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Scholarship Gold Consulting- Helping students prepare for college and compete for scholarships
                                             Elizabeth Hartley, coach/consultant/author 
May 2013
Vol 2, Issue 1


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"College Wise


 a free monthly newsletter by Elizabeth Hartley,  



 Personal Note

Hi college bound friends- 


What a great few weeks it has been!  Every day I've heard from happy students making their final commitment to their chosen schools, getting their final scholarships and aid awards and sharing in the excitement of choosing roommates and moving forward.  Congrats to all!  Just a few of the schools my students have recently committed to are:


-Clemson, USC and College of Charleston (many)

-UNC, NC State, UNCW, UNCC, App State (many)

- Duke

- Dartmouth- (My daughter!)

- Liberty

- Texas Christian

- Anderson

- Wofford

- High Point

- Cornell

- UPenn

- Univ of San Diego

- Michigan State

- American

- Alabama

- Furman

- Presbyterian College


Remember toFinish your year strong.  THANK your guidance counselor and recommendation writers and let them know of your decision. Hug your parents for putting up with your cranky self during those stressful times this year.  BE SAFE AND SMART with any post graduation trips and celebrations.  Promise yourself to take full advantage of this great opportunity you have for a college education. 


Lots of news in this edition-  I hope you find it helpful!


  Elizabeth      head shot 2012


How to Choose the Colleges that are Right for YOU 


With over 4000 colleges and universities in the USA, how do you even begin to narrow it down to a list of a dozen or less to pursue?  Well, if you are one of the 92% of families who say that financial considerations will impact where their students attend college, I'll share with you the approach I usually use when working with families.  

1- Start with at least one in-state public university/college.  Your in-state schools will have the lowest starting sticker price of your 4-year options.  However, in the end, they are often your most expensive option, compared to the generous aid and scholarships from private schools.  Still, good to have that base covered.  If you are a resident of NC, be mindful that UNC is nobody's safety school.  If you're applying to UNC, I recommend picking an additional NC public school as well.

2- Consider private schools that offer merit scholarships and need-based aid- (Ex. Furman, Wofford, Presbyterian, Mercer, Sewanee)  While private schools have substantially higher sticker prices than state schools, in many cases they can be so generous with need-based aid and scholarships that the family's out of pocket expense is less than what they would pay at a state school.  Just today I had a joyful single mom call me to report that, after we submitted a financial aid appeal, her son was going to attend an elite private school for only $7000/year, even though the sticker price was almost $50,000/year. 

3- Consider private schools that offer no merit scholarships but great need-based aid (ex. Vanderbilt, Duke, all the Ivy Leagues, Davidson, Amherst, Williams)  
These top-tier schools don't need to use merit scholarships to attract the best and brightest students so they instead provide exceptionally generous need-based aid to their accepted students.  Getting in is the tricky part.  So, if you have a very bright student and are of middle to modest incomes, this could be a great option.  Most Ivy Leagues will say that if your family income is less than $100-$120k per year, your tuition is free.  That won't happen at a state public school.
4-  Consider out of state public schools-  Out of state public universities can be the priciest option of all unless you've learned of a program that will waive the out-of-state tuition rate.  Look for majors that qualify for in-state tuition by searching the Academic Common Market (on www.sreb.org) or by having exceptionally high SAT or ACT scores.  Many schools will waive that higher rate in order to attract top students.  
In Summary-  As you're narrowing down your choices, I encourage you to visit as many schools as you can and do your research on them.  I especially look for schools that have high freshman retention rates (i.e., they show up again to be sophomores), high 4-year graduation rates and low student-to-faculty ratios.  You can find those statistics and more on www.nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator.  I hope this helps!

Events to Put on the Calendar!

Get Face to Face with the Ivy Leagues!            

