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Guiding Your Child Through College Applications

College applications @TheHomeScholarGuiding Your Child Through College Application


It's tempting to think you can let your child go to fill out college applications, and they will be mature enough to handle it from there, but that's not how it normally happens. There are so many details, deadlines, and complicated forms, it's difficult for a young adult to figure out the system. Working on it without help can make a difference in scholarship awards. The help of a parent is a key ingredient in success.

Because the process is overwhelming, young adults will often need another adult to come alongside and help with the details - much like we rely on others to help us with complicated matters like tax returns, or whatnot. Most advisers suggest that you sit down with your teen once a week, to go over deadlines and progress. Make sure that each piece of the application process is sent by your family and received by the college. Here is a general list of each item they need to consider, so carefully check the deadlines for each item.

Application
Application Fee
Essay
School Specific Supplement
Official Homeschool Transcript
Athletic or Art Supplement or Requirements
Course Descriptions
Activity and Award List
SAT scores
ACT scores
AP scores
SAT Subject Test Scores
CLEP Scores
Other Transcript 1
Other Transcript 2
Community College Transcript
Course Descriptions
Letter of Recommendation 1
Letter of Recommendation 2
Letter of Recommendation 3
Mid-year Grades
FAFSA - January
CSS/Profile
Reply to College
Deposit to the college you choose
Thank you note to interviewer
Final Transcript - June after school is complete


Once you start getting admission notices and scholarship awards, help your child weigh the pros and cons of each school. Review the total cost of each school out-of-pocket. For each school, identify the cost of attendance and the cost of housing. Then figure out the financial aid they have provided. That way you can determine the actual cost of attending each individual school.  Then check your financial situation, reviewing how you will fund college, to determine what you can actually afford to pay for college when the first bill it due.

Cost of Attendance
A. Tuition
B. Fees
C. Books
D. Extra Course Fees
E. Other fees (parking, etc)
TOTAL Cost of Attendance


Cost of Housing
A. Housing, Room and Board
B. Meals
C. Travel or Transportation
D. Incidentals (laundry, recreation)
E. Other Individual Expenses
F. Other costs
Total Cost of Housing


Financial Aid
A. Institutional Scholarship
B. Institutional Grant
C. Private Scholarship
D. Work/Work Study
E. Other
Total Financial Aid


Actual College Cost
A Total Cost of Attendance
B Total Cost of Housing
C Total Financial Aid
Actual College Cost (A+B) –C


Funding Actual Costs
1. College Budget and Savings
2. Student Loan
3. Parent Loan


Senior year is a stressful time. Don't give up! Remember that scholarships usually arrive well after the congratulation letter trumpeting their admission. That means you may have a few months when you know which college your child REALLY wants to go to, but you don't have a clue how you will pay for it. Hang on through that difficult patch. Scholarships often come in waves, even through spring, not all at once in the fall.

Are you in the middle of filling out college application information with your child?

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Tuesday, 13 April 2021

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