U of A bait and switch or do they really want to help families

February 25, 2011
Phoenix – The University of Arizona in Tucson has hastily made a switch to include the CSS Profile financial aid form in addition to the FAFSA for some of its incoming freshman class. The website for the University of Arizona at https://financialaid.arizona.edu/IMpolicy has the details. However, the hasty decision to add this additional burdensome form […]

Phoenix – The University of Arizona in Tucson has hastily made a switch to include the CSS Profile financial aid form in addition to the FAFSA for some of its incoming freshman class.

The website for the University of Arizona at https://financialaid.arizona.edu/IMpolicy has the details. However, the hasty decision to add this additional burdensome form has left some students scrambling at the last minute.

The decision to add this additional cumbersome financial aid form leaves much to be desired. Not only was the decision hasty but the proof lies on the website with grammatical and spelling errors. The first sentence on this web page reads “Thge University of Arizona (UA) remains committed to ensuring that every student who qualifies for institutional aid receives it.”

Spelling and grammar aside, this first sentence sounds like the college really wants to help out students; however that is far from the fact especially for divorced families.

The FAFSA form accounts financial numbers from ONE household. Meaning if the family is divorced or legally separated then only one household income is counted in determining financial aid.

According to U of A’s website, in addition to the CSS Profile the supplemental Non Custodial form must be included. Here is the actual text including errors “The PROFILE, inculding the Noncustodial PROFILE (NCP) for those students who have a noncustodial parent, must be submitted by 3/31/2011.”

This means that divorced families must now report both parents’ incomes in determining aid. To make matters worse, if the divorced parent marries, then the step parent(s) income and assets are included and will inflate costs resulting in lost financial aid eligibility.

Typically colleges that use the CSS Profile are highly selective and Ivy League colleges. Is the University of Arizona trying to position themselves as a highly selective or align themselves to be the next Ivy college or are they just out to suck the last nickel and dime from unsuspecting students and parents?

This is contrary to President Obama’s State of the Union speech in which he urged colleges to remain affordable.

Currently the single biggest accumulation of debt for families is in the consumer student loan market. Placing this unneeded burden of excessive student loan debt on new college graduates makes it difficult to climb out of this seemingly bottomless pit.

This is just one more blow to students as the cost of a college degree gets pushed into the stratosphere. The final straw that breaks the camel’s wallet is, there’s an additional fee to file the CSS Profile while the FAFSA remains free.

Parents and students need to be educated on these pitfalls and the bait and switch that some colleges are attempting as they look to extract as many dollars as possible resulting in increase their over bloated college endowment funds.

The questions on the CSS Profile dive much deeper into a families’ financial pocket. This form may ask for the value of a families’ primary home equity, the value of their 401k, IRA and other retirement accounts. Some colleges that use the CSS Profile ask about the families’ vehicles. Any funds in these accounts/assets will inflate the cost of college and cause the student to lose financial aid eligibility.

The FAFSA is a standardized form and cannot be modified. Yet the CSS Profile is a customizable form. If a college desires to ask any financial question all that is needed is to add it to the supplemental questions. This gives colleges the power to ask ANY question that they desire.

“Parents, students and families need to understand that college admission and college financial aid is a game. There are legal and ethical strategies that can dramatically reduce your cost of college” says J.D. Wyczalek, the founder of Arizona College Consulting, and AZCollegePlanning.com

Wyczalek goes on to state that he offers free community workshops that help families understand how the admission and financial aid system works so that they can monetize it to their best interest and not the interest of the college.

Join the fight to keep college affordable by telling the University of Arizona to stop using the CSS Profile and join the Facebook page ‘University of Arizona Stop the CSS Profile’.

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SAT ACT Comparison Chart

February 21, 2011
  SAT ACT Comparison Chart ACT Redesigned SAT Math & Reading 2400-Point SAT Estimate (old model) 36 1600 2400 35 1560-1590 2360 34 1510-1550 2300 33 1460-1500 2220 32 1410-1450 2140 31 1360-1400 2070 30 1320-1350 2010 29 1280-1310 1950 28 1240-1270 1890 27 1210-1230 1830 26 1170-1200 1770 25 1130-1160 1710 24 1090-1120 1650 […]

 

