College Apps

Selecting, Applying to, and Paying for the Right College for You


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Simplifying the entire “going to college” process for students and parents

Today's students and their families are in new territory when it comes to making college and career decisions.With the high cost of college and the wide variety of educational options available, families are, more than ever, in need of careful, clear guidance and advice. A roadmap for students and parents, COLLEGE APPS: SELECTING, APPLYING TO, AND PAYING FOR THE RIGHT COLLEGE FOR YOU will lead you through the sometimes tricky transition from high school to college. Author Trish Portnoy's approach, developed over years of teaching teens, is inspirational. Fast-paced, step-by-step, and task-oriented, COLLEGE APPS encourages a cooperative approach, creating a space for students and parents to develop and implement a shared strategy and, ultimately, achieve success.

Chapter 1

A Journey Begins

You are experiencing a very important time in your life. The process of selecting and applying to colleges is based on preparation, analysis, and decision-making. It’s a major project that you will complete mostly over the first four months of your senior year, but actually you’ve been working up to it your whole life.

During this process we will take a look at your interests and abilities, your hobbies, the activities you have participated in, and the classes you have taken. These clues will lead you toward the goal of choosing a great college and getting on the path to the career of your dreams.

You will be working cooperatively with your parents (or guardians) and other adults in your life. They can provide valuable information that is necessary to finding your way—regardless of whether you appreciate that. Plan to make this interaction with them as pleasant as possible—both teenagers and adults have a lot on their minds these days and don’t always communicate with the love and patience that they should.

This book offers you explanations, exercises, and resources so the college application process doesn’t stress you or your parents out to the point that it ruins your senior year. Most importantly, you must set your intention to design a solid plan that will allow you to attend a “good” college that you can afford and that will get you the career you want, so you can live a happy and successful life. That’s it!

The college selection and application process takes months to complete; however, it isn’t a full-time job. What a relief! At various points, you will need to spend time to complete specific research, tasks, and activities. Don’t create drama for you and your family by procrastinating or leaving work until the night before the final deadline. Doing this may also prevent you from completing the requirements with the highquality results and attention to detail that your applications require

College Application Process

There are more than 3,000 colleges and universities out there for you to choose from. There are probably a hundred colleges and universities that will support you in having a great time, receiving an excellent education, earning a valuable degree, and placing you eagerly on the road to success. As I stated, this is a very important time in your life.

Many people in your life will weigh in with advice, guidance, and pressure. Most people are well meaning, I hope. Some carry the fear and sometimes failure of their own attempts, while others draw from their achievements and success. Consider each through your own critical lens.

For instance, many students have an auntie or parent who loved the college he or she attended. They tell “tall tales” of college glory and hijinks, while singing the “fight song” of their beloved alma mater. It is their final wish for you to go to that college. It’s all they ever talk about. But, this is not the way for you to choose which college to attend. If you would like to please Grandpa by adding his college to the list of schools where you plan to apply, go for it! However, if “Grandpa University” is the only school you plan to apply to because he will just die from disappointment if you don’t go there, then we’re going to have a chat with Grandpa. Our grand philosophy is that it’s all about having options.


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