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Keeping Your College Options Open

Lee,

My son who is a junior this year has not expressed interest in going on to college, therefore, I haven't pursued the things necessary to do that, such as psat tests…Now my husband and I realize we should have followed the same path as if he did want to go, "just in case" he changes his mind.  It is now too late for me to sign up for this October's psat, do you have any advice?  Is the psat just for possible scholarship awards, or actual admittance.  He has said he wants to become a marine, so I'm not sure if we have to follow the same course of action as for college. Also, the link you had for finding a location for the school nearest us that administers the test, when typing in WA, or specifically typing in names of surrounding high schools around us, kept coming up with No Results message.

Thanks for your wisdom, Lisa

Hi Lisa,
The PSAT is just practice. The only scholarships you can get from the PSAT are if you are in the very top percentiles.  I wouldn't worry about the PSAT at all.

Only the SAT or ACT is used as a college admission test, so you can STILL get everything together and have time to get into college.  I suggest that you try to convince him to study for the SAT for a couple of months, and then take the SAT with the rest of the junior class in March or May this spring.  Studying ahead for the test can increase your score significantly, so make sure you get a good "how to" book.  I recommend Princeton Review "Cracking the SAT" or the Princeton Review "11 Practice Tests for the SAT."  Their strategies can raise your score even if you don't get smarter during the process of studying for the test!

Finding an SAT school is easier that finding a place to take the PSAT.  Here is the link to register for the SAT.

If you can't figure it out, just call your local high school, and ask the counseling office, they should be able to help you.

If he wants to become a Marine, then you might be able to convince him to go to college with an ROTC program.  Often, the cost of college is covered if you go through ROTC.  I don't know a lot about the program, so you'll have to talk to a recruiter.  I do know that if you go ROTC, then when you graduate college you become an OFFICER in the military, not just an enlisted person, so you have much greater chances of promotion.  I'm sure your son, like most men, would rather be "in charge."

I hope that helps, Lisa!

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Comments 2

Guest - Lori Barrett (website) on Saturday, 13 August 2011 08:34

Just a note about ROTC - you have to apply for ROTC scholarships - you don't get free college just by being in the program. I was awarded a 3 year scholarship in the mid-80s and after graduation I became a lieutenant in the Army (with an 8 year commitment which I fulfulled in the Reserves). I don't know if the the program has changed much since then, but let me note that ROTC is more the "fun" stuff (at least in my experience) but the nitty-gritty of being in the service is a lot more demanding. You could also enter the service and get money for college thru the GI Bill. But PLEASE make sure you understand how the program works or they may try to mislead you and you could forfeit the money. I know this because it happened to my husband! God bless and good luck with your plans!

Just a note about ROTC - you have to apply for ROTC scholarships - you don't get free college just by being in the program. I was awarded a 3 year scholarship in the mid-80s and after graduation I became a lieutenant in the Army (with an 8 year commitment which I fulfulled in the Reserves). I don't know if the the program has changed much since then, but let me note that ROTC is more the "fun" stuff (at least in my experience) but the nitty-gritty of being in the service is a lot more demanding. You could also enter the service and get money for college thru the GI Bill. But PLEASE make sure you understand how the program works or they may try to mislead you and you could forfeit the money. I know this because it happened to my husband! God bless and good luck with your plans!
Guest - J W on Friday, 10 October 2008 19:50

Princeton Review's materials ROCK. I did way better on the SAT than I had on the PSAT because of their books.

Princeton Review's materials ROCK. I did way better on the SAT than I had on the PSAT because of their books.
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