SAT ACT Comparison Chart

ACT Redesigned SAT Math & Reading 2400-Point SAT Estimate (old model)
36 1600 2400
35 1560-1590 2360
34 1510-1550 2300
33 1460-1500 2220
32 1410-1450 2140
31 1360-1400 2070
30 1320-1350 2010
29 1280-1310 1950
28 1240-1270 1890
27 1210-1230 1830
26 1170-1200 1770
25 1130-1160 1710
24 1090-1120 1650
23 1060-1080 1600
22 1020-1050 1550
21 980-1010 1500
20 940-970 1440
19 900-930 1380
18 860-890 1320
17 810-850 1250
16 760-800 1180
15 710-750 1100
14 660-700 1020
13 590-650 930
12 520-580 830
11 500-510 750

 

National Average SAT Scores - Reading 501 - Math 516 - Writing 492

National Average ACT composite scores 21

You can get a perfect score.

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What is your window of opportunity

February 4, 2011
As a high school junior, there is limited time to mold the student’s extracurricular and school activities so they attract the attention of colleges and universities, not to get into college but to get aid.

College Window of Opportunity

by J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick)

As I write this in February, families with high school juniors need to act right now as the window of opportunity is closing quickly.

The entire myth that it is difficult to get into college is exactly that, a myth. A search for a client came up with 312 4-year colleges (not community colleges) across the US that have a 100% acceptance ratio. This means, if a kid graduates high school regardless of grades and applies to one of these colleges they will get in.

Now getting aid at one of these colleges is a different matter all together.  I am talking about students who barely graduate high school and have a 2.0 GPA or less. There is a college out there for them.

For students who have a 3.0 to 4.0+ GPA, these students have greater options. Identifying colleges early on in the game (as early as the freshman year) and getting on a college’s radar early is a critical move in the college game and one step closer to getting financial aid.

As a high school junior, there is limited time to mold the student’s extracurricular and school activities so they attract the attention of colleges and universities, not to get into college but to get aid. (Of course this is an easier task with high school freshman and sophomores as there is more time to invest in these activities.)

One sure fire way to annoy College Admission Directors is to have too many activities or sporadic activities that don’t boost your overall high school resume. Many kids have joined clubs or activities for the singular purpose to impress College Admission Directors.

Frankly, these students are not the first ones who have attempted this strategy. In fact, College Admission Directors see literally hundreds of students attempt this façade. In some cases College Admission Directors have refused admittance to their institution as they see this as a character flaw.

College Admission Directors look for students with passion, leadership, someone who will overall help to build the character of the incoming college freshman class. And if they identify you early on in the process and decide you are the perfect fit for their student body, they will do whatever they can to recruit you. A college can and does entice a student to attend their institution with scholarships.

A student can be molded into a great college candidate, a candidate that colleges love to recruit. When colleges compete over recruiting a student, wonderful and magical things happen. This is why some colleges hand out huge scholarship packages to some students and nothing to others.

For families with high school freshman and sophomores, it is equally important to develop a game plan and systematizing the college process. The process can be fun and made into a game.  

As I look at my own children, it seems that only a short while ago when my daughter was 3 years old, we were getting kicked out of Toys R Us for driving the Pink Barbie Jeeps up and down the aisles. This year at age 18, in a few short months she will be heading off to college in Seattle. 

Do you want to discover the secrets to unlocking aid and playing the college game to win? Then you must attend one of my workshops. workshops

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Dastardly game colleges play

January 31, 2011
The games colleges play can cause havoc and stress on high school seniors and parents. One game that our local state college is playing this year is to send out a notice congratulating the student and offering admittance. However the letter goes on to state … to guarantee your spot, mail in a non refundable deposit […]

The games colleges play can cause havoc and stress on high school seniors and parents.

One game that our local state college is playing this year is to send out a notice congratulating the student and offering admittance. However the letter goes on to state … to guarantee your spot, mail in a non refundable deposit for $250 within the next 30 days to hold you spot for housing as we can’t guarantee housing…”

Every college knows that May 1st is official notification day, which happens to be on a Sunday this year.

So, colleges know May 1st is decision day but these colleges use carefully crafted words to cause panic in students and parents and try to get them to commit before they have all the facts. AND before other colleges have sent out award letters.

Do not commit to anything before you have all the facts.

Use this as a means to contact the college and then ask them if they can extend the deadline because you have not heard back from every college on your list yet.

You may be surprised what asking can do.

