October 10, 2019

Not All College Admission Advice is Equal

Not All College Admission Advice is Equal

Earlier this week, I was discussing horrible, terrifying stories about college things that go bump in the night. Things like BAD information from your high school that is flat out, DEAD wrong.

Which year’s tax return do I use for the FAFSA?

The first doozy was from a presentation by a rep from a local college’s financial aid office. The rep was invited to speak at a private high school – yes, where parents pay tuition – about the FAFSA and the financial aid process.

The hot tip in question?  She told parents of seniors (Class of 2020) to fill out the FAFSA with information based on their 2017 returns.

Um, no. 2020 families must use 2018 tax returns. You don’t get to choose, either.

My English Teacher helped with my Essay?

Another horror story involved the college essay. An extremely stressed out, prospective client came to the office a few weeks ago, bringing with her a copy of what she drafted for her English class.  

I skimmed the draft. It was pretty well written, but I had one teeny, weeny question:

“What essay prompt are you answering?”

On the Common Application, you get a choice of prompts or questions to answer. You pick one and write ‘er up.  

Do you see how it’s a bit of a red flag if the reader can’t figure out what your topic is?  Hang on, it gets worse.

The prospective client replied, “It’s the one about describing a place where you’re perfectly content.”

“Who gave you this prompt?” I asked, even though I knew the answer.

“My English teacher,” she replied.

What’s the problem, you wonder? 

That prompt was one of the choices from THREE YEARS AGO.  It’s no longer an option on the Common App.

Talk about a colossal waste of time, not to mention unnecessary additional stress. They were already at Stress Level 9 before we sat down.

Please be careful about whom you listen to. Get advice, but don’t abandon your responsibility to THINK about anything you hear or read about. 

Including from moi, by the way.

We are currently accepting students for our exclusive college planning service. Here is a link https://www.www.class101.com/centralindiana/schedule-a-free-consultation/   to schedule a meeting in Indianapolis, IN or Bloomington, IN to discuss your students goals.

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