Q. Why do I need a college planner or independent consultant when I have a guidance counselor?
A. At The College Planner, LLC we work with the student and family through the whole college process, incorporating the tasks involved in coordinating with the student’s guidance department as one part of that process. Our goal is to assist the students in working with their guidance team – not interfering or replacing them. Every high school is different but in most cases each guidance counselor has many students – sometimes as many as fifty. One of the main roles of a high school guidance team is writing, gathering & sending the students’ academic transcripts and teacher recommendations. Often, just doing this limits how much time they have available to spend with each student.
Q. We are worried about the cost of college. How can you help with the high cost of tuition?
A. We at The College Planner, LLC believe starting the conversation about the cost of college in the beginning of the process is so important. The cost of tuition is one of the key considerations in choosing the college that is best for the student and his/her family. We provide guidance about where and when to file financial aid forms like FAFSA and CSS Profile for federal and institution need based financial aid. Often times, however, families find that what is calculated to be their Net Family Contribution is quite a bit higher than their budget might actually allow.
It is important to be aware that there are many merit scholarships available to students that are not based on financial need. Most often they are automatically renewable for all four years as long as a minimum GPA is held. Every student is eligible for something, although the family may not always elect to choose it – knowing where to look and how to best present the student’s attributes is paramount.
Q. How many times and when should I take the SAT? Should I also try the ACT?
A. This might be the number one most common question that we get asked! The answer is it depends. It depends on many factors – the most important of which is the student and how well he/she typically performs on standardized tests. It also depends on the student’s college list – some look for very high scores while others no longer require SAT or ACT scores at all. Both the SAT and ACT are offered 6 or 7 times a year now, and there are many ways for a student to prepare for them. There are pros and cons to the ACT & SAT depending on a student’s learning style. As with many decisions in the college admissions process, the questions of which test, when to take it and how many times, requires careful consideration for each student. This is a discussion that you will have with your consultant at The College Planner, LLC more than once!
Q. What is the cost of your service packages? Do you offer any hourly services or are all your services packaged?
A. This question is best answered with a phone conversation. We would love to speak with you to get a better sense of what you are looking for and to explain our P.L.A.N. Approach to college admissions. During the phone conversation we will provide information about our fees and payment structure.
We do, at times, offer hourly services but we have found that working with a family on a comprehensive basis yields the best experience and outcome. Our plan packages include access to our Educational Consultants for questions anytime. The College Planner, LLC stakes its reputation on being responsive to its comprehensive customers. We hope you will take a moment and read what some of our students and parents have to say about us!