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How COVID-19 is changing the way we finance college

Posted by Neal Schwartz on January 07, 2021

While the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, one silver lining is the changes to core Financial Aid submission. According to a recent article in Forbes by Mark Kantrowitz, the FAFSA will be undergoing massive changes in response to the COVID-19 relief bill. According to the FAFSA Simplification Act, financial aid determination will be adapted from both the federal and institutional levels. 

However, these changes will not be coming in the near term, but rather will affect the Freshman class of 2023—current high school Sophomores. It will of course have an impact on the earlier classes as Financial Aid is required to be submitted and reviewed each year prior to a student’s college year.

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Topics: College Costs, College Applications, college admissions, early decision, early action, early decision 2, SAT/ACT, college selection, college counseling, high school senior, Guidance Counselors, virtual tours

Are the SATs and ACTs still necessary?

Posted by Neal Schwartz on December 15, 2020

Due mostly to the pandemic, nearly 75% of colleges have gone the test optional approach, many of which are extending test optional policies forward several years. The question of how important the SAT and ACT tests will be for the upcoming graduating classes has resulted in many opinions.  Is the pivot to test optional for college admission going to be a temporary or long-term situation? To predict what may happen, it is wise to take a broader historic view.

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Topics: College Costs, College Applications, college admissions, early decision, early action, early decision 2, SAT/ACT, college selection, college counseling, high school senior, Guidance Counselors, virtual tours

A pandemic outcome: early decision applications likely to continue to decline

Posted by Neal Schwartz on November 12, 2020

College students have long been tempted by applying Early Decision, where upon acceptance, a student agrees to attend a college or university. Early Decision is a great option to reinforce demonstrated interest for students that are very confident with their top college choice and chances of admission. College admissions also use Early Decision to get a head start filling their classes. However, with the sanitary crisis impacting college in an unprecedented way, students seem less willing to go Early Decision.

Although the Early application season is still in progress for some schools and the data is yet to be tabulated, the initial view this year is that due to the pandemic and the issues outlined, there is a continuance of the decline in both Early Decision and Early Action applications. This is also tied to the drop in student applications.  According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, applications dropped 8% through November 2nd. (Many Early applications have a deadline of November 1st).  In our area, where approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of seniors would have typically applied Early Decision to a school, the trend is that those numbers have dropped considerably.

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Topics: College Costs, College Applications, college admissions, early decision, early action, early decision 2, college selection, college counseling, high school senior, Guidance Counselors, virtual tours

Neal Adam Schwartz receives CEP designation by the AICEP

Posted by Neal Schwartz on October 20, 2020

Press Release CEP Designation

Neal Schwartz is part of a growing group of educational consultants and school counselors in the nation to earn the designation of Certified Educational Planner (CEP).

“We are proud to have Neal receive this certification,” said Katelyn Klapper, Chair of the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP). “We believe this certification sets the standard for professional college counselors not only in knowledge and experience, but in ongoing professional development.  There is no higher mark of distinction in the profession,” she noted.

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Topics: College Essays, College Applications, High school Activities, college admissions, supplemental essays, distance learning, college counseling, commonapp, high school senior, college freshman year, fafsa, Certified Educational Planner, CEP

FAQ: Applying for College in a Pandemic

Posted by Neal Schwartz on October 19, 2020

In the heat of application season, college applicants are not just finishing up their applications, but some are starting to question their original paths. With the uncertainty brought about by test cancellations and college budget cuts, just to name a few of the challenges, students and their families are faced with unprecedented decisions to make. The New York Times recently published an interview with college admissions expert, Jeffrey Selingo, who offers some advice on how the pandemic will shape student and parent decision-making. Here are some important questions to consider.

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Topics: College Essays, College Applications, High school Activities, college admissions, supplemental essays, distance learning, college counseling, commonapp, high school senior, college freshman year, fafsa

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