The arrival of May 2022 has never been more needed than this year. Longer days and warmer days are upon us as we welcome back the likes of the Red Sox, summer sports, dance recitals, and getting the double-wide family trailer opened at the beach.
In households of soon-to-be graduating seniors, May 1 marked National Deposit Day, the day the Class of 2026 commits to enroll in college. Exciting for students and surreal for parents. The journey to find the right college to start one’s 13th year of learning and personal development is complete. All that’s left is finding a roommate, obtaining medical and legal documents, and finalizing how to pay. Congratulations to all.
If exploring higher education after high school is still being considered, maybe a different path is in order. No longer is it a one-education pathway that fits all. Exploring interests and options to achieve individual expectations and goals is the key.
May is equally important to current 11th-grade students on their threshold, 12-grade. College planning for juniors and even sophomores should be in high gear with scheduled campus visits. Campuses are alive with activities and opportunities. Schedule your on-campus visits now!!
To all the hard-working moms, thank you for your devotion and love. We celebrate you on Mother’s Day and every day!!
Have questions, we’re here to calm the waters. Schedule a Free Consultation
Congratulations – Graduation is in sight.
But, yes, there are a few more things for parents of college-bound students; one critical – is finalizing how to pay the remaining cost to attend.
- Step #1: Using the school’s financial aid award letter, calculate the net tuition price
- Cost – all merit and need-based aid awarded = the net tuition price
- Step #2: Review the financing options specific to your family’s resources – savings, gifts, investment earnings, home equity
- Step #3: Add to the help all external scholarships awarded at graduation or from external sources.
- Step #4: If a balance remains and no other resources are available, families can consider two credit-based loans, the Federal PLUS (Parent) Loan or an Alternative Private Education Loan (student is the borrower; parent is a co-signer).
- Access my Financing Worksheet, which walks you through the process.
Federal Education Loan Freeze
Once again, the U.S. Department of Education (ED), at the request of the Administration, has extended the student loan payment freeze to August 31, 2022. The extension suspends loan payments, drops the interest to 0%, and offers other benefits to delinquent and defaulted student loan borrowers.
While you wait for the thaw, borrowers with private education should investigate refinancing benefits: fixed interest rate, one account, or liquidating loans faster. It is unclear what the political air will be in September, so stay tone.
The on-again, off-again debate goes on. SAT/ACT or not. The pandemic made it almost impossible for students to take the test; high schools stopped offering Test Day, resulting in a nationwide test-optional movement at colleges and universities. Many schools are rethinking their policies and reintroducing the requirement for admission and scholarship awards. What does this mean for 11th-grade students? If you can register and sit for the test, do so. BUT suppress releasing your results. Don’t take the free offer. Tipping one’s hat too early can be a barrier to acceptance!!
Don’t Wait …. Show Your Interest
Today, college-bound 11th-grade students need to introduce themselves and work to educated schools of their interests and academic and personal talents. It’s no secret that colleges and universities purchase students’ names and information. Part of their sophisticated enrollment management plans to target prospective students. But receiving an email or glossy brochure does not define a relationship. Using digital and traditional communication methods, students need to step forward, build relationships, and raise awareness about their interests. It’s critical in today’s college recruitment environment.
9th | 10th | 11th Grades
Five Steps to Planning and Financing
- Learn about costs – in/out of state, public or private, and community college.
- Determine what you can afford – get a pre-assessment of a family’s contribution and financial aid before going shopping.
- Learn how college makes their decisions, acceptances, waitlists, and financial aid awards
- Shop broadly – big, small, known, and unknown; avoid the trap of the rankings
- Create a comprehensive college plan to find the right education, at the right school for the right investment
College-Bound Seniors –
A few more essential tasks to address to ensure a smooth start to the academic year in September.
