Great Resources

Below are our favorite resources. They deliver practical advice, ideas and information that we use consistently. They are the tried, true and trusty!

Favorite ♥ Websites — Book mark these baby!  This is the best to obtain fast facts on 1000s of colleges such as  tuition, enrollment,  size, SAT/ACT statistics.  BOOM! Information at your finger tips. Complies a list of potential schools based on the survey you answer. The site is powered by College Prowler and like their books, it ranks on a A, B, C scale more than 20 campus social & practical issues, such as safety, dining, housing, parking, etc. This site is easy to navigate!  A wealth of information and a discussion board which is frequented by admission counselors, parents & kids. Topics include specific college, their campuses, financial aid, admission practices, SATs, current events, etc.  At first is a bit tricky to navigate. This amazing website offers critical score data (SAT & GPA) of colleges where local HS kids have previously applied. Unfortunately, your High School must subscribe to Naviance to use it. If your school does not subscribe to Naviance, determine a similar HS and obtain their guest password (call the guidance office). Once on the website, you can measure your GPA against the previous years’ acceptances and rejections to various colleges. This is very easy to use website! It is hundreds of candid reviews, photos and videos by college students. If standardized tests are not your strong point checkout this website that lists all the schools who have gone SAT optional. Go to the tab “University Test” then click on “Optional List”.  Offers tremendous tools beyond registering for the SAT such as: 

  • College Matchmaker tool
  • Daily SAT Question of the Day 
  • Big Future 
  • CSS Profile (see below)  Register for the ACTs standardized test.  Registering with the NCAA is a must if the student wishes to participate in Division I, II, or III athletics

“Show me the Money”  Websites  This is the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submit your application as early as possible but not before January 1 of each year. In the fall download a Pre-Application worksheet so that you will have all your information handy when you do file. You can determine your EFC (estimated family contribution which unfortunately is often disappointing news… You need a PIN id# to file your FAFSA. It may take as long as two weeks so apply in the fall (when you calculate your EFC). This will prevent delays when you go to file your FAFSA on Jan 1 . (For CSS Financial Aid PROFILE) Click on “Pay for College” then register for a username and password. The fee is $ 9 to register and $16 for each school that you send the results to. Not all schools request the PROFILE, but some require it as part of the Financial Aid application before you are noticed of acceptance or rejection. This is a great website for looking up specific colleges Merit awards. It has a comprehensive directory of merit scholarships and academic scholarships from colleges across the country. A not-for-profit website that keeps up to date all you need to know about financial aid and various  college’s policies regarding FA. It’s a think tank and action group whose mission is “Keeping College Within Reach”.

 “Two Thumbs Up” Books  

What Colleges Don’t Tell You (and Other Parents Don’t Want You to Know) 272 Secrets for Getting your Kid into Top Schools by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross. $16, 2007 This author is my hero. She has fabulous,  tips written in easy format that you can highlight your favorite & knock you yourself over the head with home run advice.

Big Book of Colleges’12 by College Prowler $30. Very fun to read  student written summaries and comments of their chosen college. More than 400 schools profiled.

Acceptance  A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids find the Right Colleges and Find Themselves by David Marcus $25, 2009  Gwyeth Smith is a compassionate and smart Long Island guidance counselor who has been in the business for a long time. His advice is spot on and gives perspective to the whole process. Enjoy! (Good to read after reading  What Colleges Don’t Tell You) :)

The Gatekeepers Inside the Admission Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg, $16, 2003. An oldie but a goody, you feel like you are sitting at the admission table discussing the applicants.