2021-2022 – Over

We congratulate our graduating seniors, high school and college, as the school year ends. The Class of 2022 and their younger classmates have overcome unprecedented personal and academic challenges. They have championed through and demonstrated resilience and determination. Parents, educators, and members of the family support network, we thank you for the gifts you provide to the lives of your children and students.

Special shout out to Mariana, Hannah, Michael, Franklin, Brooke, Derek, Celeste, Jack, Cameron, Sofia, and Valerie. You are all going to be very successful in September and throughout your four years of college.

Spoiler Alert
The journey is still underway. Take time to break, relax and recharge, but don’t lose the momentum from the spring. Here is my summer 360-degree FAMILY planning checklist:

College Graduates

  • If you do not have a job lined up, look to your resources and network for introductions and help to schedule informational meetings. Relationships and contacts created through the likes of LinkedIn, friends, and relatives can make your job searching process quicker and easier.
  • Leaving college with educational debt means repayment begins in November. Use the early summer months to learn the rules of repayment and your loan benefits to effectively prepare to manage your loan obligations. Don’t forget to create your new financial and lifestyle budget.
  • If the following steps are a graduate school, find your path and start the application process (again).

Returning College Students

  • Take a minute or two to investigate your financing plan for years two, three, or four. Is it set in stone, or are modifications and changes needed? If needed, schedule a meeting with financial aid to discuss changes to your family’s picture and the potential need for more assistance.
  • Spend time researching scholarships. Yes, private philanthropic donors set aside funds for returning college students. Not hundreds, but maybe for you. Sign up for Pivotal College Years and download a copy of their Scholarship Workbook – www.pivotalcollegeyears.com
  • Need help academically? Hire a tutor/coach to boost your academics

Incoming First-Year College Students

  • Complete the tasks and assignments required by your college or university. Many of these responsibilities are explained at the orientation or found in the student portal. Final transcript, immunization records, course selection, and resolving tuition bill payments are some of your to do’s
  • Find a job or continue to work where you were during high school. Spending money will be needed during the years.
  • Tuition bills are coming – step back and review your financing strategy to ensure the resources you plan to use are still possible.
  • Keep reading and learning – especially for young men

High School Students

  • Rising seniors, you should be focused on perfecting your college list, kick-starting your Common Application, continuing your communications with your schools, and brainstorming for your essay.
  • New 8th to 11th-grade students, your focus varies but should include frank and realistic conversations regarding setting goals and expectations, the ability to finance college, and the type of education path ahead.
  • These are challenging discussions but a must. The rules for admissions and financial aid have changed. Understanding the rules and how they apply to a student and a family’s needs is critical.
  • Visit Pivotal College Years or your high school website to download grade-level checklists that outline the college planning process’s over 150 tasks, responsibilities, and activities.
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.
Anything Else

Education Loan (New) Interests Rates
U.S. Department of Education released the 2022-2023 interest rates for the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. The rates are effective as of July 1 for 2022-2023.

  • Direct Student Loan for Undergraduate students – increase from 3.73% to 4.99%
  • Direct Unsubsidized Graduate and Professional students – increase from 5.28% to 6.54%
  • Direct PLUS* Loan for Parents of Dependent Undergraduate and Graduate students increases from 6.28% to 7.54%
  • The Origination Fee charged at first disbursement is 1.05% for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and 4.22% for Direct PLUS loans.

Keep in mind that the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is credit-based and not automatically available as it may appear on some college financial aid award letters. Although credit eligibility is considered less stringent, applicants can’t have an adverse credit history.

Add a copy of the Practical Funding Workbook from Pivotal College Years to your resource library.

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

For you, your clients, and employees!

Excitement of May

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.

National Testing
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.

Planning Checklists

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!

Partners Corner 

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.

 

Events

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 

SUMMER CLINICS

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

For you, your clients, and employees!

 

Get College Going

When you need that one-to-one support. We advise and guide parents; coach and counsel students.  We’re industry experts and parents, just like many of you.

If you are feeling paralyzed or have a sense of anxiety, start a conversation – Follow us, and ask us questions

If you find our newsletter and information helpful, share it within your community and workplace.

