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Updated: Sep 7
College Planning/Search/Application/Financial Aid Resources for Parents and Students
Parents and students, if you are not making the most of all that is on social media which can help answer questions about the college search and application process, and how to pay for college, you are missing out! Please check out these resources – groups, and blog posts, and websites, oh, my! Some of these offer services for a cost, and I am not advertising or advocating for families to spend any money here. I am just encouraging you to take advantage of the wonderful information they offer for free. These represent just a few of what is out there – and looking at some may lead you to others. Please explore and keep an open mind as there are so many colleges in the US and there are many institutions where students can be happy and thrive. The challenge is to find them! I consider all the resources below indispensable, and I hope parents and students will read, listen, and watch, and take full advantage of the information they offer.
Road2College - https://www.road2college.com/ - this website offers a ton of free, informative resources. You can follow them on Facebook, and the founder, Debbie Schwartz offers great interviews with folks in the college admission and financial aid world. There is also a Facebook group – Paying For College 101 which is a private group created by Road2College. Parents and others share tips and information about the sometimes confusing and often stressful process of paying for college. I encourage you to follow Road2Collge and request to join Paying For College 101.
DIY College Rankings - https://www.diycollegerankings.com – started by a “data-wonk” mom who did a ton of research over many years, this website offers a trove of free and helpful information. Check out her blog and you can also follow her additional group Coffee Cup College Planning on Facebook.
The College Essay Guy - https://www.collegeessayguy.com/ - aka Ethan Sawyer, he is a renaissance man, offering advice and information on SO much more than just college essays. His resources are gold and students - if you don’t follow him on Instagram, you are really missing out. His podcast contains interviews with some giants in the higher education world and those are often worth a listen, and his YouTube channel offers great webinars and lessons which can be both interesting and extremely helpful.
Georgia Tech Admissions Blog – https://sites.gatech.edu/admission-blog/ - this is not about finding resources to help you apply, but their information regarding college, the college application process, and life in general, are worthwhile. Rick Clark, their Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions, writes funny, interesting, relatable posts and brings in members of the admissions team to provide insights and stories that are fun to read.
Grown and Flown - https://grownandflown.com/ - this is more geared to parents, but their blogs are a must-read with information about how to raise and launch young adults. They have authored a book by the same name and offer webinars with information about the college admissions process, as well as about financial aid and paying for college.
Explore Solutions - https://exploresolutions.org/ - a CBO (Community Based Organization), Explore Solutions offers low-cost, effective information for students regarding the college application process - including individual components of the application. And please check out their Facebook page and review their informative posts.
Common Application: https://www.youtube.com/c/CommonAppMedia/videos.
University of California (check out individual ones for the campuses which interest you, but UCSB has one of the best): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS4C_y9ig7LUb9ZTGn86LOA
California State University: https://www.youtube.com/c/californiastateuniversity
Regional Admissions Counselors of California: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdDdKAhfQkg2MumwmP-B8yw
Every School On Your College List – students, you should follow them on Instagram and see if they have a YouTube channel or individual YouTube videos with information about their application process. Find out who the regional admissions counselor is for our area and reach out to them via email to ask questions. When you do, please write in full sentences, identify yourself and your school and sign off with your full name.