Cost Benefit of Using a College Planner

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May Day. May Day. May 1 is the National Candidates Reply Date for Colleges and Universities. Your student must respond to the college of their choice to hold their spot for this fall.

Finally, the marathon of applying to college is over. Tests have been taken. Essays have been written; Financial Aid applications completed and submitted. Letters have been received and sorted -- Acceptance and Rejection. Calculators have calculated, pencils have been sharpened, negotiations are over. And the winner is ?

The winner for us was the College Planner. Having now done this both with one and without one, I'm a big fan of working with one and can say without qualification, our college planner, Michelle Mai, was worth every penny.

College Planner Gets Results

Our student applied to 11 universities-- 2 of them were California Universities, the rest private universities across the country. At the start of this we were certain that a private university was financially WAY out of reach and our income would put us WAY out of the running for financial aid. We were WAY wrong. Our student was accepted at 9 of her schools and received scholarships from 8 of them ranging from $7,000 to $20,000. That's per year! In the end, she will attend a great private school for less than the cost of the California Universities.

Fluke? Not a bit. The key to all of this was in selecting the right schools to apply to. Schools that have a lot to offer in our kid's area of interest (which was carefully identified by - guess who? The college planner). Schools where she is a solid match for their profile or even a bit above the average student, GPA and test-wise -- which also helped to open the door to Honors Programs at three of these schools.  Several Schools we NEVER would have thought of or considered without our college planner.

Get Help with the College Application Process

If you have a great Guidance Counselor who can spend the necessary time with your child, be very, very grateful. For most of us, we need to find another way. Much as I want to boast that her dad and I are college grads -- surely we can take up the slack -- it just wouldn't have been such a happy ending. We simply would not have opened ourselves up to the possibility of what is possible. And what a difference that has made for our child!

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