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  1. PAGE 1 Welcome to the "motherlode" of linked threads on college topics (with a few non-college bound topics thrown in). Enjoy exploring the amazing collected wisdom of The Hive! (In case links break, I have listed threads by their original subject heading, and have also provided the original post date and poster for search in various ways.) Warmest regards, Lori D. CREATED: Sept. 2018 page 1 topics: College Search Process College Visits Online College / College at Home / Distance Degree page 2 topics: College Applications Common App page 3 topics: Money Matters Financial Aid Scholarships FAFSA / EFC CSS Profile page 4 topics: Honors Programs / Phi Theta Kappa Internships / REUs NCAA page 5 topics Heading to College At College Study Abroad page 6 topics Alternatives to 4-Year College Gap Year Military Career Exploration ======================== High School Motherload #1 -- pinned thread at top of high school board page 1 - high school timetable - getting started with homeschooling high school - planning / scheduling / time management - teen attitudes / expectations - accreditation / cover schools / state regulations page 2 - info/experiences with high school tests (PSAT, AP, ACT/SAT, SAT Subject, CLEP, GED, etc.) High School Motherlode #2 -- pinned thread at top of high school board page 1 - transcripts / credits / grading & GPA - honors designation - record keeping / course description / letter of recommendation - graduation / diploma page 5 - homeschool subjects (English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, Electives) - making your own courses - extracurricular activities - outsourcing / online classes / dual enrollment ======================== COLLEGE SEARCH Resources Resources for researching colleges — Aug 10 2018, Joyful What resources did you use to narrow down your lists of colleges to visit? -- Jan 23 2016, Daria Colleges That Change Lives [book]: reviews, experiences — Feb 6 2017, Miss Mousie What are your favorite websites for researching colleges (pinned thread; links to search engines, lists of “schools good for", links to past threads about specific colleges)— April 8 2016, Penguin How to search / what to look for Can someone walk me through the college search process? -- Aug 10 2016, Daria How to search for colleges — Jan 25 2018, Roadrunner Where to begin with the college search? — Mar 29 2017, OnMyOwn Finding colleges/programs (how did you get started?) -- Nov 23 2015 -- Hilltopmom Where do I start in the college search for DD? — Jan 10 2018, Kassia Knowing how to choose college options (help!) — June 5 2017, Rebecca Tuition, college campuses, admission, etc (what factors do you look for? do you also look at “fancy trimmings”?) -- The Accidental Coach For those that chose out-of-state schools, how did you decide? -- Dec 17 2016, mirabilis Considerations if DC goes out of state/far away — Jan 10 2018, teachermom2834 Choosing a college (what do you look for?) — Feb 28 2017, bibiche College search considerations beyond the obvious — Jan 28 2017, wapiti I think I need help with guidance counseling, i.e., I am clueless (topics touched on include: JanetC's link to her giant Evernote college guidance resource; CC vs. state university vs small private college; financial aid overview; NCAA overview; career exploration; etc.) -- April 24 2018, Evanthe Comparing schools How do you "check out a college"? -- May 20 2013, Hot Lava Mama How important are [college] rankings? — April 4 2017, Attolia How much consideration do you give the Forbes financial grades for colleges? — Nov 27 2017, bctnin1059 College spreadsheets (for comparing/choosing college) — Aug 22 2018, breton NM [discussion on how to weigh scholarship/financial factors in deciding on schools] — Mar 30 2017, Attolia Pros & cons of a small polytechnic U vs. big state U — May 25 2017, Hilltopmom How to decide when the fancy private school is worth it vs. the good enough public? — Oct 6 2017, Hilltopmom Can we talk big fish/small pond again? (discussion on options of 3 colleges and how to choose between them) — May 27 2017, plansrme Small liberal arts school vs big university — May 15 2017, Janeway How hard is it really to get into and pay for a selective school? — Jan 8 2017, whitestavern s/o: CA admissions [thread]: article on “does where you attend college matter?” — Mar 22 2018, 8FillTheHeart Narrowing the list / finding a "fit" / choosing "the one" Possible college list: when is enough, enough? — Mar 17 2018, RootAnn How do you cull the list? — June 29 2017, prim*rose How do you decide whether to bother applying to Ivies (includes (URochester discussion) — Feb 14 2018, kokotg Approach for finding best fit for college — Nov 19 2017, OnMyOwn Choosing a college -- prestige vs program -- July 16 2013, Hoggirl Wearing the counselor hat: how to help your students find the right fit -- April 30 2013, Jane in NC Finding a “fit” — April 9 2017, Hilltopmom How to choose “the” college — Feb 11 2018, whitestavern Paid college consultant / guidance counselor Homeschool Guidance Counselor — Mar 14 2018, Joyful Do any of you have experience with college consultants? — Dec 6 2017, Jazzy College Reach / Match / Safety Schools How many universities should you apply to? And how do you choose backups [safety schools] — Feb 25 2017, lewelma Is this combo of