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Expert Advice on College Applications

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College application season is upon us and some of you may be wondering how to get started. The Boston Globe recently ran a great piece interviewing the Career Center Director at a Boston high school. Here are some of my favorite tidbits from that interview, which you can read here.

  • For traditional four-year degree applicants, you should apply to 8 colleges — with at least two of them being “safety” schools. The high number will help to ensure that you find the best fit for you academically — and financially. Since aid offers can vary from school to school, it’s a good idea to have as many financial aid award letters to compare as possible.
  • The trend among college applications is to do away with the long, personal essay. In order to maximize your 250-500 words, aim to say something about you that isn’t already in your application or transcript. Don’t just rehash your academic record, rather relate a unique attribute or experience that you have had. Remember: Choose your words carefully! This post is about 250 words, so it’s really not that long at all!
  • Be aware that some colleges are checking out applicants’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. You don’t have to shut your social networking down altogether during college app season, but use some common sense about what you put out there. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see pictures of what you did last weekend, then you shouldn’t want your college admissions counselor to see it either!

How are your college apps going? Any pearls of wisdom to share with your fellow Financial Aid Finder reader? (Here’s more from us on college admission.)

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