Tag Archives: College Costs

Northern Exposure: Four Michigan Schools that Might Be Right for You

After attending a professional development seminar hosted by Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Kettering University, and Michigan State University, LEAP’s College Counseling Team wanted to provide background information on each.  Who knows? One of these schools may be your perfect FIT! Central Michigan University: Located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan (2 ½ hours from Detroit), Central Michigan University is a 4-year, public university.  Additionally, CMU offers Michigan’s first undergraduate neuroscience degree program, which was awarded the 2013 Undergraduate Program of the Year by the Society for Neuroscience.  With 20,415 undergraduate students, CMU’s average incoming freshman has a 3.33 GPA and … Continue reading

The Expensive Choice of Testing Prior to Prep

Expense can be calculated in the terms of time and money. Taking the ACT or SAT for a “trial run” before embarking on test prep and serious testing is a costly mistake. LEAP’s proven approach since 1999 is as follows: Take a prep course – we hope you’ll choose LEAP! Take the first attempt at the ACT and/or SAT. Analyze scores and decide which test to retest on. 83.4% of LEAP students improve! Only 57% of all students increase on a second attempt. If necessary (not always the case), do additional prep (LEAP offers individualized tutoring) to strengthen weak areas … Continue reading

5 Reasons to NOT Pay Your College Deposit

It’s exciting! You have a place to go to college. A new home for the next four year. SOMEONE wants you – maybe even your first choice school. They’ve even offered you some scholarship money, and now they’ve asked for your deposit. STOP! Did you know that the National Association for College Admissions Counselors (NACAC – of which I’m a member) ethics states that no college shall manipulate students to make a commitment prior to May 1 and housing options may not be leveraged to do so.  It is your right to take your time to make what is a … 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

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

Risky Business: The ACT-SAT Optional Writing Test

Given the opportunity what teenager wouldn’t rather skip writing a 40 or 50-minute essay? The adolescent me would have jumped at the chance. The college counselor I am today hopes someone would have stopped me. Much to the disappointment of teenagers, LEAP‘s recommendation is to take the optional writing test each and every time. Yes, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The financial cost of doing so will increase your testing fees by $11.50 (SAT) or $17 (ACT – which is cheaper than the non-writing SAT). The potential opportunity cost of not opting in could be missing out on the college of your dreams. … Continue reading

10 Common FAFSA Errors

It’s FAFSA season for seniors!  Guest blogger Todd Kelly of Cumulus College Planning and College Quest Alliance has timely advice to avoid common mistakes. January is the month that millions of families disclose their financial data to the Department of Education through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Specifically, more than 20 million FASFA applications are submitted each year.  Anywhere from 70—90% are submitted with errors.   An error filled FASFA will likely reduce the amount of aid you might receive.  The FAFSA has been called “the gateway to financial aid”.  With the ever increasing costs associated with college, it is … Continue reading

7 Life Events Dramatically Impacting Your College Costs

Cumulus College Planning focuses on lowering the out-of-pocket cost of college while taking their clients down the academic path LEAP provides for families’ college bound journey.  Many families fail to realize strategically planning now can save thousands on the cost of college instead of waiting on the colleges to tell you the cost in the spring of the senior year. Also surprising is the way in which life events impact the news the financial aid office will deliver. Guest LEAP Blogger, Andy Hickman (Ahickman@cumulusCWA.com) of Cumulus College Planning 1)      Divorce/Separation/Remarriage: Division or addition of assets and income, multiple houses or … Continue reading

Rising Senior Summer – Be Prepared for Fall Apps

For many of you, it’s hard to believe just months from now as senior year is starting you’ll need to be ready to apply to college. That statement may leave many of you feeling behind. So how do you maximize summer so you’re ready and not overwhelmed come fall? 1. Finalize list for application. Most college applications go online August 1st, including the Common App which over 500 colleges use. LEAP recommends you start these apps when they come available to so they don’t crowd your fall schedule when you’ll have a lot more to do. To be ready to … Continue reading

Find Your Fit 2 Flourish in Life

Parents left paying off their children’s’ college debt while the student is a basement dweller in their childhood home.  Empty nesters left with empty retirement accounts after paying for college. Credit card debt extended to its limit.  Why? These families focused on the 4 years instead of the 40. The Four (or Five or Six) Years Most families go about college selection focused on just that – college.  By the junior year, the student is constantly pelted with the question, “Where are you going to college?” Finally in the spring of the senior year, they are able to answer that … Continue reading

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