Filling out forms and keeping all the deadlines together can be as daunting as figuring out how to pay for college. I have collected a few tools that can help with both:
College Abacus is a new online financial aid calculator that helps students learn how much it will cost to attend specific institutions. This isn’t your standard online tool—it is extremely easy to use and the interface is focused on providing a seamless user experience. The site presents information in a way that students and their parents can easily understand. Overall, it’s a very useful tool that bridges the gap between open data-accessible online resources.
Applying for student aid can be frustrating and arduous. Luckily, Nerd Wallet has come up with a solution to help college students tackle the daunting FAFSA. Their guides give you advice on how to answer some of the tougher questions should you have a non-traditional family or an unusual immigration status. Then, Nerd Wallet walks you through the form step-by-step, offering clarification on where to find all the information you’ll need to finalize. Still have questions? Search through their FAQ or submit a question of your own, answered by Nerd Wallet’s experts.
It’s difficult to know what schools will be the right fit, especially if you don’t have the opportunity to visit them in person. According to their Twitter account, Admittedly has “gamified the role of high school counselors,” helping you choose the best college through fun personality quizzes based on location, professors, extracurriculars, etc. All the design choices are spot-on and the functionality is very fun.
I hope these three resources can help you navigate the labor-intensive and often baffling process of pre-college preparation. Let me know if I can be of help with this very important decision for your family.