There has never been to date a more complete “How To” in any one place by a collection of professionals with over a hundred collective years of counseling experience. The titles speak for themselves as to the tremendous content. The titles are in chronological order for preparing for college. Just reading the titles will provide the college-bound student/family a track to run on. Check the titles of topics covered for each year of high school below.

Here’s an overview of the topics we’ll cover during the Freshman Year (August – July).

August: Homeschooling the College Bound Student

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

Independent homeschoolers and those using a homeschooling program will benefit from this presentation by Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, founder of Celtic College Consultants and a veteran homeschooler. This presentation gives a general introduction to high school college prep considerations.

We’ll explore how admissions tends to view homeschooled applicants, exploring the extra documentation and testing typically required. We’ll also discuss the advantages home schooled students have over institutionally educated students.

While states regulate high school graduation requirements for public school students, homeschooling families set their own requirements. Katherine goes over what colleges expect from their applicants.

Lastly, the PSAT is typically taken sophomore and junior year and is only offered at physical schools. Katherine will explain why you might want to have your student take this test and what you need to do to enable them to take it. Additional information on how to prepare to apply is given in a presentation that comes at the very beginning of the junior year.

September: High School Study Skills

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

Since academic success is the most important factor in preparing for college, Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, founder of Celtic College Consultants, teaches fifteen tips to improve your study skills.

These skills will not only help students handle the more difficult high school expectations but they will also form a firm foundation for success at the college level and beyond.

This presentation has so much information in it be ready to take notes and plan to watch it more than once. She covers everything from note taking to efficient and effective test preparation strategies. She even includes a stress busting technique you can use during a test.

October: Preparing Students with Learning Differences for Success in College

By Traci Coffin, Founder of 504-U Consultants

The College Application/Admissions Process has never been more mystifying, frustrating and aggravating, especially if you have a student with a learning difference. This webinar provides a comprehensive overview of how you can help your student prepare for success in college and beyond.

Tracy Coffin is an Independent Education Consultant and a certified LD Advocate with a Master’s Certificate in College Admissions Counseling from UCLA. Her company, 504U, specializes in helping students with learning differences navigate the college admissions process, find the right college fit, and make a successful transition into college life.

November: Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Basics

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center

Of all of the things to do in the college process, awareness of the FAFSA EFC ranks up there at the top. This presentation will help the participant to understand the calculation of the EFC. It will satisfy anyone’s curiosity on this very important number called the EFC.

December: Coalition Application

By Dan Bisig, Founder of College and Beyond LLC

If you are applying to a college that either requires or allows you to use this innovative newer college application, then you will want to watch this terrific webinar by Dan Bisig where he takes away the mystery surrounding it.

Students have the ability to add pictures, videos, resumes, anything that helps tell their story to their “Locker” through the years and invite teachers and other mentors to view their progress. As more and more colleges join this Application, understanding how and why to use it will be important.

January: Career Assessment Tools

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center

In this presentation Al Hoffman, the director of the College Funding Service Center will cover the very important career assessment part of the college process. Time spent on Career Assessment can save a family, tens of thousands of dollars for higher educational cost. Al will identify some off the products available and the very important process called shadowing.

February: Smart Reading for College. . . and Life!

By Abbe Marks Beale, Creator of Rev It Up Reading

When was the last time you had ANY reading training? Most likely, it was way back in elementary school! This interactive and informative webinar quickly updates your reading skills and shows you how to become a smarter, faster and just plain better reader.

You’ll learn what your reading speed is and what it means, how to increase your reading concentration for better understanding, how to smartly approach any reading workload and how to best remember what you read. Time for a reading tune-up.

March: Grandparents and what your help can do

By Gary Carpenter, Founder of College Planning Services

Gary Carpenter will present the pros and cons of grandparent’s assistance in the college process. Some times their help can actually hurt chances for assistance from the colleges offering financial aid.

The material will uncover a good example of the law of unintended consequences. Parents, you really need to listen to this one if you are going to get grandparent assistance for your child’s higher education goals.

