By John Raftrey And Lori McCormick
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About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally f... (More)
About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally feature "guest? bloggers and invite other college counselors to join the blog team. We are members of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC).
Lori McCormick: I began my college advising career in 2006 at Notre Dame de Namur in Transfer Admissions. Since then, I have worked at San Jose State in the Career Center, for a local independent college advising firm, and for BUILD a college access program for underrepresented youth. I graduated with a BA in Sociology from UCSB and a MA in Psychology with a concentration in Career Counseling from Antioch University. I am an active volunteer with The Parent?s Club of the Peninsula (PAMP), the Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC) and I am a seasonal application reader for the Maisin Scholar Award
. I reside in Palo Alto with my husband and two sons.
John Raftrey: I have been advising students for the last three admission cycles. I regularly attend conferences, tour colleges, and keep up with the changing landscape of college admissions. I'll share what I learn and throw in a few opinions along the way. I moved to Palo Alto in 1991. My three sons are all veterans of PAUSD and graduated from Paly. I graduated from the University of Michigan, earned an MBA at Columbia University and hold a certificate in College Counseling from UC San Diego. In my past life I worked in TV news and high tech marketing. (Hide)
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(Written by Lori McCormick)
If you qualified for fee waivers to take the SAT or ACT, or are a participant in the free or reduced lunch program, then you should qualify for four (4) fee waivers to assist in the cost of applying to college. Having spent several of my professional years advising low income students, here are a few tips I have learned along the way to help explain the process.
1. If/When you register for the SAT, you will be asked which four colleges you want your first four score reports sent to. Your score reports will be sent to those four colleges at no charge. However, any additional score reports will be charged a fee. It will be about $11.25 per report (price subject to change – verify with College Board).
2. If you are applying to any of the 23 CSU (California State University) campuses, instead of sending your test scores to each individual campus, use the code 3594. Your scores will be sent to ALL of your CSU campuses for ONE fee.
3. Apply for fee waivers from NACAC. Your high school should have the form, but if not, here is the link to the form that you can print and give to your counselor (or the person who authorizes fee waivers, as every school's system is different). http://www.nacacnet.org/studentinfo/feewaiver/pages/default.aspx
4. Apply for fee waivers from College Board. This should happen automatically when you send in your test scores from the College Board (if you took the SAT) but if not, here is the link to learn more about the four fee waivers you will receive. https://student.collegeboard.org/apply-to-4
5. If you are applying to private colleges, ask the representative if they would be willing to waive your application fee. It certainly can't hurt to ask. Be prepared to demonstrate financial need.
6. If you plan on taking the ACT, work with your high school to determine if you are eligible for a fee waiver. Here is some additional information. http://www.actstudent.org/faq/feewaiver.html
7. Be strategic and realistic in where you apply. Make sure your college list is balanced and that you are setting yourself up for a positive application experience.