Financial Matters: Pre-College Legal & Financial Matters

There are a few legal and financial issues that should be addressed before your son or daughter goes off to college. If your child has turned or will turn 18 during the next year, she is legally an adult, and you, her parent, lose the legal authority to make decisions on her behalf. That means … Read More

Learn the steps to stand out in an interview!

I’m excited to feature an article from Mark Efinger. Mark Efinger has 25 years of experience teaching public speaking and is Founder and President of the Interview Skills Coaching Academy after working on both sides of the interview desk for over 40 years. This June, Mr. Efinger will be visiting Southern California and will … Read More

Financial Matters: College Choices & Return on Investment

There are so many moving parts to a student’s search for the ‘right’ college – location, academic options, student services, clubs and organizations, career preparations – but none of them matters if a family is unable to afford that wonderful education. Attending college is a privilege and one that costs a great deal of … Read More

Financial Matters: Comparing Financial Aid Packages

If you’ve applied for financial aid and filed all the paperwork by the appropriate deadline, an award letter outlining a college’s offer of financial assistance should arrive close on the heels of your notification of acceptance. Here’s a guide to understanding what that package really means. The bottom line in comparing financial aid packages … Read More

March Madness

March Madness, the annual men’s NCAA basketball tournament, tipped-off this week with an estimated 70 million brackets filled out. Over the next few weeks, about four billion dollars in workplace productivity will be lost. Madness, indeed. Even if you don’t have a connection to any of the schools, it’s still easy to get swept … Read More

Financial Matters: Free Money vs Loans

If you’re the parent of a high school senior and you’re thinking about how to pay for college without going broke, it’s a whole new, expensive world. In this world there are just two kinds of money: “Great money – or Free money” – and “Not-so-Great- money”.   Free Money Free money is a … Read More

Financial Matters: Tax Benefits for Education

Tax credits may be available to parents who pay higher education costs for their dependents. An education credit helps with the cost of higher education by reducing the amount of tax owed on your tax return. If the credit reduces your tax to less than zero, you may get a refund. There are two … Read More

Financial Matters: College Loans

As we have often said, paying for college is a significant challenge for many families. Once all types of grants, scholarships, work study options, jobs and family contributions are cumulatively considered, many families find they must borrow money to cover the remaining costs. Unlike the grants and scholarships, loans must be repaid — with … Read More

Maximizing Merit Aid

Although many middle-class and upper income families will not qualify for need based aid, they still may find the cost of attendance at most private colleges intimidating. Have you ever wondered what you can do to improve your chances of getting merit aid from a college? An intriguing study from the University of Rochester … Read More

The CSS Profile

The bulk of college financial aid money comes from the federal government; this aid is distributed by colleges using information supplied by families when they complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), available on October 1st. About 400 colleges, universities and scholarship programs, however, use an additional form, the CSS Profile, to … Read More

Filing the FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the primary form used by colleges to determine eligibility for need-based aid. In some cases, colleges will not consider an applicant for merit aid unless that student has first submitted a FAFSA. The FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible after October 1st of … Read More

How Movies Can Help You Write Better Application Essays

Like most people, you probably have many stories that you can tell about your life. You’ve done things, gone places, had triumphs and taken nosedives. As the saying goes, “life happens.” The best college application essays, however, don’t merely tell what happened to you; they also let admission officers understand why what happened matters. … Read More

Financial Matters: Talk To Your Kids About Money

Before students leave for college, families need to have a conversation about reasonable spending expectations. Parents need to be aware of the costs of books, clubs, activities and midnight pizza runs. But students shouldn’t assume there is a limitless debit card at their disposal. Most would agree that parents owe it to their children … Read More

Financial Matters: Does Attending College Make Financial Sense?

