college

23 Sources of college funds – 2012 23 Source: “How America Pays for College”, Sallie Mae, 2012

24 Your college costs Which college would cost you the most to attend? Example private college - $55,850 Sample state college - $19,619 The answer seems obvious, but it isn’t as simple as comparing these numbers 24

25 Your college costs When you look at the costs listed on the previous slide, you are looking at the college’s “sticker price” More formally known as “Cost of Attendance” (COA) Consists of direct and indirect costs Direct costs are paid to the college Tuition and fees Room and board if living on campus 25

26 Your college costs COA also includes indirect costs Room and board if living off campus Books and supplies Personal expenses Transportation Allowance for dependent care Loan fees Cost of a personal computer Costs related to disability Reasonable costs for study abroad 26

27 Your college costs Comparing COA – the “sticker price” – of various colleges does not give you an accurate picture of what it will cost to attend Can get an estimate of net price by using your college’s “net price calculator” You find out the actual net price by applying for financial aid 27

28 About the FAFSA FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid Determines eligibility for Most federal financial aid programs Many state financial aid programs Much of the aid colleges award from their own funds Some scholarship programs Colleges may require additional forms to collect more detailed data 28

29 About the FAFSA FAFSA asks you questions about Income Assets Family size Number of family members attending college Number one reason people don’t file a FAFSA They assume they are not eligible for aid This may be a costly assumption 29

30 Cost of not filing Each year 1.7 million students who would be eligible for financial aid do not file a FAFSA 33.1% would have qualified for a Pell Grant 17.1% would have qualified for the maximum Pell Grant award Also missed out on potential aid from the state, the college and many scholarship providers 30 Source: Mark Kantrowitz, “Reasons Why Students Do Not File the FAFSA”, January 2011

31 About the FAFSA Three versions of the FAFSA Online – PDF FAFSA – Print from your computer Paper FAFSA – Call 800.4.FED.AID It is always free to complete the FASFA Online version is best Built-in edits make it easier to complete accurately Sign it electronically with your PIN obtained from Faster results 31

32 FAFSA help is available You can receive in-person help in completing the FAFSA at a “ 2013 Super Saturday” event Financial aid professionals will help you complete the FAFSA online The date for 2013 Saturday, February 9, 2013 Details at 32

33 Navigating financial aid After completing the FAFSA, the student receives the Student Aid Report (SAR) Correct any errors and return SAR contains Expected Family Contribution (EFC) FAFSA information is also sent to the colleges you listed to receive the data 33

34 EFC determines aid offered COA (Cost of attendance) — EFC = financial need Financial aid office will then determine the student’s eligibility for federal and state financial aid, and for any aid the college may be able to offer from its own funds Financial aid office may ask for additional information Student will receive an award letter 34

35 Types of federal financial aid 35 Need-based federal aidNon-need-based federal aid Pell Grant SEOG Work-study Perkins loan Subsidized Stafford loan Unsubsidized Stafford loan PLUS loan TEACH grant There are additional Federal financial aid programs, most of which require you to file a FAFSA

36 Virginia grants summary Virginia Commonwealth Award VGAPVTAG Award based on NeedNeed and meritAttending a VA private college Eligible schools VA public colleges Participating VA private colleges Maximum 2012-13 award Up to tuition and fees Up to tuition, fees and books Approximately $2,800 Other information Neediest get largest awards Must maintain a 2.0 college GPA Must be full- time student 36

37 Understanding award letters Read your award letter carefully Could be either on paper or online Follow instructions for next steps Meet all deadlines Inform college of changing financial issues 37

38 Understanding award letters What if it’s not enough? Research private scholarships Consider any potential employer benefits Check into college tuition payment plans Make financial aid office aware of changes in your financial situation Reminder – you must complete the FAFSA to be considered for most types of aid Consider part time employment during college 38

39 Any questions?

40 Scholarship searches & scams

41 Scholarships A form of gift aid – money given to students that doesn’t have to be repaid There are lots of different types of scholarships You don’t always need a very high GPA to be the greatest athlete Diligence and perseverance are great tools when applying for scholarships 41

42 Scholarships An estimated 45% of college students receive scholarship funds Average scholarship amounts received 4-year public college = $4,876 4-year private college = $14,016 Community college = $2,929 42 Source: How America Pays for College 2012

43 Popular scholarship sites Three good and legitimate sites Fastweb – College Board – – Many other scholarship search sites but Avoid paying a fee Keep an eye out for possible scams 43

44 Other scholarship resources A successful scholarship search extends beyond the Internet High school counselor May have a list of local competitions Check with other area high schools College/University Financial aid office Check within your major 44

45 Other scholarship resources Family and friends Employers Religious, civic, and community organizations Foundations Military Public library 45

46 Successful scholarship candidates Apply for many different scholarships Request application allowing plenty of time to complete application requirements Turn in error-free applications Follow all application directions Watch out for the fine print Keep copies of completed applications Be thankful and gracious 46

47 Scholarship applications May need to provide Proof you have filed the FAFSA Essays/personal statement Letters of recommendation Examples of work in specific study area/portfolio SAT/ACT scores Transcripts Interview – in-person or phone 47

48 Watch for scams You’re guaranteed to win or your money back You can’t get this information anywhere else Give us your credit card number to get started The scholarship will cost some money You are a finalist (for a scholarship you didn’t apply for) If it sounds too good to be true Come to a free seminar We’ll do all the work for you 48

49 Tips to remember Scam mailings often sound and look official Expect winning notification from legitimate scholarships via mail not by phone Watch out for 900 area code telephone numbers Always walk away from high pressure sales Be wary of endorsements 49

50 When you win What to expect Congratulations letter – keep a copy for your records! High profile scholarships may include follow ups May need to send transcripts and proof of enrollment Fulfill obligations – such as thank you letters Check may be sent to you or your college College may adjust your financial aid award 50

51 Any questions?

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