Red Crown

Raising Daughters Of The King

Princesses that bring Honor to their Royal Father

Giving practical tips and encouragement to mommies of girls

College Applications

Here are a few things that worked for us:

The SAT   more…

Take the SAT 3 times. I think we started them taking the test in the fall of their junior year — I’m sure there are lists somewhere that give the recommendations on that. I read was that the third time is usually the highest score for most students. There are online prep classes for the SAT and libraries and local community colleges offers classes. One thing some parents did successfully is buy an SAT Prep book and have the student work several tests and look up the corrected answers and the reason they got them wrong. I also read that some parents chose to pay their students an hourly wage for studying for the SAT since that would reduce expenses in the long run, thus giving an added incentive to the student to study rather than work an after school job.

Be Early   more…

We usually send in college applications early (look for free opportunities) so they can get back to us if there is a scholarship offer. By Jan. begin sending in room deposits (most are refundable if requested in writing), if you wait too long on this, the kids don’t get the best room assignments.

Applications - Stay on Top of Them   more…

Keep on top of the scholarship deadlines because occasionally even small schools don’t keep on top of things for you. We have lost money by not asking them if there was anything else needed. Or by not verifying that they had up-dated the applications with the newer/higher SAT scores. I always send a resume with letters of recommendations with each application (unless the school specifically says not to.) I save a list of references with contact information for future needs.

FAFSA   more…

The earlier you fill this out, the more opportunities for scholarships. Most info comes from IRS forms — you can use last year’s data so it can be sent in as soon as possible and then update the info after you’ve prepared your taxes to include your current exact information. Save copies of everything you do, it will make future years easier.

Student Loans   more…

One thing that keeps popping up these days is how devastating student loans can be. (Students tend to under-estimate how big “small loan payments” really are; and over-estimate how big their “starting salaries” are going to be. Usually they start coming due 6 months after graduation. Anything paid off before that time is on a grace period and huge amounts can be saved by paying off as much as possible before that date. Young couples that meet and marry in college can end up with huge loans accumulated. We have encouraged our girls and any serious suitors to begin paying those loans back as they go through school. I understand that consolidating student loans for married couples is not usually advisable because should one die, the other has to pay off both sets of loans.

Financial Aid   more…

Remember to ask your college financial aid department for help… the Be On Time Loan must be recommended by them. If your student graduates “on time — 4 years” with a B average at least, the loan is forgiven and becomes a grant. (Many majors are now 5 years at some colleges — so eligibility should be checked into before assuming it will count.) And here is a grant based on need.

High School Resume   more…

For a high school resume (click here for a sample), I include contact information, GPA, SAT and PSAT scores with dates, lists of school activities, academic achievements and awards, leadership and work activities, church and community service activities, and other awards for the 4 years of high school — 1 or 2 pages. If applicable, use bits and pieces of the resume to put into the graduation bulletin that define who your student is: one of my children had less awards but more ministry projects that defined her, so I listed those.

CLEP - Some Thoughts   more…

If your student freezes up or does not take standardized tests well, this may not be the best option for him/her. However, for students who do take tests well, this may be a great option.

By taking CLEP tests sometimes students can save money or free up time to take other college electives. I had my kids take the chemistry CLEP right after taking that class even though they were just sophomores. That way the info was still fresh on their minds, so less study was required and the CLEP tests results can stay on their record for quite some time. You can then have the ones you want, sent to the university when the time comes.

Sometimes a student may be able to CLEP out of a particular subject (such as Spanish) because they are proficient in skills such as vocabulary but are not proficient in skills that a college class will teach during the basic year they clepped. This can mean a huge struggle to keep a good grade in a class the student clepped into. Talk with your student’s teacher to see if this individual student should attempt such a jump from one level to another. It may save money to skip a class, but it may make an A in the next level very difficult to achieve. Some students are delighted to CLEP out of an entire subject matter so they have more time to take electives in college or so they can also graduate in the 4 year time frame.

Usually the CLEP study books have a practice test that your student can take to see how well they would do if they take the test. They should look it over before paying any money to register for the test. They may see easily that they do not know enough of the material to be able to pass the test.

American History has many government questions so a more appropriate time for that CLEP might be after the senior year of government. (This, of course, means more study time to review 11th grade Am. History info.)

Check beforehand on your student’s scholarship money to be sure they don’t CLEP or transfer in so many hours that they become “transfer students” rather than traditional students and lose money. (My experience that about 23 hours are the max — but I am sure this number varies per university and scholarship.)

Sometimes students can’t AP test out of calculus (etc.), but they can CLEP out of it.

Some universities give the students a proficiency test to determine their appropriate level of placement in language rather than accept a CLEP test.