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President Obama sets major goals for education in America

January 27, 2011
President Obama sets major goals for education in America Posted: 01/26/2011 By: Brien McElhatten PHOENIX - In a state where only 75 percent of high school students graduate, those in the education community were closely watching President Obama's speech. Among the eyes watching in Arizona was Bobbie O'Boyle, Executive Director of the Arizona Education Foundation. […]

President Obama sets major goals for education in America

Posted: 01/26/2011

PHOENIX - In a state where only 75 percent of high school students graduate, those in the education community were closely watching President Obama's speech.

Among the eyes watching in Arizona was Bobbie O'Boyle, Executive Director of the Arizona Education Foundation.

"In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing Arizona's schools and students is the ability to scale up the pockets of success locally and nationally," she said.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, the president referred to history to encourage progress.

"Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we would beat them to the moon," he said to a packed House chamber. "But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs."

Obama encouraged parents to take an active role in the education of their children by emphasizing their role in the process.

"It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair," he stated.

With that, Obama set new goals.

Among them, training 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, math and technology over the next ten years.

He also touted his controversial Race to the Top program, which infuses public schools with funds on the condition they set higher standards for students and increase teacher accountability.

"Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids," explained the president.

"Now more than ever, Arizonans need reasons to celebrate education and identify and share in its successes," said O'Boyle. "I can only hope that Arizona's policy makers and leaders increase resources to our education system in order to improve opportunities for all Arizona's children so we can fulfill our responsibility to them."

Another goal set by the president is to increase the number of college graduates.

Saying America has fallen to ninth place in the proportion of students with a college degree, the President stated the goal should be to graduate more college students than any other nation by the end of the decade.

But for many, the cost of a degree seems out of reach. An education at a four-year public university can run $20,000 or more. The price is even higher at private schools.

In the Valley, one man has made it his mission to show parents how they can afford college.

J.D. Wyczalek started AZ College Consulting, LLC and the website AZCollegeplanning.com to help parents "understand the system."

"When you understand how the game is played, you can stack the deck legally and ethically in your favor," Wyczalek explained.

Wyczalek, who started his company after going through the college hunting process with his daughter, says parents as well as students need to do their homework.

"Don't throw out a college based on the sticker price. They have endowment funds, scholarships and grants. If you make yourself desirable, the will bend over backwards to bring you in."

Wyczalek says it's never too early to begin thinking about college. He points out that grades and test scores are important to admissions officers, but students should show a true passion for something. That can set them apart from the pack.

"Students should ask themselves, what can I do to make myself unique," he added.

There are loads of resources available to students. Websites, guides and college viewbooks all provide useful information, but perhaps the most important action students can take is to make a visit to the campus.

On campus visits, guides will host tours. Often students can see a dorm room, classrooms and common areas. But opportunities also exist to ask the students that attend the college about their experience.

Meanwhile in the Valley, Wyczalek offers free workshops each month to show parents how to set their children on the path to college, and how to afford it.

The next workshop is set for Thursday, January 27th at the Apaloosa Library in Scottsdale. The workshop is free, but you are asked to register online .
 

Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Original article posted here

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Full Ride Scholarship, elusive or exclusive

January 19, 2011
Scottsdale - Hundreds of families strive for that exclusive Full Ride Scholarship and wonder how to get it. While some students attain fantastic financial aid packages, others are just left wondering. There are four things that must be done to get as close to the Full Ride as possible. Apply to the right types of […]

Scottsdale - Hundreds of families strive for that exclusive Full Ride Scholarship and wonder how to get it. While some students attain fantastic financial aid packages, others are just left wondering.

There are four things that must be done to get as close to the Full Ride as possible.

  1. Apply to the right types of colleges. Not every college has free scholarship/grant money to give out. (We’ll show you which colleges are best for your student.)
  2. Student positioning- put the student in such a light that college admissions directors will do anything to recruit them. (We have a plan for that.)
  3. Do what you (the parent) can do to minimize exposure on financial aid forms. Even families who have 6 figure incomes can get aid! (We create family specific proprietary strategies.)
  4. Attend the How to get as close to a Full Ride Workshop and tell your friends about it too!

Free community workshops are presented by the founder of AZ College Consulting, LLC, J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick) that explain to parents and students the process of getting into college and maximizing aid strategies. He illustrates the numbers on several colleges and exposes the tricks that some colleges play.

Here’s what one dad said He is in and he got an identical package. I can’t thank you enough for the brilliant guidance and support.”

