Planning YOUR ACT-SAT Testing Timeline

Ohio is now giving all juniors either the ACT or SAT each spring. This creates great opportunity and can cut the cost of college entrance in half to a third of what it previously was. With this opportunity, many families feel they are lost in a maze of confusion trying to make a plan and discern the right decisions for their individual child. LEAP’s team operates on vast experience built since 1999 and guides families through answering questions such as: How does completion of algebra 2 impact the testing timeline? Should students take the ACT, SAT or both? How does … Continue reading

What’s the “Write” Option?

Students who don’t like to write are often looking for outs when it comes to writing.  The ACT and now SAT calling their writing or essay portion of the test “optional”, often feels like it’s ripe for opting OUT of the dreaded essay.  So what’s one to do? LEAP offers advice to families with the desire to keep all college options open for application in the fall of the senior year. Colleges that DON’T Require the Writing Portion As of fall 2016, the initiation of application season for the class of 2017, there’s been a change. ALL Ohio public schools no … Continue reading

Senior Alert: CSS/Financial Aid Profile Available 10/1

LEAP welcomes the return of our partner and guest blogger, Beatrice Schultz with Westface College Planning. She’s an expert on planning how to pay for college and getting a great return on your investment.   The CSS Profile is the form YOU need to complete to qualify and maximize non-federal financial aid from the almost 300 colleges who require it. While not as commonly used as theFAFSA, for those colleges that do use it, completing the CSS Profile is a requirement to qualify for any non-federal financial aid, and who doesn’t want some extra money toward their college fund? It … Continue reading

PSAT & National Merit Basics

Stephanie Meyer Twilight author, M. Night Shyamalan movie director, Jeffrey Bezos CEO of, John Roberts Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Bill Gates former Microsoft Chairman, Ben Bernanke Chairman of the US Federal Reserve have one thing in common.  They were each National Merit Scholarship winners chosen from a pool of 15,000 National Merit Finalists.  How did they get there? Each October more than 1.5 million high school juniors enter the National Merit Scholarship race by taking the PSAT test through Collegeboard at their local high school.  The PSAT doubles only in the junior year as the National Merit … Continue reading

Before You File For Financial Aid

October 1, 2016 the FAFSA will roll out – YES! This is a new date. This application is required to utilize federal financial aid for which you or your student may qualify. The first step, logging into your account to apply, changed in 2016. It is in affect for the high school class of 2017 and older students already in college who are applying for aid. Yes, the FAFSA must be completed every year you are in college and intend to use federal aid, including the Stafford Unsubsidized Loan which even students with no financial need can utilize. All families are required … Continue reading

All Ohio Juniors to Take the ACT or SAT

On July 11, 2016, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced starting with the graduating class of 2018 ALL Ohio juniors will take EITHER the ACT or SAT each spring as one of their three diploma options.  In addition to 20 state minimum course credit requirements, all students must meet ONE of the college and career readiness standards: Earning a cumulative 18 points on Ohio’s state end-of-course exams. Earning 12 points for industry and workforce readiness. Earning “remediation-free” scores on the ACT or SAT. How will this work? Each high school in the state of Ohio will choose between administering the … Continue reading

Ready, Set, Connect! College Fairs in Cincinnati & Columbus Fall 2016

Whether you’re a sophomore or junior staring the college visits and selection or a senior knee deep in college applications, college fairs are a great way to engage with admissions reps from our area, demonstrate interest and learn more about the schools. A few tips! Advance Planning Register ahead of time when possible. Consult the list of attending colleges before you go; create a target list for connection. Create a list of questions to ask the representative. Print out contact stickers to save time when completing contact cards for more information. You want the college to know you were there! By … Continue reading

5 Tips to an Outstanding College Application Essay

Learn, Brainstorm, Write, Revise & Polish.  These are the steps in LEAP’s 5-step process to an essay that will make you stand out from the crowd of applicants vying for a spot at your dream school. Creating the optimal essay takes focus and time. August 1st brings a flurry of activity when most applications becoming available, fall extra curriculars starting and don’t forget senior year starting. Keeping all of the balls in the air, while keeping grades up, requires room in your schedule that can be hard to find. One way to maximize your schedule and develop the best essay possible … Continue reading

Common App 2016-17 Preview

Not a lot has changed in the Common App from the previous year, however it’s always comforting to get an overview tutorial before jumping into college applications.  Here is this year’s preview! Need essay assistance, selecting colleges for application, review of your application before you hit submit? Those are the services LEAP provides for families across the U.S. regardless of location. Just contact us: or 513-754-2240 http:// Common App 2016-17 Preview from Lisa Marker-Robbins on Vimeo.        

4 Reasons to NOT Apply Early Decision

November 1st is the Early Decision (ED) deadline at many schools. You’ve heard applying Early Decision will increase your odds of acceptance. What is Early Decision? First not all schools offer Early Decision and you can only apply to one school ED indicating this school is your first choice. For those that apply ED it is a firm commitment to withdraw all other regular and Early Action (non-binding) applications from other schools and enroll in the Early Decision school if accepted. Think Twice At 16, 17 or 18, a firm commitment to anything but what you’re doing this weekend is … Continue reading

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