college entrance

Financial Aid: Figuring out What you are Actually Paying for College

college entrance

Financial Aid: Figuring out What You are Actually Paying for College

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This month, we have talked about College Financial AID and how the numbers are worked up. We have been dealing with what is called “Need” and what kind of aid is available to fill this gap. Last week, we talked about government aid. This week, we will briefly discuss grants available from the colleges themselves.
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Grants usually come in the form of “Merit” based aid. Merit aid goes to students that the colleges or universities are targeting to add to their student body. This typically goes to students that work on positioning the 5 different college entrance requirements: high school grades, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation and the college entrance essay. For the students that meet these entrance hurdles, colleges can target certain students in the upper qualification echelon with a percentage of aid to meet their “Need.” (Bear in mind that the family still has to pay the Effective Family Contribution (EFC)). So, when you receive offers from the universities or colleges, their grants will be working on this perceived “Need.”
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Here is where you have to be careful regarding the award letters. As mentioned earlier, some letters do not have very accurate Cost of Attendance figures, making the real cost higher then what they send you. Other offers with wrap in various student loans as part of the offer so it becomes important to read the fine print to see exactly what real money is coming out of the schools’ pocket and what will ultimately come out of your pocket and then make a comparison between the schools you are looking at. You may find that one offer that appears to look equal to another has a bottom line that actually has you paying more dollars due to various loans and work programs. Next week we will mention some ways to attempt to get the schools to up the grant.
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 Action Time.

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As you receive offers from schools, make a spread sheet that deals with what you believe is the real cost of attendance, your EFC, the perceived need, the actual grant from the college, the loans that need to be taken out, the contributions based on work-study programs and any other values that you believe you may experience and then calculate how much the real cost for each school. Now you will have a valid cost comparison. I would be glad to review the offers you receive and see how they compare.

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Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX

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Turning your Vision Statement to Actionable Goals

Turning your Vision Statement into Actionable Goals

Turning your Vision Statement to Actionable Goals

Turning your Vision Statement into Actionable Goals

The tunnel is getting brighter. Since January, we have been working through developing a values/purpose statement with the ultimate goal of developing a vision for what we would like our future path to look like. No guarantees that it will be like what we envision. The goal is to have a vision for the bigger picture.
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In my personal values statement, I have listed, first, some action words (serve, grow and laugh) then some nouns (trust, integrity and zest) to generate action and finally a purpose (for the glory of God) to fulfill the purpose of living the way I do. I offered the example of putting personal insights into the action words and how they were important to me. The next step I took was to put some meaning into the action words and the purpose to come up with a few meaningful paragraphs describing my value statement.
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So, here is what I would suggest as the next step. With a broad brush, put down the key goals that you have for the next year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years for both your personal and professional life. Don’t get too specific. Choose to list out the biggies for each of these time periods. You can deal with the steps on getting there later. Once you have listed these out, work on the common threads between these goals. For me, they were the relationships I have with family, friends and business acquaintances, then the maintenance of existing resources and the future purchase of new resources and finally, the areas of recreation that I would like to become involved in. With these as a list, I would suggest developing paragraphs that summarizes the core of your values when incorporated into the goals you have set for the next 10 years. How about them apples?
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This probably will take some thought and a few runs at it. In the end, I hope to have developed a rich and full vision of what and how I hope to approach the next years that have been allotted to me.

Action Time.

There are many ways to make these meaningful statements. With the values, I found it easier to look through a list and find the most meaningful concepts. Others would suggest you write down the values that come to your mind in a 30 second time period. I offered some additional steps in the process to design some vision for the future. I am not suggesting this is the only way.   It is one way I have found to be reasonable. The goal is to Just Do It. Having gone through the process, the challenge is to live it out. I would look forward to what you develop. If you wish, I would enjoy looking over your shoulder and hold you accountable to getting it done and then living it out. That is what a good coach does.

