Applying for financial aid when parents are divorced, unmarried, or remarried can get complicated. One way to make the process a little less stressful is to check out the latest video on the College Coach YouTube channel, “FAFSA with Divorced Parents – What Should You Do?” And be sure to subscribe to our channel on YouTube to never miss our latest video tips on the college application and financial aid processes.
Applying for financial aid when parents are divorced, unmarried, or remarried can get complicated. In this installment of the College Coach video series, We Can Explain, former financial aid officer Shannon Vasconcelos provides a basic understanding of how income and assets are considered in the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, Duke University. At Duke University, where over 80 percent of students earn (on top of their primary major) a second major, a minor, or a certificate, passionate intellectual exploration is a way of life. The majors of computer science, economics, and public policy studies are among the most popular at the University, although students can also design their own interdisciplinary majors through an option known as Program II. Thanks to outstanding civic engagement, interdisciplinary learning, and research opportunities, Duke offers its nearly 7,000 undergraduates countless avenues to unleash their personal and academic potential. Both in Durham and around the world, Duke students can take advantage of service-learning courses and programs, helping them to connect academic learning with hands-on community partnerships. Once such program is DukeEngage, which financially supports students interested in serving communities in need. This past summer, some DukeEngage students were immersed in environmental conservation efforts in Peru, while others used music and literacy to engage urban youth in Chicago. Fun fact: The Blue Devils men’s basketball team is one of the top basketball programs in the county, but here’s a little shout out to the women’s golf team for winning the national championships in 2019!
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship. Student leaders, this one is for you! The Reagan Foundation recognizes student leaders with drive and integrity not only at school, but also within their communities and workplaces. For more information on scouting scholarships and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
The Coalition Application is similar to the Common App in that it is one application students can fill out that is accepted at multiple schools. While some of the essay prompts overlap with the Common App in theme and approach, others are quite unique to the application. In the latest episode of our podcast, we discuss the options and approaches to these topics. And in our Office Hours segment, we’re answering listener questions related to college finance and admissions. To listen, say, “Alexa, play Getting In: A College Coach Conversation.”
The Coalition Application is similar to the Common App in that it is one application students can fill out that is accepted at multiple schools. While some of the essay prompts overlap with the Common App in theme and approach, others are quite unique to the application. We will discuss the options and approaches to these topics. In Office Hours, we’re answering listener questions related to college finance and admissions.
A few weeks ago, the Washington Post came out with a story that outlined online consumer behavior tracking methods used by many higher education institutions to determine the likelihood that a student would enroll if accepted. This seems to be somewhat surprising to people, probably because they don’t think of colleges as businesses trying to sell something to consumers. While these practices certainly raise questions about access and fairness in admissions, the reality is that consumer tracking is helping colleges to fill seats and stay afloat. And I don’t anticipate that institutions will end this practice anytime soon. With that in mind, we have some suggestions for ways in which students can show demonstrated interest of the digital kind:
- Get on the mailing list at every school you are currently considering. Be sure to use an email address that you check regularly. You might even consider creating an email account specifically for college information.
- Check your email at least once a day. If you don’t regularly check your email account, set a time every day to do so. This is good practice for when you begin applying, as colleges will routinely communicate important information to you via email.
- Open the emails from your colleges of interest, click on the links in the emails, and spend time looking at the pages you land on via the links. This engagement is a key component of what institutions are tracking, so make sure that you do it!
Even though not every college is tracking demonstrated interest or using these systems, best to assume that they are and follow these guidelines for every school to which you apply. An added bonus is that this digital behavior can also support interest you’ve already shown by visiting or make your interest clearer if you haven’t yet had a chance to get to campus.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, Rider University. What began over 150 years ago as a private business college for just 50 students has emerged as a comprehensive university for 4,100 with outstanding opportunities in athletics, music, and elementary education. The Rider Broncs compete in 20 DI sports, with special strengths in wrestling and swimming. The College of Business even offers a co-major in sport management that features one-of-a-kind internships (with the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Flyers) for students seeking hands-on experiences. In 1992, Rider merged with the Westminster Choir College, one of the preeminent music schools in the country. Located on Rider’s Princeton, NJ campus, the Westminster Choir College enrolls 320 undergraduates in audition-only programs such as music education and vocal performance. What else is there to study at Rider? How about cybersecurity, exercise science, or public relations (in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) or game design or musical theatre (in the School of Fine and Performing Arts)? Good to know: The College of Business, that was recently renamed after Rider alumnus Norm Brodsky, offers accelerated business management programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree in as little as three years, or an MBA or MAcc (Master of Accountancy) in four!
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at scholarships for scouting. Hey Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, there are a number of scholarship opportunities available to you. Scholarships are offered from local, regional, and national associations. Our blog details a couple of options, but look out for additional opportunities from your local association where you can win more money tied to your commitment to scouting. For more information on scouting scholarships and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Some years ago on a soccer sideline somewhere, or maybe in the chatty pre-show moments of a high school theatre performance, a mom or dad started the dreadful rumor that one must complete hundreds of hours of community service in order to even be considered for admission to the top colleges and universities in the country. Since that day, this misinformation has been taken as gospel by college-bound high school students and their parents. But they’re wrong. Let’s all pause for a moment and say this together: there is nothing extra special about community service. For more information about how colleges view community service, and extracurricular activities as a whole, read the latest post on the Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.