April: Topic One first FAFSA discussion

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center

This presentation is one of five presentations on the FAFSA by Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC). Inside of the FAFSA there are two different calculations of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that can greatly impact the EFC. There is no strategy here but one could miss this calculation with just one wrong answer. Al will share with you what question must be answered correctly to qualify the Auto Zero EFC or the Simplified Needs EFC.

April: Topic Two second FAFSA discussion

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center

This is one of a series of five presentations by Al Hoffman, director of the College Funding Service Center. This concept can make a huge difference in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which greatly impacts the amount of financial aid a family can potentially receive from the college. The five presentations on the FAFSA are all potentially big changes in the EFC.

May: Athletic Path to College Affordability

By Chuck Moore, President and Founder of the Educational Literacy and the Student Athletic Centers (educational programs) in Kentucky.

If you have a student that potentially has or will have the athletic ability to play college athletics this is a must watch presentation. In this presentation you will learn six basic steps of marketing your student athlete for athletic scholarships. The earlier you know how to market your student athlete for athletic scholarships the higher your odds of getting athletic dollars to help pay for college expenses.

June: Leadership, Community Service, & Extracurriculars

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

Admissions typically looks at students holistically. While academics are the most significant part of the application, the student’s personal qualities are also very important. Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, founder of Celtic College Consultants, will explain how to choose extracurricular activities and demonstrate leadership. During the presentation, many specific examples are given as well as a general timeline of the progression through the high school years. Students will learn the principles they need to make wise choices about how to select activities and how to develop themselves as leaders, no matter their personality.

July: 529 Plans

By Gary Carpenter, Founder of College Planning Services

Gary Carpenter presents all of the pros and cons of the 529 College Savings Plans and 529 Pre-Paid Tuition Plans. Many people have taken the 529 Plans approach to college affordability. Many have not. Was this a mistake or was it a blessing in disguise? Listen in to get the big picture.

Here’s an overview of the topics we’ll cover during the Sophomore Year (August – July).

August: Educational Tax Benefits

By Gary Carpenter, Founder of College Planning Services

What can you expect when it comes to the mixture of a college education and the tax code. This presentation will answer that question. The facts here are good and some tax prepares do not know to use them unless you give them the right forms or ask the right questions.

September: Talent Path to College Affordability

By Chuck Moore, President and Founder of the Educational Literacy and the Student Athletic Centers (educational programs) in Kentucky.

If you have a student that has above average talent in band, drama, the arts and so on, this presentation will give you valuable ideas on how to market their special talent for college scholarships. Talent scholarships are significant but lost if your student is not getting the appropriate exposure.

October: ROTC

By Mike Davila, Manager Central office for the College Funding Service Center

ROTC-Reserve Officer Training Corps. Have you been contemplating this path for access into the officer corps of the US military? Great! This presentation is for you. Come learn the ins and outs of the ROTC scholarship process, what life for ROTC cadets and midshipmen is like, and who makes a great ROTC candidate. Also discussed are service commitments and life after college. See you there!

November: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Discussion on Number in the Family/College

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

The Number of family members has nothing to do with dependents on a tax return as per the Department of Education. This topic is one of a series of five presentations Al has done on the FAFSA. Mistakes here can cost you by raising your Expected Family Contribution more than it should be. Listen to this presentation to get the right answers to this question on the FAFSA.

December: Creating a Hook (aka Strategic Positioning) & Summer Activities

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, founder of Celtic College Consultants, teaches about admissions hooks. She explains what they are, their types, and how to develop a hook. Using summers well is key to acceptance at selective colleges and universities. As you’ll learn, you’ll need those summer opportunities to develop your hook so you can wow admissions and be accepted. You’ll also understand why hooks have to be authentic and won’t work equally well at every school a student applies to.

January: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Untaxed Income

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

The presentation will cover all the sources of untaxed income required by the Department of Education’s FAFSA. This is one of a series of five presentations on the FAFSA. Maybe the most misunderstood part of the calculation of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by the FAFSA.

February: Veterans Military Educational Benefits

By Chuck Moore, President and Founder of the Educational Literacy and the Student Athletic Centers (educational programs) in Kentucky.

