how financial aid works

On the latest episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, guest host Sally Ganga kicks off our first segment, by welcoming College Coach finance expert Michelle Richardson to discuss the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA. They cover the basics, like what info the FAFSA requires and who should complete it, as well as more nuanced questions regarding divorce and other family situations, plus the logistics of just how colleges receive this information.

Up next, Sally is joined by college admissions advisor and former Reed College admissions officer, Abigail Anderson, to discuss the relatively new Coalition Application, which is used by about 140 colleges and universities. In addition, Abigail breaks down the differences between the Coalition App and the more commonly used Common App.

In our final segment, Sally welcomes College Coach expert and former MIT admissions officer, Zaragoza Guerra, for an enlightening discussion about study abroad options offered by colleges.  Whether you’re hoping to study abroad for a week or a year, Zaragoza’s got you covered—even you STEM majors who are worried about squeezing in some time abroad in college.

Tune into our next episode, when host Beth Heaton explores the impact of a student’s major on college applications, how and when to send test scores to colleges, and just what the heck is the CSS Profile.


Written by Julia Jones
Julia Jones is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Julia previously worked as a senior admissions officer at Brandeis University and was the director of admissions at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School. Visit our website to learn more about Julia Jones.