Click the RSVP Workshop button to register.

Reduce your cost of a college education and get as close as humanly possible to
The Full Ride - Workshop

  • Jan 26, 2011 Wed 6:15-7:30 PM Mustang Library 10101 N 90th St, Scottsdale
  • Jan 27, 2011 Thurs 6:15-7:30 PM Appaloosa Library 7377 E. Silverstone Dr. Scottsdale
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how to fill out financial aid forms and not get ripped off

January 2, 2011
Filling out financial aid forms can be daunting. Putting the wrong information can cause you and your student to lose thousands of dollars of financial aid. Now get expert help so that you can maximize your financial aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Boot Camp reveals the magic formula that colleges use to determine your financial […]

Filling out financial aid forms can be daunting. Putting the wrong information can cause you and your student to lose thousands of dollars of financial aid.

Now get expert help so that you can maximize your financial aid eligibility.

The Financial Aid Boot Camp reveals the magic formula that colleges use to determine your financial aid package. Now discover the secrets to maximize f using these closely guarded secrets that financial aid offices across the US pray you never find out.

In these informative videos, we will discuss the vital information parents and students need to know to maximize college financial aid regardless of how good of a student he/she is.

<VIDEO>

CSS Profile Student Guide PDF Document

This video is complements of this website.

Order the full version with more tips with over 2 hours of instructional content packed videos.

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I hate the FAFSA!

January 1, 2011
Anyone can fill out the FAFSA form however, filling it out correctly that is another story. According to the Department of Education over 70% of these forms are submitted with some kind of error. Don't be a statistic! If you knew how to answer each question line by line and knew how to answer it […]

Anyone can fill out the FAFSA form however, filling it out correctly that is another story. According to the Department of Education over 70% of these forms are submitted with some kind of error. Don't be a statistic!

If you knew how to answer each question line by line and knew how to answer it so that your student qualifies for the most aid humanly possible, how great would that be?

Errors could cause delays and worst case scenario, lost opportunity for financial aid.

A new website launched just in time for financial aid and FAFSA season explains line by line and step by step how to fill out this form correctly, accurately and to the benefit of the student. AZCollegePlanning.com is just that needed direction, the expertise professional guidance for every family. Check it out you’ll be glad you did.

Check out the other stuff on this website and don't be a DOE statistic!

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It’s time to fill out the FAFSA, Aaaarg!

December 31, 2010
Have you heard of parents who just hate the FAFSA and out of frustration they end up giving up. There is hope!

Have you heard of parents who just hate the FAFSA and out of frustration they end up giving up.

One couple came into my office about a month back and they wanted to know what they did wrong because their EFC was over exaggerated by over $100,000. With an EFC (expected family contribution) over a $100k, this means this family will not get any type of need based scholarships.

Now here’s the stats on this family, they make $98,000 in AGI, have some assets, have over $300k in a 401k and were one of the few people who had equity in their home. When I reviewed their SAR (student aid report) I found a few blatant errors. After correcting these their EFC was reduced to a manageable level and they qualified for need based aid.

Now there is a new source that can help families not make mistakes that could potentially cost them thousands of dollars of aid. The updated website.

This website has videos, PDF documents and line by line instructions on how to fill out these critical forms without making huge mistakes and how to fill it out so that you qualify for the most aid possible!

One of the many tips is to make sure that you are on the correct website fafsa.gov or fafsa.ed.gov. Do not go to any .com or.edu or .org website to file the fafsa!

 

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just in time for FAFSA

December 30, 2010
On http://collegecompass.tv are how to videos that could save you tons of headaches and time so that you are not lost when filling out the most important of all financial aid forms. In the videos and the accompanying book I go over the financial aid form line by line and explain exactly what the question means and how to answer the question so that your student qualifies for the most financial aid possible.

The website is done, live and ready just in time for FAFSA.

On this website there are how to videos that could save you tons of headaches and time so that you are not lost when filling out the most important of all financial aid forms. In the videos and the accompanying book I go over the financial aid form line by line and explain exactly what the question means and how to answer the question so that your student qualifies for the most financial aid possible.

By filling out this critical form correctly your EFC (expected family contribution) will not be overly exaggerated because the wrong numbers where put in the wrong fields.

Check it out. Videos, PDFs, required resources and more!

All this just in time for financial aid season!

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