MAY 7th 7:30 pm in Charlotte! Charlotte Marriott on Westpark Dr.   Sit in on a great, free informational session with Havard, Duke, UPenn, Georgetown and Stanford.  Exploring College Options is a unique program featuring five of the country's leading universities.  At each event, representatives from the five schools will offer brief slide presentations about their institutions and answer your questions about the sometimes-mystifying world of college admissions. You will learn about what distinguishes one fine university from another, what competitive colleges look for in the selection process, and what you can do to enhance your college application. Sign up HERE to reserve your spot.  
This same session is being offered in Greensboro on Monday, May 6th (click here) and in Raleigh on Sunday, May 5th (click here). 
college funding
Demystify the Financial Aid Nightmare!
               FREE EVENT May 16th 6:30 pm
                CMC Steelcreek Hospital Community Room
After 4 months of dealing with panic-stricken parents with respect to how to handle financial aid, apply correctly, negotiate and appeal, etc., I have asked the owners of SAFE College Funding to provide a FREE information-packed workshop for all interested families on May 16th.  Their seminar will change your entire perspective on how the financial aid process works and how you can get more than you think you can.  You don't have to live on minimum wage in order to get great financial aid!  HOW you position yourself can make a phenomenal difference.  Click HERE to reserve your spot for this extremely informative session (not a sales pitch- real information).  I've sat in on their seminars before (and recently used their services myself) and I'm confident that, while it's free to attend, MISSING it could cost you dearly.  Capacity is limited to 65 people so if you're interested, sign up promptly.  
College Prep Genius SAT Workshop 
    August 15 and 16, 9:00-2:30 both days (10 hours total)
South Charlotte/Lake Wylie
Jean Burk has been featured on major networks, including the TODAY show, and currently travels the world to teach her proven methods for mastering the SAT. This 10 hour class over two days will demystify the test and equip students with valuable insights, strategies, tips and methods to maximize their score.  This fun but intense two-day course provides the students with a text book, workbook and take home set of DVD's for future review for only $149 for early registrants.  Siblings come along for only $99.  If your student needs to boost their PSAT or SAT scores, this is a valuable class.  
Click here to sign up.  (The course address will be in Lake Wylie/South Charlotte and will be emailed to students- had to make last minute switch.  NOTE- Her site says it is in North Charlotte but that is a typo they are correcting tomorrow.  Definitely South Charlotte.) For a small investment of time and funds, it has the ability to make a big difference.

Last Call- College Bound Essentials Class in Lake Wylie MAY 18
Essay Writing for Admissions and Scholarships April 14

MAY 18- College Bound Essentials!
A few families couldn't make this workshop last time and asked for it to be offered ONE more time before summer vacation.  So, here it is!  If you want an organized, extremely thorough workshop on preparing for and navigating all elements of preparing for and applying to college, finding scholarships and negotiating financial aid, then don't miss College Bound Essentials on May 18th from 10 am to 1:00 pm.  Student admission is only $75 but parents are strongly encouraged to come along at no charge.  A large workbook for resources is included.  For details and registration, click HERE.  

Reminder-  You can always find my upcoming workshops and public speaking engagements on the Events Tab of ScholarshipGold.com.

Register for SAT/ACT 

NO SAT or ACT tests are given over the summer.  All upcoming test dates are listed below.  

SAT TEST DATES:  Register 4-6 weeks ahead on www.collegeboard.com.
$49 to register, $75 if late

June 1st    register  by May 7th
Oct 6th     register by Aug 28th
Nov 3rd     register by Sept 25th
Dec 1st      register by Oct 23rd
Not sure which test to take?  Take one of each and compare your scores.
013 ACT test dates
  (Yes, take  writing portion.)
ACT TEST DATES- Register 4-6 weeks ahead on www.actstudent.org.


June 8th    register by May 3rd (you can register with a late fee now)
Sep 21st    register by Aug 23rd
Oct 26th    register by Sept 27th
Dec 14th    register by Nov 8th   
Practice Interview Question of the month 

Essays, admission interviews and scholarship interviews involve addressing questions that require reflection and self-awareness. Each month I provide you with a commonly used question for you to consider.  How would you answer this one?

"When do you stop being busy and just take time to think?"

Also-  "Discuss a time that you changed your opinion on something.  What prompted your change of heart?


Helpful Websites


For a full reference page of helpful and (mostly) free sites and resources that I use frequently in my consulting, click here.   I like to pass along a good thing!


That's all for this edition!  I hope this information will help you navigate your college admission and scholarship pursuits a bit better.  If there is a topic you would like me to cover in an upcoming
newsletter, please e-mail me at HartleyGold@yahoo.com and let me know!  
I work with schools, districts, homeschool groups and individual students with respect to being fully prepared for college admission and scholarship competition.  Visit my site at www.ScholarshipGold.com anytime to review my credentials, services offered and events planned.
If your organization or students would like to discuss these services, please e-mail me at the address above for availability and rates.  It's your future-- make it remarkable!

Elizabeth Hartley                 

Scholarship Gold Consulting                                         


 HartleyGold@yahoo.com                                                  www.ScholarshipGold.com 

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