 

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Copyright © 2020 Get College Years  All rights reserved.
Schedule a Free Consultation
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tom@getcollegegoing.com

One Month to Go – May 1st Approaches

One Month to Go – May 1st Approaches

Gardens are returning to their luster, greenhouses are restocking, and the grower in all of us is ready to plant some seeds.

Families of high school seniors are on the doorstep of closing out their journey. May 1st, National Deposit Day is just around the corner, and crunch time is upon them. Big decisions, exciting decisions are just a few weeks away.

Those in the wings, 9th, 10th, and 11th-grade students and their parents, are activity working and may be experiencing a little anxiety.  The business of college planning does not take a break.  The journey to find the right education, for the right reason, at the right school, and for the best investment is a 360o experience.

Getting to Yes

Finding a college starts with setting goals, identifying needs, and understanding expectations, which are realistic and authentic. It is a process of meeting admission and financial aid administrators, visiting campuses, speaking with students and faculty, and looking at the surroundings. It’s students performing a little self-evaluation on what might be one’s academic interest and families questioning where they can afford college.

Seniors and their families that have traveled this exciting journey are now reaching the end. In my private practice, I ask all students to consider five categories. Compare the final choices to determine which one checks all the boxes using the categories. It’s time to say yes to the college.

Which school will provide a student with the chance to?

  • Grow academically, technically, and personally, bringing them to the next level, prepare for graduate school, or enter the workforce
  • Provide an environment to meet personal needs; remain healthy, in mind, body, and soul
  • Make introductions to individuals who share one’s passion for learning and socialization
  • Be affordable with the right financial support to minimize personal debt level
  • Offer internships, access to alumni, and foster completion – graduate in four years
Comparing Offers is Critical

April is also when the eyes of students and families turn to finalize strategies to finance college. Comparing offers is critical, and sometimes, the first choice is the most expensive. Many award letters look the same; however, a deeper examination reveals differences. How do they compare? As shown in the chart, looking deeper into the configuration of the awards, differences do exist. Although the sticker price is never the actual price, what are the contributing awards that make up the net price?

Note: If an award letter includes a Federal PLUS Loan, which is a credit-based loan, this loan is not a guaranteed award. A separate application and approval process is required.   

 Don’t Wait for the Bill – Are You Ready to Pay?

They will be arriving in July, if not sooner. What is your financing strategy? Will it be a monthly payment plan, alternative private student loan, savings, or a combination? What is the debt tolerance level if borrowing is the only resource? Email team@pivotalcollegeyears.com receive a free copy of the Pivotal College Year’s College Funding Workbook.

9th | 10th | 11th Grades – No, I Haven’t Forgotten You

What is the WHY for attending college after high school? Your tasks and activities to answer the question should be in high gear. Enrolling students in challenging curricula for strong grades (GPA), curating personal development, reviewing testing strategies, exploring talent, and investing to give back or work should all be on the table. Here are six core parts of a successful college plan:

  1. Understand college costs, tuition assistance works, and what will is expected – financially.
  2. Learn the supply and demand side of higher education?
  3. Work on student development; academic, personal, talent, and civic.
  4. Don’t fall to social pressures; celebrate the authenticity and needs of the student.
  5. Define and map out the Admissions and Financial Aid Strategy
  6. Be known as a student of interest, especially to schools of interest.

Don’t wait for the plan to come to you. Seek out the guidance, advice, and resources to create and manage a successful college plan. A click of your fingers – and it’s the senior year!

Consult an Independent Education Advisor

Everything begins with a conversation. Need help calming the waters, getting started, or just answering questions. We’re here to listen, focus on needs and expectations, and help students and families manage realistic and holistic college planning, before, during, and after college. PLUS, we’re parents just like you!

Four Leaf Clover – Nah – All About Planning

Know how the industry works

Rank, GPA, academic rigor, test scores, athletics, dance, and part-time work are many of the components that make up a high school student’s resume. As parents, we work hard to guide our students to become their best, authentic selves. We motivate with rewards, encourage hard work academically, and become good citizens.