safeties/matches/reaches sufficient? — Feb 13 2018, Jazzy Reach schools (how far to “reach”?) — Sept 5 2017, DawnM PSA: make sure you have a true safety school — April 9 2018, Attolia Perspective: the highly accomplished student rejections (discusses importance of having a true safety school that you like in case of rejection) — April 26 2017, 8FillTheHeart College acceptances/rebuffs: would you do anything differently? — May 29 2017, mirabililis Anybody apply to just one college? — Jan 18 2017, TwoEdgedSword Is “one and done” a mistake? — Nov 5 2017, Chanley Community Colleges How do you rate a local community college? -- 20 May, 2014, teeterbunch ======================== COLLEGE VISITS College Fairs College fairs? — Oct 5, 2016, Hilltopmom Should we visit a college fair? — April 18 2014, shanvan What are college visits / visit or not Touring universities: how does this work and what is the purpose? — Feb 25 2017, lewelma What exactly does a college visit entail? — Jan 22 2013, Unicorn How do college visits work? -- Dec 31 2015, swimmermom3 Advice for making college visits — April 29 2016, Grantmom To visit colleges or not? — Aug 10 2018, Joyful College visit by self or with mom? — Jan 11 2018, Jean in Newcastle Would you even bother with college tours? — Jan 3 2017, DawnM To visit or not to visit, that is the question; article on skipping college visits (which led to discussion) — April 27 2017, Hoggirl When “meh” about a college visit — Mar 26 2017, TwoEdgedSword When to visit When to visit colleges? — April 7 2018, Joyful What do you look for in a college visit, esp. early in high school — June 24 2013, Sebastian (a lady) Is fall of sophomore year too early to make a college visit? — Mar 27 2013, MorningGlory Individual college visit, or admissions “event”? — Oct 10 2015, bctnin1059 Visiting campuses after acceptance: “Accepted Student Days” or not? — Jan 31 2018, g1234 Accepted Students Day — Dec 19 2017, Hilltopmom What to ask or look for Questions to ask when touring universities — July 12 2017, lewelma What to ask at a college visit — Mar 24 2015, Jane Elliot Department visit questions Department visit: what would YOU want to know? — Jan 20 2018, regentrude How to arrange a department visit at college? — Jan 2 2018, bctnin1059 Meeting department faculty [during college tour]: What to ask? — Oct 19 2017, PinkyandtheBrains College interviews Preparing very shy kid for college interviews — Apr 10 2018, kokotg Interview thank you notes — Nov 10 2017, OnMyOwn ======================== ONLINE COLLEGE / COLLEGE AT HOME / DISTANCE DEGREE Online College Online college? -- Sept 30 2018, HollyDay Online degree completion program suggestions? -- Nov 15 2018, mamakelly Online college degrees? -- Jan 27 2018, Night Elf Online universities - can we make a list -- Jan 20 2019, Æthylthryth the Texan Lumerit (formerly College Plus) Dual enroll at home through College Plus? Has anyone here real experience with College Plus? -- May 25 2015, Vida Winter
  2. The new FAFSA form for the 2021 to 2022 school year will become available on the FAFSA web site on October 1, 2020. This is the URL: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa (Please note: There are always 2 different forms available, for 2 different school years. Be sure that you complete the one for the correct school year)
  3. The FAFSA form for the 2020 to 2021 school year will be available on the FAFSA web site on 01 October 2019. I read this blog post on the U.S. Dept. of Education web site and found it well worth the few minutes it took me to read it. https://blog.ed.gov/2019/09/7-things-need-fill-2020-21-fafsa-form/
  4. I am working on FAFSA. I think the question is #29, where it asks you to say where you will be in college. It has a first-year-never-been-to-college and a first-year-been-to-college option. How would you handle this for a student who has done a dual enrollment class? Technically she HAS been to college, but perhaps dual enrollment does not count for the purpose of this question. Any thoughts?
  5. Looking ahead to later this year, when we will need to fill out the FAFSA form for DD, this morning I Googled about something and this Tutorial was one of the Google SERPs results. I am going to begin studying this Tutorial. This is for students entering university during 2018, so it might change slightly for 2019, but probably will be very much like this. Possibly the Tutorial will help someone else here on WTM. Also, I am going to file a U.S. Federal Income Tax return for DD, when I file mine, for the 2017 tax year, to hopefully avoid the issue people have reported about needing something from the I.R.S. that their DC did not file a Federal Income Tax return. https://www.edvisors.com/fafsa/forms/tutorial/
  6. DD is a Junior now, so I was curious how this would work. Not quite the same as when I fill out my U.S. Income Tax Return, but very simple... Possibly other Overseas Americans will be interested in this. I Googled, on the FAFSA web site, about how to put an Overseas Mailing Address on the FAFSA form. The information is on this URL: https://fafsa.ed.gov/help/ffdef11.htm For all other addresses outside the United States: Type the city and country in the space for city (abbreviations are acceptable, but must be understandable). Choose Foreign Country for the answer to the state question. Type 00000 in the space for ZIP code.
