Ep. 74 Website Review: The College Board

The College BoardThe College Board website may be frequently used by some of you but I would venture to guess that a large part of you have no idea how vast and comprehensive this site is. This episode of The College Money Maze Podcast does a review of The College Board website.

Some would argue that although The College Board is a nonprofit organization, in terms of its’ overall structure, it has some tools, resources and services that is marketed to others at a cost.  Some might even say that it has a dual identity: one side is for educators, colleges, school counselors and the other side is for students and parents.

Let’s look at each side. First the professional services side for educators provides instructional programs, curriculum development services, materials, lesson plans etc… for educators. They also have content to help guidance professionals assist students with the application process and prepping for college. These would be best used by teachers of 6-12 grade students or high school counselors.

The higher education services is provided to help college admissions, financial aid administrators and those that are into recruiting to plan, coordinate and track all of their information in one software application.  They also provide data reports about PSAT/SAT trending to help direct marketing.

One of the final sections of the website is for the CSS Profile. This an additional form that is required by a number of universities in addition to the FAFSA for consideration of not only financial aid, but institutional aid (or non-federal aid) awards. This form asks additional asset and resource questions so that the admissions and financial aid administrators can make better decisions based on the resources available.

The other side of The College Board is a “sub-site” called BIG FUTURE. This is the section that is directed toward college planning, career exploration, career development and organizes information for students that are applying for colleges. First and foremost, you can access the PSAT/SAT/CLEP practice tests as well as register for the actual tests from this section. This is very user friendly for students and parents to access.

A little known feature is their college search database which guides you step by step to compile your college list. You can search for colleges and universities by acceptable test score, which ones give out merit scholarship, those that are ranked nationally by division (and filter by sport) etc…  There are several videos of students who have used the site and provide testimonials.

Connect with them:

Twitter – @CollegeBoard @OfficialSAT

Facebook – @TheCollegeBoard

Ep. 13 Which Colleges Require You Take the 50-Minute SAT Essay?

50 minute SAT essay test

50 minute SAT essay test

In this episode, we discuss current events in the college admission industry. There were two articles of interest, the first one from a Washington, D.C. news site (examiner .com) that talked about which colleges would be requiring that students take the “optional” 50 minute SAT essay.   As if the testing changes were not confusing enough. Many schools have a “wait and see” attitude towards the new SAT, its’ sub-scores and how they will be interpreting that information. Other schools have made a definite policy decision whether or not they are requiring the optional writing section. The ACT and COLLEGE BOARD have charts on their websites with the colleges that have reported to them about this issue.

The other article from Forbes.com unveiled a little known fact that FAFSA and the ACT report to the individual colleges where they are “ranked” on your application or test. This information is critical to the schools who are always looking for an indication of how a student perceives them. Unknowingly to you, they may make critical decisions on your admission with this information. You may not have intended it the way it is being interpreted. The suggestion for a resolution is to list your schools on the FAFSA or the ACT in alphabetical order.

SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHT: The CHOBANI Scholarship $5,000 awarded annually (non-renewable) given by New York Women in Communications, Inc.

Other Links discussed:

PSAT – National Merit Scholarships Qualifying Test

Scholly App (in ITunes)

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., National Education Foundation

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Foundation

[spp-player]