So why does a student with a stellar resume find themselves deferred or waitlisted at their dream college? Or, receive little or no tuition assistance, scholarships, or need-based grants? The answer is, it is not always about the student.

In a previous article, pre-qualifying your college costs, we discussed how important it is for families to understand their financial capabilities before starting their college search. We do not go house shopping before we know our budget, college searching should be no different.

Equally important is knowing that higher education institutions are a business with specific needs and wants. Many are controlled by internal and external influencers and business factors. Sometimes these are in direct conflict with the consumer looking and hoping to buy (enroll).

How do these factors affect the outcome of the college planning experience?

Supply and Demand – selective institutions reported dramatic increases in their incoming applications pool during the pandemic. Increases due to amended admissions policies, heavy brand marketing, and consumer behavior. But 60K applications for 3100 enrollment seats. To overcome the disappointment of a waitlist or a denial, families need to expand their reach by including a larger pool of smaller to medium size residential colleges and universities. Their offerings, academic and personal make dreams come true.

An Institutions Financial Status – colleges and universities rely on tuition, fees, and indirect revenue from housing, athletic events, and on-campus consumer purchases. Swings in enrollment, on/off-campus, and the pandemic can result in belt-tightening, and course redirections. The financial status of an institution should always be on the radar, just like at home.

FIT – academic, personal, social, and financial are the categories that produce the answer yes. College and universities have their fit, which can mirror or be very different from a student and their family. Mastering the FIT can depend on how a student’s achievements, personal accomplishments, and authentic self, align with institutional needs.

Costs – achieving one’s educational goals within one’s financial means is the art of affordability.  Knowing how the sticker price becomes the consumer price at every college is part of the buying process. Understanding the impact of tuition assistance, scholarships, need-based, and self-help aid is essential. Knowing how and when to request more can balance the affordability equation.

Emotional Purchase – investing in one’s education is a personal and financial commitment, one of life’s biggest. Such a purchase requires the gathering of information, research, evaluation, and even consultation with a knowledgeable adviser (a shameless plug). Students should not be left to figure it out, a trend I see in my private practice that can have disastrous results. Families do not purchase $350,000 homes at a first glance, selecting a college or university should not be any different.

Planning – the high school class of 2022 is on the last leg of their journey approaching the decision-making deadline of May 1st.  High school 10th and 11th-grade students are right behind. Students and parents are encouraged to create their college plan following realistic goals and expectations while keeping a keen eye on the needs, of the student and higher education institutions.

Fairies and good luck charms – raised in an Irish household, grandparents delighted us with stories and tales. But behind every tall tale was the question, what if the luck of the wee people doesn’t work? What’s the Plan? A question this contributor asks all of his students and families. Need Plan B.

Have a question, concern, or an AHA moment, call, text [617-240-7350] or email tom@getcollegegoing.com

CALMING THE WATERS – Are you feeling a sense of college paralysis? Anxious? As a parent of four, having spent a career working with families, college, and university administrators, I understand the complexity of planning for life after high school.

Have a question, concern, or an AHA moment, call, text [617-240-7350] or email tom@getcollegegoing.com

Looking for college planning support during these uncertain times, consider Pivotal College Years. Pivotal College Years, is online college planning library of resource, offering educational information, valuable workbooks, downloadable reference documents, and resources before, during, and after college. Use PCY30Days to access the College Planning Portal for Families   Everything you need before, during, and after college in one place!

Love Affair with Higher Education

After high school, everyone should pursue their education. Following one’s goal of achieving a higher education is a critical next step in every person’s life. New and brighter lights are now being focused on the multiple ways individuals can obtain financial stability, wellness, and personal growth. Yes, a Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) is required in many workplaces, however, there are now other vital ways, programs available to advance one’s education and credentials. The pandemic, a shift in demographics, and the “great resignation” warrants a look at community colleges, skilled professionals and trades, at 13th year of exploration and other specialized programs. All were open before, but now are equal to a traditional college path.