Media stories about the rising cost of a college education and student debt, combined with the lingering economic effects of the recession, have led many people to question whether it still makes financial sense to attend college. The answer is a resounding yes, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. … Read More

Wallowing on the Waitlist

Uh-oh. Your eagerly-awaited decision letter from Dream University finally arrives and you learn that you’ve been offered not the hoped-for place in the class, but a spot on their waitlist. What should you do now? Your first step is to carefully consider the rest of your college acceptances and determine which of these provides … Read More

Some of the Most Generous Colleges

Now that the heavy-lifting is done on college applications and the students have had a bit of a break from sharing their innermost thoughts in college essays, it’s time to gear up and start searching for ways to pay for their dreams. One of the biggest college admissions misconceptions that parents enjoy discovering is … Read More

Financial Matters: Trends in Student Loans

You’ve probably seen the headlines suggesting that debt for college students is out of control and getting worse. But, is it really? New data from the research arm of the College Board provide some answers. Since 1983, the College Board has analyzed data gathered from both the U.S. Department of Education and colleges to … Read More

It’s Time to Complete Financial Aid Forms

October 1st marks the first day that American families can apply for student financial aid for the 2018-19 academic year. Here’s what you need to know: • All US colleges require the submission of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you are applying for need-based financial aid. You need to complete … Read More

Financial Matters: Keeping College Application Costs In Check

Applying to college can be a costly proposition. According to U.S. News and World Reports, the average college application fee charged by colleges is $42, with more than a quarter of schools charging $50 or more. Add in the cost of standardized test score reports and, at some high schools, fees for transcript requests, … Read More

Applying Early Decision

Traditionally, college application deadlines were often in January. More recently, however, there has been a push for earlier applications, with admission programs that include Early Action, Early Action II, Early Decision I, Early Decision II and even a few Single Choice Early Action programs enticing applicants with the promise of earlier decisions and possibly … Read More

Writing Great College Essays

Start early. The more time you have, the less stress you’ll feel. Even if your college list isn’t 100% finalized yet, it’s not too early to start thinking about your application essays. Your essays are important, but essays are only a piece of what admission officers will consider. Do the best job possible with … Read More

Legal and Financial Issues Before College

If your child has turned or will turn 18 before college begins, she is legally an adult, and you, her parent, lose the legal authority to make decisions on her behalf. That means that you have no legal right to see her grades, manage her finances (although you remain responsible for paying her college … Read More

Paying Your College Bill

A few months before your child starts college, you’ll receive a bill from the college for your child’s first semester (or quarter) of expenses. The college will deduct any financial aid or scholarships, and the bill will show the amount you – the parent – will need to pay before school starts. If you … Read More

Making the Most of Your Summer

Perhaps you’re not one of those super- organized, type-A people who firmed up their summer plans in January. And, right about now you’re finding yourself with more than a little free time this summer. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and the best news is that there are still some good options out there. What’s … Read More

Appealing For More Financial Aid

If your first choice college offers everything you want but the price tag is making you waiver, don’t give up hope. Instead, consider appealing to the college’s financial aid office for more money. While colleges and universities won’t encourage it, you are within bounds. Individual financial aid officers are empowered to make adjustments if … Read More

How Parents Can Help Seniors Handle Rejection

Parents just want to help. The natural reaction when you see your child suffering is to try and make it better. Denials are inevitable in an atmosphere of increasingly selective admissions, so how can parents help ease the pain of college rejection? The first step is to accept that it’s complicated. It’s complicated by … Read More

SAT or ACT? Which is Right for You?

A year ago, the SAT was revamped, and now students wonder, should they take the new SAT or the ACT? Keep in mind that a 1600 on the new SAT is the same as a 36 on the ACT. While experts say that the new SAT is more straightforward and now more similar to … Read More

Need Accommodations for the SAT or ACT?

Recently, both the College Board and the ACT announced big changes to their test accommodations policy. Unlike the past, when students seeking accommodations had to pass through a number of hoops, the process has been significantly streamlined for those needing language support or extended time for testing. Beginning January 1, 2017, the College Board … Read More

Avoiding the Dreaded Disease: Senioritis!