  7. My husband has filed for divorce and I am completely unsure how to do FAFSA for my 18 yr old senior. Son lived with me all of 2015; my husband did not live with us in actuality but used our address as his home We filed JOINTLY for 2015 I have no income, but my husband has a high income Any helpful advice? Anyone BTDT?
  8. I understand that on the FAFSA, I must report all savings in a savings account. If I save money from work for college and keep it in an envelope, do I have to report that? I don't want to do anything that is illegal or will get me in trouble if found out, but I know if I report it, I'll have that much less in grants, and again I'd be stuck not being able to afford college so I'd be back to not being able to attend. Can someone explain to me how this works? Thanks.
  9. Last year was a great year for dh's business, so I figure ds won't get any help anyway. He's taken a year off, and planning on a 2 yr tech school. Next year, our income will have dropped drastically for taxes, as dh is in a different business. Next year, he could maybe get some help, but I'm pretty positive not this year. Will he have problems next year if we don't fill it out this year?
  10. After all our college tours and listening to Financial Aid directors, I had my mind set on completing the FAFSA on January 1. They all stressed the URGENCY in completing this as soon after January 1 as possible. Had me scared to death. But do we REALLY have to complete this TODAY? Or can this wait until mid January? We will not be in line for pell or other federal aid. So what's the hurry? When do YOU fill out the FAFSA? Blessings, Brenda:001_smile:
  11. taxguy@ CollegeConfidential.com Location: Rockville, Maryland What a CPA is told to tell clients for financial Aid I was just taking a college planning course as part of a CPA continuing education program. Here are some tips that they gave to tell clients: I. Student’s Responsibilities The student’s primary responsibility is to make themselves an attractive candidate to the various colleges. S/he should have strong GPA and SAT/ACT scores. The student should participate in extracurricular activities so s/he can show s/he is well rounded. Many colleges are interested in seeing students participate in a leadership role. The student should consider schools where s/he is in the top 20 percent of the admitting class. Students in the top 20 percent of the admitting class tend to receive more gift aid. The student should consider colleges that meet 75 to 100 percent of the student's financial need. Each year the average percentage of financial need met by each college is published. It is important to start early. The earlier that the parent starts saving for college, the better it is. The student should prepare a spreadsheet to compare various awards. This will allow the student to analyze which school will give the student more free college scholarship and less college student loans, which will help reduce the cost of attendance. Several college planning Web sites have calculators to compare financial aid award packages. II. Summary of Strategies for Maximizing Financial Aid Appreciated assets that will be liquidated to pay for college expenses should be liquidated prior to December 31 of the student’s junior year in high school. If this is not done, the gain on the liquidation of the assets will be assessed as income in the EFC computation and the investment will be considered as an asset. It is important to first spend the student’s investments. The student’s assets are assessed at a 35 percent rate per year, while the parent’s assets are assessed at a maximum rate of 5.64 percent. If the student’s assets are spent on college costs during the early college years, that could lead to increased financial aid in the later college years. Assets in the grandparent's name are not clasified as assets for financial aid even if they are going to be used for the grandchild's education. It is important to spend the parents’ investments for college expenses before borrowing money. If the parents’ assets are used to pay college costs in the early college years, it could lead to a greater availability of financial aid in the later college years. Paying all outstanding bills and making necessary big-ticket purchases before the FAFSA is signed will reduce the amount of cash reported. Remember that a principal residence isn't counted as an asset. Thus, taking money out of your savings or checking account to pay off debt on your residence reduces the assets that are counted for financial aid. Use cash and savings to pay off personal debt, such as credit cards, car loans, etc., which are not considered in the EFC computation. Divorced parents should give careful consideration as to who should be the “custodial†parent during the college years. If the custodial parent is the one with the lower income, the student will qualify for more financial aid. Parents should reposition their assets so the majority of their assets are not considered in the EFC computation. Principal residences and cash value in life insurance are not considered assets no matter how much they may be. Parents having a business with a net worth of less than $490,000 should consider using some of their assets to make a capital investment in the business. Consider using a flexible spending arrangement to pay for dependent care or medical expenses because these benefits are not added back for the EFC computation. Before taking an extra part-time or summer job, students should consider if it is more beneficial to work or to qualify for more financial aid. Don't put money in the kid’s name (Unless it is in exempt assets such as life insurance products). Kids are heavily penalized in that 35% of their assets are considered available for educational expenses each year while only 5.64% of the parents’ assets are deemed available. Even better: take the money out of any kid's name and put it in an educational savings plan such as a section 529 tuition plan.
  12. It looks like I will finally be forced to file a FAFSA this year. :eek: My question is this: Do I need to have FILED my 2009 Form 1040 before submitting the FAFSA, or can I file the FAFSA based on what I expect to be on the 1040? The reason I ask is the FAFSA apparently needs to be filed sometime in February, but since we will owe additional taxes this year, I don't want to file those until April 15. TIA!
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