Sep 1, 2020

Helpful Resources to Learn About the College Admissions Process

My oldest is now a high school sophomore, and I've been researching the college admissions process for a few years. (Read my previous posts on the topic.) I thought it would be helpful to share the resources I've come to rely on. For most of these, I've subscribed to their email newsletters. I attend some of their free webinars. And I have thought about hiring a few of them when application time rolls around.

Paying for College 101 - This is a Facebook group, so you can't take everything at face value. Many of the answers are wrong. But many of them are helpful, and people ask questions that wouldn't have occurred to me but are issues to consider. The "Files" section is full of useful spreadsheets, lists, and more. It can be difficult and overwhelming to parse all of the info that passes through this group, but I've learned more here than from any other one source.

Road2College - This is the website for the creator of the Paying for College 101 Facebook group, Debbie Schwartz. She publishes helpful articles, and has a few tools that I am considering paying for in a year or two.

Lockwood College Prep - Andy Lockwood and his wife are consultants who focus on the financial side of the college admissions process, but seem to have their hand in every pie, like essays and testing. His free webinars are a fantastic source of info, and he offers various free PDFs that are worth reading.

Way to the Quad - Peg Keogh is a college financial planning consultant with a wealth management background. She periodically does free webinars, which are worth attending.

The College Essay Guy - Ethan Sawyer focuses on helping college applicants with their essays, but he's also just super smart with positive, value-driven messages. He regularly offers "pay what you can" courses and free resources for counselors. There are a lot of free resources for students and parents on his site too.

Shemmassian Academic Consulting - Shirag Shemmassian is another super smart guy, and he's written a comprehensive free guide on the admissions process. He also publishes useful info on his blog.

Julie Kim Consulting - Julie Kim specializes in helping students get into their dream college by creating a "passion project." Her approach reminds me a lot about the message I took from these books.

College Admissions Toolbox - Steve Schwartz focuses on essays, and his email newsletter is full of tips and examples.

Capstone Wealth Partners - This company is another one that focuses more on paying for college than anything else. Their newsletter usually covers useful topics.

JLV College Counseling - Jessica Velasco shares lots of info about outside scholarships. Her newsletters include lists of them.

Get Ahead of the Class - Denise Thomas also focuses on scholarships, and might be particularly helpful to homeschoolers.

The Scholarship System - Jocelyn Paonita Pearson focuses on outside scholarships, and I appreciate her emphasis on graduating debt-free. I think she was the first person to make me realize that you can apply for scholarships while you're in college.

Creating Positive Futures - Dr. Maggie Wray coaches high school and college students to be their best. While she doesn't focus on college admissions, I find her posts to be relevant and helpful in a general, positive way.

Do you have a favorite resource I haven't mentioned? If so, please share!

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