American seniors sometimes think that because they have worked so hard throughout high school, they have earned the right to slack off senior year, especially in the last few months. By now, mid-year grades are on their way to colleges and students may have already been accepted at their favorite school. Why not kick … Read More

Using PSAT Results in Planning Testing Strategy

Each year, tens of thousands of students take the PSAT exam at high schools across the United States. The PSAT is not used by colleges in the admissions process, but the results can help you better understand your academic strengths and weaknesses and suggest the skills you should focus on in preparing for college … Read More

Financial Matters: Time for an FSA ID!

October 1st marks the opening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid website for students applying for aid for the 2017-18 academic year. Although many colleges have much later deadlines for submitting the FAFSA, it is in the best interest of students to complete their applications as early as possible. Increasingly, seniors are … Read More

Completing Your CSS Profile

The bulk of college financial aid money comes from the federal government; this aid is distributed by colleges using information supplied by families when they complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) available on October 1st. About 400 colleges, universities, and scholarship programs, however, use an additional form, the CSS Profile, to … Read More

Helping Your Child Select a College

  It’s that time of year and students all over the country are anxiously awaiting the decision of their college applications. Some will decide to stay close to home, while others will step away from their familiar surroundings and move more than a thousand miles away. Regardless of the decision to be made, choosing … Read More

Are you worried about how you’ll pay for college?

  Well, rest assured! There are many different funding opportunities to choose from, including scholarships, grants, and loans. In this article, you will learn more about different financial aid options for your student, and information regarding the FAFSA and CSS Profile Financial Aid forms.     TYPES OF AID: Scholarships Scholarships are one of … Read More

Determining “The Best Fit” College

All of our students at My Pathway to College come to us for help not only getting into college, but finding the best-fit college. There are over 7,000 colleges to choose from, and every student has different needs, expectations, and interests when it comes to their college choice and preparing for their future. Which is … Read More

Rising Seniors Monthly To-Do List

Over the years, My Pathway to College has experienced that rising seniors who began writing application essays during the summer did much better at getting accepted to their first choice schools. We believe this was a result of taking time to choose topics for questions that will positively highlight the student, writing a first … Read More

Class of 2015: Fire and Ice Party

Getting accepted into college is a huge milestone, as we all know. For the entire duration of high school, our students are not only learning new subjects, but discovering and exploring their interests both inside and outside the classroom while studying for college prep exams. My Pathway to College recognizes the hard work our … Read More

Tips for Having a Productive Summer

High schoolers: summer is here! The next few months are filled with trips, hanging out with friends, catching up on sleep—maybe even working your first internship. For many of us, the summer is also a chance to reflect, to explore interests, learn, and take advantage of a flexible schedule. College admissions looks to see … Read More

How to Prepare for Freshman Year of College

Congratulations: you got into college! That is a HUGE accomplishment. And while the big move is still months away, there are some things you can do this summer to prepare. (Yes, those college forms sent via mail are meant to be filled out!) There are also some logistics to think about once you arrive … Read More

2015-2016 College Application Essay Prompts

While the college essay is just one portion of the application process, it does carry weight. Think about it: the personal essay is the only place an admissions reader can discover something about you that is not covered in the rest of the application. So use this platform to share your thoughts, inspirations, and … Read More

Best Value Schools: National Universities

The higher the quality the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal according to US News. This ranking is based on   schools ranked in the top half of their categories as US News places significant value on colleges that are above average academically. Find out which colleges have the best value … Read More

FREE College Readiness Presentation Series!

My Pathway to College will be providing free college readiness sessions from 12-1 p.m., for students and/or parents who have enrolled in a Mira Costa College Youth Academy course. If interested in enrolling in a MiraCosta College Youth Academy Course and attending my free presentation, enroll here. Learn valuable college admissions information! Prizes and … Read More