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Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX
wheel of life- goals- priorities- values

Achieve Your Goals by Aligning Yourself with Your Core Values

wheel of life- goals- priorities- values

Achieve Your Goals by Aligning Yourself with Your Core Values

We have made some good progress over the last few weeks. We have reviewed and set some goals for the year, considered and prioritized the values that are important to us and worked through a Value Statement. The next step I would have you consider is what is called the “Wheel of Life.” What I would have you do is draw a number of concentric circles. (Concentric means circles with the same center.) Now, in the very smallest circle, which of your purposes represents the core of who you are, write in your Value Statement. Now, divide the main picture into 8 pie shaped pieces, leaving the central circle alone. For each of the pieces of the pie, consider them as aspects of your life. Here are names for the pieces: Career/Business; Family and Friends; Finances; Romance/Intimacy;Health;Social/Fun; Personal Spiritual; Physical. Having done so, if each of the smaller circles represents a value, say from 1 to 10, where would you be in each of these areas of your life, based on what you feel your current position is? Shade in the various areas, from the central circle to your current personal ranking to give you a visual representation of where you find yourself now. You have established your personal Wheel of Life.

Action Time.

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Seeing your own personal scoring in each of these sections, how does your scoring line up with your goals for the year? Based on your Value Statement, what would it take to step up any one piece of the pie one or two more levels toward a 10? Based on your Value Statement, which one needs the most attention and is one you are willing to and will commit to taking the time to focus on? What steps will you commit to get to the next level and in what time frame? Put down some ideas for where you want to focus, set some time limits and share the process with someone close to you. Review often then rate yourself in 3 months to see how you are doing? I would look forward to hearing about your Wheel of Life and the steps you are going to take to better your position. I would be honored to coach you through the process and keep you accountable to yourself in this rewarding and purpose driven process.
Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX
in the clouds, thrive in life, goal setting, achieving goals, mindset

Upgrade Your Life: Achieve More in 2015 with this Mindset

in the clouds, thrive in life, goal setting, achieving goals, mindset

Upgrade Your Life: Achieve More in 2015 with this Mindset

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In preparing to write the blogs for this month, I looked back at the blog for January of 2014. As we are starting a New Year, dealing with the years goals is often appropriate and looking back on the goals from last year as well. So here is reporting time. Last year, there were goals set in the spiritual, mental, relational, physical and recreational side.
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 So here goes.

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 On the spiritual side, I focused on reading one book of the Bible at least once a month and from different versions as well as reading a commentary on that book. I can boast that I achieved my goal. The book I chose was the book of Matthew. I have read it multiple times and am finishing a commentary today by an author who lived in the 1800s. There are a variety of things that have jumped out at me regarding my faith and I have found this very rewarding. I hope to focus on one book again in 2015 and continue the study of the person of Jesus.
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On the mental side, my goal was to read one book a week. Success again. I have had the opportunity of going through some 55 books in a fairly broad range of topics and hopefully have learned and put into practice some of the things I have read. The goal for this year is the same. I am also taking courses to become certified as a Life and Academic Coach and should be finished mid year.
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On the relational side, I will admit falling down. I had a goal to observe the body language of those around me so as to be more sensitive to their needs. I didn’t do well on this one and am going to pursue it again this year.

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On the physical side, my goal was to maintain an exercise routine and lose a few pounds. Partial success. I have maintained the routine and added to it by riding my bike 2 hours each Saturday morning before the rest of my family gets up. I failed to lose the pounds. Goal is to maintain that routine.

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On the recreational side, I had hoped to become familiar with Bach. No go. Had good intentions but failed to follow through by reviewing the goal and setting up times to do it. Goal for 2015 on the recreation side is to go paragliding at least once and start to learn about this fantastic sport. (I have a secret desire to fly and this is as close as I think I will get to it!) So off we go.

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Action Time.

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What about your goals? If you are considering setting goals for the year, consider the areas I have mentioned. I would have you consider goals that are dependent solely on your activity. For example, if you are a student, consider setting goals for progressing in how you learn and not on the grades you earn. Grades are dependent on your efforts and the input of your teacher. You can control your efforts. Your grade may be dependent on a teacher’s opinion. That is something you can’t control. If you are in business, set your goals on activities and adjust the activities to meet the employers’ requirements and/or your personal career goals. If you are a parent, set goals for the activities you want to do and the lessons you desire to teach.