- Activate your NEW College Student email and ID
- Send in your Dorm Deposit & Find a Roommate
- Register and attend Orientation
- Complete Outstanding Forms (Meal Plan Selection, Campus Security Policy)
- Submit a Student Health Waiver (if the student is covered under a parent’s healthcare plan
- Submit the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Waiver (allows parents to retain their right to view student records after the student turns 18 years of age.
- Health/Immunization Records
- Submit AP/IB Test Scores (Credits)
- Take Placement Tests (if required) + Register for Classes
- Before leaving High School ensure your Final High School Transcript is sent
- Research extra-curricular on and around campus
- Work with your insurance carrier/agent if a car is going on campus
- Shop lightly; pack for the fall
- Enroll and be successful!
Thoughts and Interests from Joanne Light – Parenting Empowerment Coach
Former Vice President of Enrollment Services, North Shore Community College
As parents, tweens, teens, and teachers contemplate a relief from pandemic issues and restrictions, they are also experiencing more stress. Stress is a result of uncertainty and anxiety and right now there is no shortage of causes of that. World unrest, school challenges, financial challenges, relationship challenges – all felt and seen.
However, personal stress is plaguing our tweens and teens in greater proportions. They are facing challenges and worries about identity, social interactions, academic pressure, and future unknowns. So since the world is unpredictable, let’s talk about stress management. First kids need to be aware of their stress and how it makes them physically feel – the racing heart, tightening chest, sweating, and mood changes.
Teenagers’ brains are fast developing, and the fight or flight part of their brain is producing hormones that lead to physical symptoms. They prepare to react to the “danger”. The rational part of their brain is not fully developed, so they may, unless in a calm state, overreact to the “danger” which may be an argument with a parent, an upcoming test, a slight by a friend, an unfinished college application, etc.
Some stress can be a good thing as it motivates planning, practicing, and resilience. Chronic stress, however, for your teen or for you is unsustainable.
There are choices for our kids in coping with their stress, and we parents can model stress management and guide them to make healthy choices. Talk to them openly about healthy vs unhealthy choices. Healthy choices will enable them to gain control and resolve their concerns and minimize some of the stress. The unhealthy choices – drugs, alcohol, poor eating, self-harm, risky sexual behavior, etc. only lead to poor academic performance, regrets, and lower self-esteem. And, of course, more stress.
I will be writing more to suggest creating stress management plans for your kids and for your family. Very important, however, is the example you set in managing your own stress.
Breathe, breathe, breathe…
Visit https://joannehlight.com/ to learn more
This is a new section where we will be featuring information from our colleagues and friends. Individuals who are outside of our lane, but linked through their wonderful work. Trusted partners.
WHAT WE’RE READING & WHO WE’RE FOLLOWING
Trends, changes, and things on the horizon
- Read about the pros and cons of taking a Gap Year. – Bottom line, have a PLAN Gap Year –
- Mental health issues on campuses are real – especially for student-athletes
- SAT changes are coming for 2024 – increased access, digital versus paper, shorter questions.
- New FAFSA rules and guidelines will affect 2023-2024, starting Oct 1
- Always good reading at Grown and Flown; Lessons to learn, conversations before going to college.
College Planning Workshop – LIVE & In-Person – Free
Free workshop for parents of high school students Topics to cover include
- How the pandemic has changed the way colleges evaluate and recruit students
- What not to do with retirement savings
- How to create a plan to find, select, and pay for school.
- There will be ample time for questions!!
Where: Wakefield Recreation Center
When – Two choices – May 17th and 25th from 7 PM to 8 PM
Sponsored by Pivotal College Years Register
The PCY Workshop Series is now available! SMALL online classes with the experts. Topics covering Getting Started, Applications, Essays, and MORE…Register today! https://www.eventbrite.com/o/pivotal-college-years-15529534…
Check out the robust online library of information covering a wide range of topics, before, during, and after college. Resources include videos, PDF downloads, Workbooks – College Essays, Hunting for Scholarship, and other reference information on everything college. College Planning shouldn’t be complicated, intimidating, or expensive.
Use PCY30 for a free trial – Learn more
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