new coalition application

The New Coalition Application – What You Need to Know

Mari DeCristo College Application

The new Coalition Application is the latest addition to the college application club. It lets you complete one application, but send it to multiple colleges. It joins the Common App and the lesser known Universal College Application.

In this post

In this post I’ll answer common questions about the Coalition Application:

• What is the Coalition?
• What is the new Coalition Application?
• Which colleges use it?
• How can you use the Coalition Application to your advantage?
• Coalition Application vs. Common Application – Which is better?

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College Packing List-What to Take to College

Your College Packing List – What to Take to College

Mari DeCristo College Life

Creating your college packing list may not be at the top of your list of things to do while you’re enjoying your summer.

But with college just around the corner, it’s probably time to get started.

To save you time, I’ve created the Master College Packing List. The Master College Packing List is a complete list of the most common college dorm essentials. You can use it to create your own college packing list instead of starting from scratch.

In This Post

In this post I’ll take you through the Master College Packing List and highlight ways you can save money.

Tips for College Freshmen

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how to research colleges

How to Research Colleges

Mari DeCristo College Planning, College Search

If you’re a junior or senior in high school, one of your goals is likely to find the right college. If you’ve started looking, you know there’s an overwhelming amount of information out there. It’s like looking at a mountain you have no idea how to climb.

If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.

Most high school students don’t know how to research colleges or where to find the best college information. In fact, they often don’t even know what to look for. All understandable, as no one actually teaches you how to research colleges.

What You’ll Learn in this Post
My goal for this post is to show you how to research colleges so you can find schools that are right for you. I’ll help you identify the information you need and then I’ll show you exactly how and where to find it.

To start, I’m assuming you have a list of colleges you want to research. If you need help creating a list, click here for my post on How to Find Colleges – Starting the College Search

Okay, let’s get started.

Researching colleges is really a two-step process.

Step 1: Identifying what you want in a college – This will guide your research.

Step 2: Finding out whether a college has what you want – This is where you actually do your research.

Below is a process that will help you identify your college needs and show you resources that will make your research productive and fast.
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early action and early decision

20 Early Action and Early Decision Questions and Answers

Mari DeCristo College Application

Early action and early decision programs are often confusing for many high school seniors. Both let you apply to college early, but they have some very important differences.

In this post I’ll attempt to clear up some of the confusion by answering the most common questions about these two application programs.

Important Note: Colleges vary in their early admission policies. Make sure you check the website of each school you’re applying to for its requirements.

  1. What is early decision?

As I mentioned, with early decision you apply to college early, before the normal admission deadline. One of the benefits of this is that you find out early whether you’ve been accepted.

The important thing to know about early decision is that you must attend the college if you’re accepted.
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new FAFSA rules

The New FAFSA Rules for 2017-18

Mari DeCristo Paying for College

Are you a high school senior? Or the parent of one?

If so, applying for financial aid is likely on your list of things to do this year.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA, is the most important financial aid application you’ll complete. Unfortunately, the FAFSA is also a source of stress for many students and their parents.

There’s good news, though. This year some new FAFSA rules have been put in place that make completing and submitting the FAFSA a whole lot easier. They may also help you in other ways.

In this post I’m going to:

  • describe the new FAFSA rules;
  • talk about how they’ll affect you; and
  • explain how you might use them to your advantage.

The FAFSA changes were announced in September of 2105. They affect anyone starting or attending college in the 2017-18 school year.

What’s changed?

There are two major changes.
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find colleges - college search

How to Find Colleges – Starting the College Search

Mari DeCristo College Search

How do you find colleges to apply to?

If you’re just beginning your college search, you may have asked yourself that very question. And in the back of your mind, there’s probably a slight fear of not being able to find colleges that interest you.

My advice is to just start. Immersing yourself in the search process is the best way to eliminate that fear.


Figuring out how to find colleges when you’ve never done it can seem overwhelming. However, once you’re into the process, you’ll quickly find that there are many colleges where you’ll be happy.

My goal for this post is to show you a step-by-step process that will help you find colleges to research and possibly apply to.

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