Hello! And welcome back to our weekly Facebook Live series on education-related COVID-19 updates. My colleagues and I all hope you have been able to find some respite this summer. We know a lot of you are preparing to return to school in a virtual or hybrid mode, and all of us are facing a completely uncharted year. We’re here to help!
The spread of coronavirus has resulted in a plethora of educational pivots since March, and the college admissions process has been no exception. With SAT and ACT testing dates canceled or postponed and testing centers closed, institutes of higher education have reconsidered the role that these exams play in admissions.
Many of your students have likely experienced changes to their personal and family income. These changes can affect expected family contribution, so your students may need to update a financial aid application.
Exams like the SAT and ACT can feel big and scary for many students. It can seem as though the stakes are high and a lot is riding on the outcome of one or both of these exams. Let’s look at some of the ways students can start early, breathe deeply, and use test prep techniques to conquer the SAT and ACT.
Earlier this fall, sophomores and juniors across Texas took the PSAT, giving many of them their first taste of rigorous college entrance exams. This test can reveal areas that need improvement in preparation for the actual SAT®. For juniors, it’s also an opportunity for students to earn scholarships by scoring high enough to become a National Merit Scholar! With test scores due to be released in mid-December, let’s talk about the scoring scale and how to interpret PSAT/NMSQT test results.
After counseling sessions, financial aid nights, mountains of paperwork, and countless follow-ups, your students have *successfully* filed their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Way to go, counselor! What now?
I have worked with many undocumented students over the years. It’s heartbreaking to see how defeated, unsure, and scared they can be about their path to college readiness. It is our job to educate and uplift all students – and let them know that college is an option.
Unless they apply for financial aid, even high-achieving students will miss out on it. Showcasing hard work, strengths, and talents are all part of securing scholarships. If students approach this process systematically and start early, scholarships can take a big bite out of college-related expenses. Consider sharing some attributes of a strong application to help students streamline the scholarship application process regardless of the type and number of applications they fill out.
“Why should my child or my family apply for FAFSA if we are not low income?” As a parent and educator, I am asked this question often. My response comes from personal experience working with college-bound students and their families for the past 25 years.