college planning basics-college search applications admission tests financial aid

College Planning Basics – How to Get Into and Pay for College

Mari DeCristo College Planning

Most college-bound students and their parents start the college planning process with a combination of anticipation and fear.

However, the fear and stress that come with “What do I do?” often overshadow the excitement of going to college and starting a new chapter in life.

This fear is normal. It accompanies an understandable lack of knowledge of the details you’ll need for finding, applying to, getting into, and paying for college. After all, at no time in your life did someone stop and say, “This is how it’s done.”

For most, college planning becomes an endless struggle to find out what you need to do and hoping you don’t find out too late…or even worse, not at all.

Well, today I want to try and remedy that situation, at least at the big-picture level.

In this post I want to talk to you about what the college planning process includes and, hopefully, provide you with enough information to lower your stress level.

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SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests and Your College Application

Mari DeCristo Admission Tests, College Application

Have you heard about SAT Subject Tests?

They’re not talked about much in college planning conversations, but they’re an important part of a good application. Unfortunately, you may be one of the many high school students, who don’t know about them or find out too late.

So, in this post I’m going to:

  1. describe what SAT Subject Tests are;
  2. explain how to use them to help you get into college; and
  3. answer some commonly asked questions.

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college recommendation letter

How to Ask for a College Recommendation Letter

Mari DeCristo College Application, High School

Colleges want to know the real you.

But getting to know you as a person, your personality, what drives you, what moves you, and what you are passionate about, is difficult for colleges. They can’t figure that out from your grades and admission test scores. (As they say, you’re not your grades and test scores.)

So colleges rely on other, more human sources. And one very significant way they gain insight into the real you are through college recommendation letters from your teachers.

In fact, as admission test scores have become less of a factor in deciding who is admitted, teacher recommendations and application essays have become more important.

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final college decision

Making a Final Decision on a College

Mari DeCristo College Search

It’s the beginning of April and college acceptance notices are starting to find their way to homes everywhere. There’s joy. There’s disappointment.

More importantly, it’s time to decide where to spend your next four years.

Everything you considered when you chose colleges to apply to is more important now and worth a second look. Four years is a long time and a lot of money.

So as you consider where you want to enroll, start by remembering why you want a college education in the first place. Here are some thoughts to help you.

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college visits map

College Visits – How to Plan a Visit to College

Mari DeCristo College Search

College visits can be a big factor in deciding where you’ll go to college. For many prospective students, it’s the “feel factor.”

That’s the feeling you get when you visit a college campus and know that it’s the right place for you.

College visits are important, but they require planning. In this post we’re going to discuss what you need to do to ensure a productive visit.

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