This presentation gives you an overview of the many benefits that are available to military personnel. There are two main programs that are available to Veterans and Service members. Depending on your length of service you could qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program. This presentation will give you valuable information when talking to the VA.

March: Military Service Academy Path to a College Education

By Michael Davila, Manager Central Office of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

Are you or your student interested in gaining admission to a United States Service Academy? Fantastic-this presentation has been designed for you. Come learn the “ropes” from a former US Naval Academy graduate and instructor of Naval Science. You’ll gain information and insight into the admissions process, traits that academy admissions officers are looking for and what life is like during a cadet or midshipman’s life at the academy. Also discussed are the service commitments, career tracks and other insights that will be helpful in a quest for admissions to a service academy.

April: How to Do A Great College Search

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

This presentation will cover how to do a college search. Sounds simple but most students do not cast a wide net to catch the right college for the right price. The right price will be covered in detail in the Student Positioning One & Two Session. The right college starts with a good search.

May: ACT vs SAT: Which Test Should You Take?

By Dan Bisig, Founder of College and Beyond LLC

In this presentation, college expert Dan Bisig dives into the ACT and SAT, sharing critical details about both tests so that students have the facts they need to decide WHICH test they should take.

Outline of topics covered:

  1. Why the ACT and SAT tests were created.
  2. How colleges UTILIZE the testing results.
  3. What TOPICS the ACT and SAT tests cover and don’t cover.
  4. What the TIMING is in each section of the ACT and SAT.
  5. How the tests are SCORED and understanding SUPERSCORING.
  6. Recognizing WHEN the OPTIONAL Essay isn’t optional.
  7. Test taking TIPS and STRATEGIES every student can use on BOTH Tests.

June: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Discussion on the effect Separation and or Divorce on the FAFSA

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

This presentation will answer the most common questions on how the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution is affect by Separation or Divorce. The unique to the FAFSA logic on this situation is one of the five FAFSA series presentations by Al. Being one of the five shows the level of questions Al has received over the years on this topic.

July: College Scholarships – Show Me Where to Find the Money

By Dan Bisig, Founder of College and Beyond LLC

Are you hoping or needing to find money to help pay for college? Then this is the Webinar for you! In this comprehensive presentation, Dan Bisig will tell you who gives out the money, where to find it, and how to qualify for the BIG money. It all starts with your HOOK and following a proven system to get your fair share. Take action today and watch this webinar!

Here’s an overview of the topics we’ll cover during the Junior Year (August – July).

August: Homeschooling & College Admissions

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, veteran homeschooler and founder of Celtic College Consultants, shares how to prepare for admissions. The PSAT junior year is the qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships.

She’ll also discuss the tests colleges sometimes require to validate coursework. After that, a discussion of the ACT, SAT, and CLT exams will follow. For those who prefer to avoid all the testing, Katherine will tell you how to learn about the large, and growing, group of schools that are test optional or don’t use test scores at all.

As she wraps up, Katherine will touch on dual enrollment and how that impacts admissions. Lastly, Katherine gives reminders regarding the kind of academic recordkeeping you’ll need to do in order to be ready for application season.

September: GEN-Z’s GOLDEN TICKET

By Traci Coffin, Founder of 504-U Consultants

What is it with kids these days? Generation Z, also known as the iGen, has come of age in one of the most tumultuous times in human history and are now poised to take over the world. But how will they be ready if they can’t take their heads out of the iCloud? This webinar provides insights into their strengths, their challenges, and the “Golden Ticket” we must pass on to them in order to help them thrive.

Tracy Coffin is an Independent Education Consultant and a certified LD Advocate with a Master’s Certificate in College Admissions Counseling from UCLA. She is also the mother of two Gen-Zers and one Millenial. Her company, 504U, specializes in helping students with learning differences navigate the college admissions process, find the right college fit, and make a successful transition into college life.

