On the latest episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Elizabeth Heaton welcomes guests to talk about standardized testing conversion charts, using tax refunds for student loan repayments, and strategies for visiting colleges. Listen to the complete show on the VoiceAmerica network or by searching for Getting In: A College Coach Conversation wherever you get your podcasts.
Standardized Testing Conversion Charts
Megan Stubbendeck, a test prep expert from ArborBridge, joins Beth in the first segment of the show to talk about two important standardized testing conversion charts: one to compare SAT scores taken prior to March 2016 with those taken after that date, and one to compare ACT and SAT results. In March 2016, the SAT reconfigured their exam and the grading of tests prior to this date cannot be directly compared with grading of tests after that date, hence the need for a conversion chart to compare test results that cross this date. Megan explains what changed in the SAT, how scores differ on the “new” versus the “old” tests, and how universities transitioned to using the new scores. Megan recommended an app to makes the conversions. This app will also compare results between the SAT and the ACT, which are on completely different scales.
Using Tax Refunds for Student Loan Repayment
College Coach finance expert Kathy Ruby next joins the show to talk about the benefits of using tax refunds to repay student loans. Not pushing off repaying student loans entirely until after graduating has multiple benefits, including enhanced awareness of the repayment responsibility. Also, most loans students and families take out to finance college are unsubsidized, which means interest is accruing while the student is in school. Hence, paying off some of the loan while the student is still in college can reduce the overall amount needed to be paid. In addition to these benefits, Kathy explores strategies of how to decide between the other things that might be vying for that tax refund, e.g., next semester’s tuition, outstanding credit cards, etc.
The Nuts and Bolts of College Visits
Emily Toffelmire, College Coach admissions expert, joins Elizabeth for the final segment to talk about the nuts and bolts of visiting colleges. When should a family start visiting colleges? How many schools are too many to visit in a day? What are “must dos” during a campus visit? Can a visit impact your admission decision? Emily and Elizabeth break down the best advice for making the most of visiting college campuses.
On our next episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, Beth will welcome guests to discuss overnight visits, the impact of location on a college experience, and a first of a two-segment series on busting college finance myths.