When to start the college process


Start the college process early
Photo by Public domain image, http://pixabay.com/en/people-man-character-person-37496/

Parents and their college-bound often start the college process during students’ high school years. Many advisors use calendars to assign certain key chores including studying for college admission tests, researching colleges, and completing college/financial aid applications. However, to increase chances for a successful college experience and beyond, college prep starts much earlier.

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Cooper Union says no more but others still offer free tuition

Fewer colleges offer free tuition

Few colleges offer free tuition.
Photo by kenteegardin, http://www.flickr.com/photos/teegardin/5916140780/

Cooper Union announced it will end its tuition–free policy and start charging tuition to those who can afford it. This leaves a handful of tuition-free colleges including three in the New York area. Only one of these is a private institution and the two federal service academies come with strings attached.

Read on for the list:


TSA knife rule impacts college choice

Pocket Knife Collection

Pocket Knife Collection. Photo by Alexander Rushing, uploaded by Partyzan_XXI, File:Pocket knives.jpg – Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org –

Plane traveling parents and the college-bound worried about their safety in the air, on their way to and from college, have a temporary reprieve. Yesterday, the controversial rule to carry small knives on board has been temporarily postponed.

College location is more important than ever. Prospective students typically research campus and local community cultural events, activities, internship possibilities and even the weather. They look up crime stats and talk with campus Safety Officers. Allowing flight passengers to carry small knives on board is one more issue families would have to consider when evaluating the safety of college attendance.

Transportation safety problems could be a game changer when picking a college to attend. Between semester breaks and school holidays, students come home a lot. Many colleges sponsor Family Days and encourage parent visits. Many families rely on plane travel. They are already struggling with increased ticket costs, fewer perks, and delays because of Sequester cuts.

The knife rule change

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Discover your college warranty

Discover your college warranty

Discover your college warranty. Photo by
andrew_cosand, IMG_3159_crop | Flickr – Photo Sharing!www.flickr.com

Many parents and college-bound students face a costly college dilemma: Is that dream school worth the money or will a cheaper college lead to equal success?

The question is about higher education warranties.

The answer should be easy, considering this is not the first tough consumer decision that families have had to make. Parents put on their consumer hats when buying other large ticket items like a home, car, or vacation. They weigh the pros and cons; they review the warranties and insurance policies.

When it comes to higher education, the floodgates of emotion open. Families consider going into huge debt and risk future financial security for a perceived sole chance for student success.

Is a college acceptance letter like a winning lottery ticket? All students have to do is cash in, attend college and be set for life?

For families unable to pay the 4-6 year college bill out-of-pocket without substantial borrowing, parent retirement and student future lifestyles may be in jeopardy. The bottom line is overwhelming debt doesn’t mix well with success.

What is the college warranty?

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Parents and college-bound emergency plan

Emergency call button - Public Information Symbol

Emergency call button – Public Information Symbol Photo by public domain by its author, Foundation for Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation (http://www.ecomo.or.jp/english/picto_top.html

If parents need another reason to prepare for emergencies, the recent Boston bombings sure give it.

Boston is home to families and businesses. It is also a college town and major tourist city. Unfortunately, many other American towns have suffered from disasters such as school shootings, Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, epidemics and earthquakes.

The hope is that an emergency plan will never need to be put into action. However, from terrorist and other criminal attacks to health hazards and environmental/weather tragedies, wise families have an emergency preparedness plan.

Parents with college-bound students have unique challenges. They need a plan for when they are all at home and when they are apart. The government’s website www.ready.gov is a great resource including instructions to make a plan, build a kit and stay informed.

Here’s a five-point plan for families of college-bound students:

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It takes this village to get into college

Photo by Nina Matthews from Sydney, Australia, File:Love shadows everything.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org

Photo by Nina Matthews from Sydney, Australia, File:Love shadows everything.jpg – Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org

When a student is accepted for college admission, he or she has a lot of backs to pat besides his own. It takes a community to prepare a child for a successful college career and beyond.

Every student has a different assortment of people who fill these roles:

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7 cool ways Twitter helps parents of college-bound

twitter influence: Photo by mil8 Marc Levin www.flickr.com

twitter influence: Photo by mil8 Marc Levin www.flickr.com

Social media can help parents of the college-bound. Twitter, for instance, provides a wide selection of valuable resources. While students are often warned about how misuse of social media can harm their college and job prospects, savvy parents can explore and benefit from this new virtual frontier.

With short and snappy posts, Twitter users get their point across in 140 characters or less. It’s a great tool for uber-busy parents with little spare time. Tweets can be read on smart phones while standing in line at the market, in a waiting room or during T.V. commercials. Since Twitter is socially interactive, parents can follow a favorite Tweeter, comment and ask a question.

Here are 7 cool ways Twitter helps parents of the college-bound:

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Best towns and cities for students and parents

Best towns and cities for students and parents
Photo by Cameron Parkins cameronparkins, 208183738_3963507e66_o.jpgwww.flickr.com

It’s possible to find a great college for your student, a wonderful place to live and work, and a fine location for your retirement all at the same time. It’s all about finding the best location.

Location, location, location is not just a major factor in buying a home. It should take a top role in picking a college according to the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) 2012-2013 “AIER College Destinations Index” (AIER CDI).

“Why college location is more important than ever” and the best 75 towns and cities:
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