October: Student Positioning One

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center

Student Positioning could be named The College Selection Session Part One. There is NOTHING more important then selection a college that “FITS” the student Academically, Socially and Financially. In high school most students are allowed to bloom where they are planted but in college you get to select it. It MUST have what you the student want. Al Hoffman the director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC) will show you how to pick a college logically first and emotionally second. There is no other concept in counseling that can saved more money for the college experience than Student Positioning. This is part One of this college selection methodology.

November: Student Positioning Two

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

Student Positioning could be named The College Selection Session Part Two. There is NOTHING more important then selection a college that “FITS” the student Academically, Socially and Financially. In high school most students are allowed to bloom where they are planted but in college you get to select it. It MUST have what you the student wants. Al Hoffman the director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC) will show you how to pick a college logically first and emotionally second. There is no other concept in counseling that can saved more money for the college experience than Student Positioning. This is part two of this college selection methodology.

December: How to do a GREAT College Visit

By Dan Bisig, Founder of College and Beyond LLC

One of the best ways to learn more about a college is to visit the campus. In this webinar, Dan Bisig will give you a roadmap to follow on how to set one up, what to look for on the tour, questions to ask, and places you should visit AFTER your tour guide shows you what they want you to see. Remember, this could be your future home, so making sure each college is a good fit starts with a successful campus visit.

January: Affordability

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

College is so expensive. I have heard this statement many times. Is it worth it? I believe it is. This presentation will cover some items where the cost can be mitigated. I can assure you the number of students going to college for nothing is very small. I can also assure you there are things anyone can do to lower the cost. The steps will help a very large amount of students.

February: Cash Flow Analysis For College

By Chuck Moore, President and Founder of the Educational Literacy and the Student Athletic Centers (educational programs) in Kentucky.

This presentation will show you how most families can pay for their student’s college cost without changing your lifestyle, spending no more money than you are spending now and have your student graduate from college with ZERO DEBT.

March: Strategic Enrollment Management.

By Michael Davila Manager Central Office of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

This is a phase that is not commonly heard outside of the halls of admissions and financial aid offices of universities throughout the United States. However, the principles that underlie their enrollment systems give us clues as to “how the game is played” from the other side of the admissions desk. And, just as in military strategy, those who understand how the game is played from all angles make the best decisions and have the best chances at good outcomes. Join Michael Davila, MEd. of The College Funding Service Center as he discusses several important concepts that all college-bound students and their families should be aware of.

April: Grants

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

For the sake of communication, scholarships are merit based free money to lower the cost of college. Grants are need based free money to lower the cost of college. This presentation will cover grants. In college web sites and college related books the word scholarship is used for both. The distinction is made here to make sure the participant realizes GRANTS are need based. A family should be aware of what they should get and if not received then to ask questions.

May: A Look at Admissions Applications

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, founder of Celtic College Consultants, outlines how to showcase yourself through your applications. After discussing the general sections of the various applications, Katherine explains the Common Application, the Coalition Application, the University of California Application, the Apply Texas Application and touches on a couple special features of the proprietary applications some colleges use.

June: Resumes and Application Essays

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

The two most customizable sections of the college application are the resume and the essay(s). Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, founder of Celtic College Consultants, will briefly explain what to include on your academic resume. The majority of the presentation will discuss essays. She shares the most important element admissions looks for in admissions essays. Then she’ll walk you through a couple pre-writing exercises. She’ll discuss how to structure your essay and explain the two primary essay styles. Having gotten you started, Katherine will explain the next steps so you can complete those essays confidently.

July: Admissions Applications – Early Decision, Early Action and other Application Status

By Dan Bisig, Founder of College and Beyond LLC

When it comes to applying to college, the BIG question is HOW are you going to do it? In this college webinar, Dan Bisig will show you all of the possible application options and give you the good, bad, and ugly details on each of them so that you can decide which is the best for you!

August: Is an Associate or Technical Degree Worth Considering

By Chuck Moore, President and Founder of the Educational Literacy and the Student Athletic Centers (educational programs) in Kentucky.

A four-year college education is not for everyone. Whether to pursue an associate’s, technical or a bachelor’s degree is personal decision based on a variety of factors. This presentation provides surprising statistics and ideas on the road less traveled for education. The perspective here is to teach there are options. Definitely worth the time to consider.

