'Applying to College Ain't What It Used To Be…'
I hear that a lot!
My name is Peter Ratzan. I'm the owner of College Funding Specialists, a long-time Floridian, former teacher and counselor, and I've seen first-hand how confusing, stressful, complicated and uber-competitive the admissions process has become.
It barely resembles what it looked like way back in Ancient Times (the 1980's when I was applying). There are multiple types of standardized tests; they are scored differently, offered more frequently, and by subject matter and they're factored differently (or not at all) depending on the college. Technology and common applications "invite" students to apply to multiple schools, fueling what is known as "application inflation" (students routinely apply to 20 or more schools). Financial aid is more widely touted and offered, but getting the right package (scholarships and grants) is more complicated than ever. Arne Duncan, the Education Secretary, testified before Congress that "...you basically need a PhD to figure this stuff out."There is also a new breed of colleges that becomes "hot" and "up and coming" every few years. There are way more AP's and honors courses offered by high schools, and the colleges know exactly how rigorous each high school's curricula and grading standards are. There are also more majors and concentrations not to mention more categories of schools available to choose from.
If you are the parent of a college-bound teen, you need to arm yourself with the facts. Remember, the college admissions process will affect not just the next four years, but potentially the next 40; and it precedes what is undoubtedly one of the largest financial investments a family will ever make.
I know it seems like your son or daughter just got to high school, but in a short time (if it hasn't started already), your child is going to be inundated with college literature shiny, glossy brochures featuring eager, good-looking, smiling faces of every race and ethnicity. Before they fall in love with one of those brochures, and decide it's the school, I think it's important that you find out how to assemble a college list that meets not only your student's academic, social and emotional needs, but also your financial objectives. Remember, with all due respect to US News and World Report (and other similarly subjective "rankings"), you're not looking for the best school; you're looking for the school that's best for your child and your family.
To help you get started, I've put together a free guide with valuable, objective resources that I use in my practice every day to help families demystify the College Admissions Process and choose, apply to and pay wholesale for college. In it you'll find a list of 60 colleges that claim to meet 100% of your financial need, a site that will predict with 90% accuracy your child's chances of admissions, and a list of the "best college values," as well as websites that offer valuable tips and inside information (straight from the admissions officers' mouths) on how to maximize your chances of admissions at some of America's best and most generous colleges.
In my practice, I am able to step in (as part advocate, part drill sergeant) and walk my students through the entire, confusing process in a way that restocks the odds in their favor. Similarly, this guide will give you a head start and allow you to take a deep breath and sleep well at night, confident that you are doing what's best for your children and your family.
Peter 'College Pete' Ratzan, MBA
May 23, 2013 • 2:00 p.m.
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
PUBLIC WORKSHOP - Registration Suggested
June 19, 2013 • 6:30 p.m.
Pinecrest Community Center
5855 SW 111 Street
Pinecrest, FL 33156
Strategies for choosing, getting accepted to & Paying Wholesale For College. We'll be providing tips and advice for "forgotten" middle class parents who are overwhelmed and stressed by what has become a year-round, complex and competitive college admissions and funding process. Suited for parents of 10th and 11th graders or anyone who wants to learn the inside secrets of getting into and getting a discount for college.