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Advice for Starting the College Search #JourneytoCollege

She Speaks Kaplan DisclosureFor Sabreena’s entire high school career we were on her about making the right steps towards a positive and productive college choice. Unfortunately most of our advice fell on deaf ears.  This fall instead of attending the college of her choice she’ll be starting off at community college.

Our biggest hurdle through the college selection process was tuition costs. Sabreena was adamant about the 4 schools on her list and didn’t want to waver no matter how much we advised her that tutition costs should be a huge influence. When the acceptance letters came in her boutique school choice was just within reach. We went through enrollment, orientation, even picking a roommate but when the scholarships and grants didn’t come in as we had hoped her school of choice was no longer an option.

There was no back up either. We were left with a heartbroken girl that thought there was nowhere to go from here.

We urged Sabreena for 4 years to do as much research on scholarships and grants as possible. We urged her to take a look at the state university as a backup.  Everything was very overwhelming and time goes by quicker than you think.

My advice to families just starting the college search:Advice for Starting the College Search

  • Research every program your school, district or state offers to help with applications, career assessments, PSATs and of course grants and scholarships.
  • Join clubs and extracurriculars. If not for the experience of the activity or cause then use the time to establish connections that will be useful down the road when it comes time for recommendations and needing advice on college selections.
  • The cost of college tuition is at an all time. Paying for college is a huge undertaking and can cause a burden on family. Know how and where to look for scholarships to help offset that expense.
  • Be aware of your social media footprint. Studies show 71% of college admission officers are spending time checking out an applicant’s Facebook & Twitter page before making final decisions.

To ensure that students are receiving accurate and up-to-date information on trends in the college admissions process, Kaplan Test Prep annually surveys admissions officers from the top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities in the U.S.*

The survey data collected helps Kaplan provide informed guidance to tens of thousands of college applicants and their parents each year. The #JourneyToCollege should be paved in information and knowledge not obstacles.

Get your free 2014 KapMap College Planner and stay ahead of the curve.

Stay connected with Kaplan on Facebook or Twitter to stay on top of trends, changes to the SAT & ACT exams and learn more about what the admissions office is looking for in new or transferring students.

the image is adapted from College Path via Charles Clegg