The college admission process is stressful and convoluted. Many students are unable to navigate this process independently and parents may not understand how to appropriately help. There are many generic To Do lists and schedules, but nothing that constantly personalizes based on your needs and desired outcomes short of a pricey college coach. CollegeHound will also help you keep track of all of the information that gets collected over the High School years to make the application process more accurate and stress-free.
When you first join CollegeHound you will be prompted to select colleges or universities that you are interested in attending. When you choose your colleges of interest, you will be given basic information for each of those schools, but you will also be prompted to look at their admission process including their type of admission and other key dates that you won't want to miss. This may not be important for an underclass student, but it will be critical as a Junior and Senior. You'll be able to add as many colleges as you are interested in. You will easily be able to modify and re-order the list as your search evolves.
For each school in your list, we will give you a hard target for SAT/ACT scores and let you know if there are any outstanding tasks to complete for that school. While many schools have pretty standard application requirements, there are schools that require extra tests or interviews and you will need to know if you are completing those requirements in a timely manner.
Congratulations if you are one of those unique students that KNOW where you want to go and can get in and has your chosen field of study and can afford it! However, most students probably need to work on their college list. There are over 4000 colleges in the U.S. and most of us only know a handful of them, but there IS a fit out there for you.
CollegeHound will give you tasks for creating a college list and then refining it over time. The more time you give yourself in the process, the more you are able to really consider ALL the factors that go into making the best choice for you and your family.
CollegeHound will generate Tasks for you to do based on your year in High School. A Freshman (9th grade) would have recommendations for researching colleges, scholarships, and extracurriculars while a Senior will have recommendations for FAFSA, Letters of Recommendation, and actually applying to target schools based on admission dates.
CollegeHound knows that it is important for you to be able to self-direct certain tasks like college visits and tracking volunteer hours. We will also prompt you to consider certain tasks every semester or year, but you will be able to dismiss them if they aren't a priority at that time or are already completed.
Tasks are broken down by priority: Must Do, Should Do and Nice To Do so there is no ambiguity around what is most important to get done. CollegeHound doesn't just give you recommendations for the big ticket items like testing, but all the minutia involved in your college application process.
But what happens with all the data that you've collected while completing your Tasks?
Your Portfolio is your virtual storage cabinet. Many students have activities, awards, volunteering, jobs, and other accomplishments early in High School (or even Middle School!), but if you are waiting until Junior or even Senior year to write all of your accomplishments down, then you will forget some or needlessly create more stress. We will give you the opportunity to keep your accomplishments in one place with easy access.
Some of the things you'll be able to do:
College finances are a HUGE stressor for most families and, while we can't make that go away, we can help you understand it better and keep track of the details. What is the process? What is the timeline? What information do I need to have to fill out the FAFSA? Do I need to fill out the CSS? How do I compare Student Loans? If I get a scholarship how does the college use it in the financial aid package? Don't waste money because you didn't understand the process.
CollegeHound will also provide tips on how to save money. For example, it costs about $50 to take a standardized test if you are on time, but if you miss the registration window then you will add about $35 to that price. And, did you know that you may qualify for a fee waiver? CollegeHound will help you feel more confident and not squander your hard-earned money.
Speaking from personal experience, I wanted my kids to be self-directed and engaged in the college application process. We have two kids in college and another that is starting the process. We've seen how very capable, self-driven students completely fold when asked how they are doing with their college selections and applications. One of our kids cried every time the subject was brought up, but also avoided any work on her own because she didn't feel confident that she actually knew what to do. Other than taking her standardized tests, she waited until the Fall of her Senior year to decide where to apply and then scrambled to be ready for the admission deadline. Thankfully it worked out, but the stress and pressure were immense.
I know she isn't alone because I have talked with countless parents that are 'in charge' of the application process by default. The problem is that it is VERY different than when we went to school, so we are all learning a whole new process. I have one friend that compared it to a full-time job. I know we all love our kids, but their college shouldn't be YOUR full-time job.
CollegeHound is accessible for the student and the parent. There is transparency between the tasks for students and for parents, but there can and should be conversations around most of the tasks. When parents aren't put into the position of being a 'nag', they can be better partners in helping the student make a more informed decision regarding a best-fit college. There can be discussions around financial aid expectations so that there isn't disappointment later that a dream college is out of budget or understanding that scholarships and/or loans will need to be obtained.
There may be a conversation about if college is even the best fit for the student at this time. College isn't always THE answer, but we want to help you make it a feasible option.
CollegeHound is just a tool in your process.
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