September: Business Related Strategies for College Affordability

By Chuck Moore, President and Founder of the Educational Literacy and the Student Athletic Centers (educational programs) in Kentucky.

How you pay your taxes to the IRS could put thousands of dollars in your pocket to help pay for college expenses. If you have ever thought about starting up a home-based business or if you already have a small business, there are hundreds of ways of creating tax-free dollars to help pay for college expenses. This presentation will cover some ideas that you can discuss with your tax professional on the benefits of having a home-based or small business to develop what we call TAX SCHOLARSHIPS.

October: File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA and the CSS Profile

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

Captain Obvious say file the FAFSA and CSS Profile. The colleges will tell you that even if your income suggest you will not get any need based aid to file the FAFSA and CSS Profile. This presentation will answer questions about filing the forms and why.

November: Verification of numbers entered into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

The FAFSA and CSS Profile are completed by the families basically on the honor system. The colleges verify that information entered by the family. The presentation will explain how this is done.

December: Institutional Forms for Need Based Aid

By Al Hoffman, Director of the College Funding Service Center (CFSC)

There is one more thing before you are done with forms for need based aid. You have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile but there is more. The presentation will cover the often missed form required in addition to the FAFSA and the CSS Profile for need based aid.

January: IRS Form 1098-T And 8863 Could Save You Thousands Of Tax Dollars That Can Help Reduce College Expenses

By Chuck Moore, President and Founder of the Educational Literacy and the Student Athletic Centers (educational programs) in Kentucky.

Most American families don’t realize that they ALREADY have $10,000 or MORE over their students stay in college that they can receive directly from the IRS to help pay for college educational expenses. This presentation should be shared with your tax professional to make sure you’re getting every dollar that you qualify for.

February: Topic One Direct Stafford Student Loan Subsidized

By Gary Carpenter, Founder of College Planning Services

This is a federal loan. Federal loans are considered aid by the colleges. The presentation will cover all aspects of the Subsidized Direct Stafford Student Loan offered by the Department of Education.

February: Topic Two Direct Stafford Student Loan Unsubsidized

By Gary Carpenter, Founder of College Planning Services

This is a federal loan. Federal loans are considered aid by the colleges. The presentation will cover all aspects of the Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Student Loan offered by the Department of Education.

March: Awards Analysis and Possible Appeals

By Dan Bisig, Founder of College and Beyond LLC

After you submit your FAFSA or CSS Profile Financial Aid Forms you will receive your Award Letter. In this webinar, Dan Bisig will walk you through what you hope/need to see on this letter AND guide you on when it is appropriate to APPEAL your offer, when it is NOT, and how to ask for your fair share!

April: PLUS Loan Counseling

By Gary Carpenter, Founder of College Planning Services

The PLUS loan is a federal loan. The PLUS Loan is a parent loan. PLUS Loans are NOT considered need based aid by the colleges. The presentation will cover all aspects of the PLUS loan sprinkled with a little counseling on the pros and cons of the PLUS Loan.

May: Skills for Campus Success

By Katherine O’Brien, Founder of Celtic College Consultants

Congratulations on being accepted! There are a few details you need to be aware of before you head off to campus. In this presentation, Katherine O’Brien, MA CCPS, founder of Celtic College Consultants, will explain how the FERPA and HIPAA laws will impact you as a college student. She will also discuss financial protection you might want to arrange for yourself. Then, she’ll discuss a number of skills you’ll need to handle the academic side of life on campus.

Life in a dorm can have its challenges so Katherine addresses the most common and gives you tools to handle them. Lastly, she will discuss some common obstacles to success. Life on campus affords more freedoms than life in high school does. Learn to use your freedoms well so you attain your goals and realize your dreams.

June: Publishing Soon

 

July: Private Student Loans

By Gary Carpenter, Founder of College Planning Services

Private student loans are available to credit worthy families. The presentation will cover all aspects of the private student loans offered by banks NOT the federal or state governments.

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