THAT’S MY DREAM SCHOOL

What is it about the school that makes it so dreamy? Is it the academics or social environment that makes the heartbeat fonder? Can it be how they promise to meet personal needs, taking care of health & wellness, or the offerings of extra-curricular? Maybe its their hands on commitment to helping guide a student to timely completion and graduation or placement in the workforce? Ultimately are they with you to extend the financial support to make the school affordable?
Falling in love with a dream school is more than looks, and what everyone else is doing. It’s a financial and personal investment, It requires time, evaluation and casting a wide net to find the right education, for the right reason, at the right school, for the right investment.

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH ENROLLMENT

Answers lie with the pandemic, lack of access to campus and faculty, and other underlining socio-economic factors. Enrollment at colleges across Massachusetts, New England, and the US is down. Community College is even worse.
However, over the past month, I have seen a steady increase in the number of schools opening their doors to alive and energized campuses. College and universities are welcoming new students and families to learn about their services and programs. The recruitment season for the next incoming class of first-year students (2023-2024) is underway. Are you in the game? Curate your college list, sign up for a tour and and get to know your higher education options.

BE A WISE BUYER

Three things to know – we’ll there more but lets start here:

College Costs – understanding how costs are calculated, the difference between a sticker and net tuition price, and how the many layers of tuition assistance (scholarships, grants, need-based financial aid, and self-help) money are determined and awarded. Do you know your family’s financial threshold. What if you need to be prequalified, how much could you afford to spend over four years?
Cast a Wide Net – Yes, there are those dream schools that everyone is chasing, but there are hundreds schools that should not be the ones that got away.
Relationships – the pandemic has changed the relationship game between colleges and students. Texting, virtual 1-1 meetings, chat, and emails are now in play. They are critical for a student to use to introduce and showcase their accomplishments and interest. Classic in-person, local visits to high schools will gradually return, but new methods of connecting driven by the student must now be part of the plan.

I HEARD AT THE FLOWER COUNTER

Myths, misunderstand statements  and tall tales are some of the most significant causes of anxiety and stress.

I’m a parent of a sophomore in high school. Is it too early to start thinking about paying for college?
Never – learning now about college costs, financing strategies, and how the right school can impact the equation is critical. Knowing this as part of early college planning is outstanding.

My middle school student is interested in technology. Are there options at the high school level?
YES – High school students can pursue an interest in technology at many technical-vocational schools and through the STEM Program.

My high school senior didn’t apply yet!
Most college and university deadlines are February. Public colleges and universities are a little later – June 1. For students interested in a Fall start but not ready, enrolling in community college is an outstanding option. Slow the pace, focus on readiness, save some money, and transfer to the four-year campus to finish after obtaining an Associate’s Degree.

Our income is too high; we won’t qualify for financial aid, so why apply?
Yes, income is decisive in calculating need-based aid, far more than investments. Still, without the aid application, FAFSA, being on file, there is no basis to have a conversation. Applying for aid is the door to learning more. A discussion with the school to identify a family’s unique circumstances students’ interest in maybe learning the right school for the right reason will be the best investment.

College is too expensive; I’ll never get my degree.
Not True – yes, it may take a different path than others, but utilizing all of the resources, is achievable. Your loved ones are there to help!! Learn the paths, draw up a plan, tap into resources, and press forward.

Click here to read more myths, misunderstand statements and tall tales

Have a question, concern, or your own “AHA” moment, call, text [617-240-7350] or email tom@getcollegegoing.com

CALMING THE WATERS – Are you feeling a sense of college paralysis? Anxious? As a parent of four, having spent a career working with families college and university administrators, I understand the complexity of planning for life after high school. If you need clarity and insights to your questions, tools to manage your work, or individual one-to-one assistance, reach out. Feel free to reach me by text or telephone at 617-240-7350 or email at tom@getcollegegoing.com.

What is Pivotal College Years – a digital library created to provide families of high school and college-aged students with a wealth of planning information in one easily accessible website. Subscribers have access to over 68 lessons, 20 videos, downloadable documents and workbooks, and live webinars, all designed to aid the in navigate individual needs, before, during and after college. Get College Going is an affiliated partner of Pivotal College Years – Use code PCY30days www.pivotalcollegeyears.com

 

You’re In – Now What?

