Why the new FAFSA?  It's a great question. The new FAFSA will launch three months earlier than it used to in the past. It now opens October 1st, 2016 for class of 2017.

High school seniors are applying for financial aid a full year before their first year of college. It also means that they will be dealing with financial aid forms at the same time as admission applications. Plus, the new FAFSA is based off of prior-prior-year tax information, meaning that class of 2017’s financial aid forms will be asking for 2015 tax year numbers. What does this mean for you?

It means that you must plan early!  Parents of students who are in the class of 2018, now is the time to make financial decisions that will affect your students financial aid awards.

Keep in mind, the FAFSA is only one part of the financial aid process.  To ensure the best outcome financially and academically, you need a comprehensive plan for college. Getting professional help can save you stress, time, and money!
I had a family in to see me in the office yesterday and they told me that they were worried.  They were talking to some of their friends who sent their students off to college last year, and their friends revealed that their students did not get in to their top picks ... and on top of that  ... they did not even get a good aid package at their safety school!  "What's the deal with that?", they asked.

It's simple ... their student applied to colleges where they were not a good academic fit.  They were not really qualified to attend the schools they applied to.  "But why didn't their safety school give them any aid?", they asked.

Simple again ... their safety school knew they were the safety school.  That school knew that the only reason for you attending, was that you didn't get into the other schools.  Why should they give you a lucrative aid package when you consider them the school of last resort?

Colleges factor in your "display of interest" in their admissions and aid award decisions.  It's also known as Demonstrated interest.  It refers to the interactions initiated by college applicants with colleges they apply to. These interactions include:

Requesting information
Contacting the admissions office
Campus tours
Overnight visits
Campus interviews
Alumni interviews
Virtual interviews
College fairs
Information sessions
Social media interaction
Early admission
and others things like correspondence by email and phone.

Some colleges use demonstrated interest as a way to gage a student's likelihood of enrolling. Offering admissions to students with demonstrated interest means lower admissions/recruiting costs for the college since they can establish their freshman class sooner and are less likely to lose students to transferring.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that from 2003 to 2006, the percentage of colleges rating demonstrated interest as a "considerably important" factor increased to 21 percent from 7 percent, according to an annual survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Since then, that number has held steady (another 27 percent of colleges now deem it "moderately important").

For the parents referenced above; they could have avoided the whole thing by creating a comprehensive college plan.  Their students should never have applied to a list of schools where their chance of acceptance was low.  Building a good list of viable colleges, that grant good aid packages, and building competition between the schools for the student is crucial to ensuring success in college and making it affordable.

If you'd like to discuss how to create a comprehensive plan for your student, please call us at The College Advisor at 866-244-9971 or go to our website at www.PlanForCollegeAid.com.


If you  live in New England, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offers the Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship. It awards $2,500 tuition assistance to the college or university where the student will be attending. The HSUS considers having a humane attitude and desire to be of service more important than academic record or monetary need.


For those planning on majoring in pastry culinary arts or food sciences, the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) offers a $1000 scholarship per academic year to member-employees for skill development, professional certifications and other work-related training.

Especially for Twins

Twins can get ‘two for the price of one’ funding if they both attend Lake Erie College, of Painesville, Ohio. The full-tuition Lake Erie Twins Scholarship pays for up to 18 hours each semester and is awarded on a 50-50 basis provided both twins are students at Lake Erie and are full-time students, as well as on cumulative GPAs and SAT or ACT scores.


The field of cinematography offers very well-paying jobs for those with the right training and an eye for camera work. Student filmmakers may be interested in applying for the KODAK Student Cinematography Scholarship Award, where they will be judged solely on their film-making skills. Nomination of potential candidates is done by the student’s school and includes cash prizes as well as KODAK Film Product grants for future cinematic projects.

Outside the Box

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers Davidson Fellows scholarships in the amounts of $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 for extremely gifted students in the fields of Engineering, Science, Technology, Mathematics, Literature, Music or Philosophy plus an intriguing category: Outside the Box. Visit the links to learn more about application and requirements.

Top Shelf

Are any of your prospective students tall? If so, then Tall Clubs International offers up to $1,000 in annual scholarship money for students who meet height requirements (minimum height of 5’10” for women and 6”2” for men) as well as under age 21 when first beginning college in the fall.

Trivia Masters

A student who knows a little bit about everything may qualify for a scholarship from the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation. What’s noteworthy is that the awards, which can range from $250 to $2,500, aren’t limited to high schoolers and no high GPA is necessary.

Let your prospective students know that there’s more than one way to find the money for school expenses beyond what federal and state aid might bring. Keeping track of all the choices and ensuring students get the help needed isn’t easy, however. Find out about better ways to track and improve your financial aid department’s compliance rates while saving money (and your staff’s sanity) as you help students march to their own drummer.

Information gathered from CampusLogic blog

Visit our website at www.PlanForCollegeAid.com to learn more about qualifying for academic and merit scholarships.