Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Please don’t be one of those parents who encourage their students to apply to loads of colleges and universities with no regard to how much it is going to cost. Parents who tell their children, “we’ll figure it out after you get in” are setting themselves and their children up for disappointment.

Many college applications are signed, sealed and submitted, and now it’s time to move onto the serious stuff: money.

There’s no wiggle room for stupid mistakes on college applications. Here’s how to get it right.

We should all sympathize with high school seniors right now. Besides juggling all of the traditional teenage stuff, they’re being asked – in their words, not mine – to write the most important essay of their life. And it isn’t just one essay. Depending on the colleges a student is applying to, it could easily be double-digit essays.

If you’re willing to look beyond the super-selective colleges, you’ll find that many colleges need you more than you need them. A survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed found that 79 percent of colleges were either “very or moderately concerned” about not meeting their enrollment goals this year. Many are willing to offer bigger discounts or match competing schools’ offers of financial aid.

Early Decision is binding. If accepted, you MUST go, so don’t apply for Early Decision unless you are positive it’s your dream school.

How do you make your essay famous instead of infamous? Here’s advice on avoiding the cringe-worthy essay:

On Wednesday Oct. 15, high school juniors and many sophomores will take the PSAT/NMSQT, which stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The to-do list for high school seniors seems to be growing longer each day.

Ready or not, the college application season has begun.

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Lee Bierer
Lee Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte.
CharlotteObserver.com