The waiting game is over for many college-bound high school seniors and their families. The holidays brought added excitement as many received acceptances to be part of the incoming class of 2022, including the acknowledgment of scholarships recognizing students for their academic and personal talents.

WORK TO DO
The hard work of investigating and narrowing choices that lead to filing admissions and financial aid applications now turns to work that will ultimately reveal the final choice for September 2022 enrollment. The multiple tasks and activities that lie ahead for families include:

  • Comparing financial offers from schools including merit scholarships, need-based grants, and self-help programs (student loans and work-study).
  • Examining family resources, saving, monthly disposable income and the ability to serve as a co-sign if a private education loan is needed.
  • Scheduling meetings with faculty, academic advisers to confirm a school aligns with student expectations.
  • Conducting campus visits to ensure the campus and its offerings at application hold true today.
  • Hunting for scholarships to fill the gap in resources to cost.
  • Organize legal and medical documents to protect your 18 year-old student and the family

Jack Frost Remains
The Biden Administration once again has extended the deadline for the restart of payments on federal education loans. This pause in payment began back in March of 2020 when the nation began to experience the challenges of the pandemic. To help individuals and families who lost employment, saw their income decrease, the Administration instituted a temporary freeze on payments due from borrowers with Federal Direct and Federal HELP Loans, students, and parents. The freeze also called for a temporary drop in interest rates to zero.  The new projected restart is now May 1, 2022.

  • Private education loans are not subject to these changes and borrowers are expected to continue to make their regular monthly payments.
  • Borrowers with private education loans should use this time to investigate the benefits of education loan refinancing to lower interest rates and modify monthly payments.

How Will I Pay? – Year One, Two and beyond
Twenty percent of first-year college students leave after the first year. Academic readiness and personal needs are two key factors, but finances are the leading cause.

Ensuring that resources will be available for years two, three, and four is critical to ensuring a student remains in school and completes on time.

  • Questions that family’s need to ask:
  • What happens to need-based grants awarded by colleges for year one? Renewed or disappear.
  • How can family savings be stretched to cover four years?
  • If we need a private loan, will parents be able to serve as creditworthy co-signer?
  • Will there be disposable income to assist with incidental on-campus expenses?

January Planning Checklist

 Freshman & Sophomore
The second half of the year can open up major opportunities for the discovery of academic and personal interests.

  • Gamers, dreamers, and problem-solving interests should be explored through robotics, Skills USA, and creative internships.
  • Student-athletes, student-performers, with strong grades and a goal of pursuing their talent (sports, dance, vocal) at the college level should use the Spring to showcase and investigate the college scene.
  • Strengthen time management, organizational, and communication skills. skills and

 Junior Year
Families with an eye on college after high school should be deep into activities and tasks important to the college planning process.

  • Building a college list that reflects the students’ performance and capabilities now and that will allow successful growth and development.
  • Scheduling campus visits for the two hot vacations, February and April, plus weekends and when the schedule will allow.
  • Strategies for courses in senior year, national testing dates (SAT/ACT), and what to do in the summer.
  • Meeting and greeting campus representatives at school, on a campus tour, and through direct communication. 99.9% of all interested high school juniors are unknown to the college

Plans Don’t Call for College
Interests may lie in pursuing a trade, skilled professional after high school. We need your talent, but you too need to have a plan.

  • Community college to learn business management, accounting, marketing, and proposal writing can be learned through low-cost academic programming.
  • Evaluate your approach to transferring your current interest, credentials, and skills required and where to continue the technical learning.
  • The competition is strong and having networking and communication skills can also be a plus.

Turning the Calendar
A new year, 2022, is here. Parents are back to their routine, working, serving as transportation, attending sporting and dance events, and, yes, stressing. We have learned a lot in the past 18-24 months. Help the next generations to understand the importance of education, community, and maintaining a sense of self.  Help them find their WHY?

CALM THE WATERS – Are you feeling a sense of college paralysis? anxious? As a parent of four, having spent a career working with families, college and university administrators, I understand the complexity of planning for life after high school. If you need clarity and insights to your questions, tools to manage your work, or individual one-to-one assistance, reach out. Feel free to reach me by text or telephone at 617-240-7350 or email at tom@getcollegegoing.com.