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The mindset is to do your part. Your personal identity or achievement shouldn’t be dependent on the results.   Write them down, carry them with you and review regularly. I would look forward to hearing some of the goals you set and working with you to be accountable toward reaching them.
Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto
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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX

 

stay focused

How to Effectively Stay Focused on Task at Hand

stay focused

How to stay laser focused with a task at hand

We live in a somewhat rural part of San Diego. I enjoy growing fruit trees and anything that bears fruit. I figure if I am going to water them, I ought to get something I can eat out of the effort and expense. Well, with rural living come gophers. While they serve a useful function in loosening the soil, they raise havoc on my produce.
Solution: Cats. Outside cats. Cats stalk and eat gophers. There are a few purposes for cats that I enjoy. This is one. (No cat jokes here!)
If you have ever watched cats stalk a gopher or bird or other small critters (and sometimes other cats in play) their focus is inspiring. Their whole being is intent on the action. So intent are they on the task that they are oblivious to what is going on around them. (Want some fun?) Quietly sneak up on a stalking cat with a rolling video and spook them. (The video might go viral!)
Great athletes play their game in the same fashion. Baseball outfielders are often so focused on the path of the ball, they will collide with the outfield wall in chasing a fly ball. So, too, are football receivers as they run their pass routes. It is the capacity for sharp focus that makes them great.
Focus is a learned skill. People who listen well have a great capacity to focus on the conversation. Various professions will get into a zone where their focus allows them to accomplish effectively the task at hand.

Action Time!

To help develop the focus skill, lie down for a few minutes and try to focus on your breathing. Might sound odd, maybe even dumb, but check it out. Lay down someplace quiet and quietly breathe. Focus your mind on the in and out of just breathing. The goal here is to go for thirty seconds, maybe a minute without allowing your mind to wander. You can’t think on the test you are having today or the argument you have with your sibling or the date you have tonight. Now, if you focus too well, you might just go to sleep! So there is the challenge. See how you do.
To help develop the skill of focusing, as a thought goes through your mind, label it and let it go. Say it is about a date later today, label it, ”Date thought” and go back to focusing on your breathing. No harm done. When the next thought about something other than breathing comes, label it as well. Back to breathing focus. Goal here is to train your brain to quickly recognize and eliminate distractions as they come and focus on the task you want to accomplish.
Another way to focus your attention is to focus on a task and when a distraction comes, make a small mark on a piece of paper. This is another way to identify the distraction and go back to focus. The recording isn’t to generate a guilt trip on how big time you blow focusing (that would be pretty dumb for something as insignificant as focusing on breathing!). The goal is gaining control of your thoughts, identifying distractions and getting back on task. That is focus. Check it out. Try either of these two every day for a few weeks and see it you can’t reduce the number of mental distractions you experience during the exercise. See if it doesn’t impact your listening and concentration skills. If you are journaling, make a note of your progress over a month and treat yourself for gains.

 

 

Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto
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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX

 

Toddler learning to walk

What You can Learn from a Toddler About Achieving a Goal

Toddler learning to walk

What You can Learn from a Toddler About Achieving a Goal

 

Have you ever noticed the issues involved with a baby learning to walk? I mean, really? Here are some things I observe. First, the distance down is relatively short. Second, they are fairly light so any downward impact is relatively small. Third, their body tissue is flexible and soft, less susceptible to any great damage. Next, they are surrounded with examples of successful walkers whom they observe constantly. Lastly, they are undaunted by the task. They try over and over again, making large mistakes at first while programming their hard drives with small bites of muscle memory.   Then the mistakes are less and less until they have mastered the whole process, one they will use for the rest of their life. All the while, they are enthusiastically and joyously pursuing the goal, usually with the smiling and loving support of walkers with varying levels of experience around them.
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Action Time!

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When you want to take on a new task, surround yourself with experience of all levels and watch. Focus on the process. Expect mistakes, usually big ones at first. Understand that the size of the mistakes will lessen over time. In the beginning, use material that can easily and inexpensively be replaced until you are ready for the finished product. Have people close at hand, who have experienced similar challenges, survived and will encourage you forward. Ignore the unwilling or those who only want to crawl or sit. Chase after it with gusto and choose not to give up. Enjoy the journey. What strides are next? I would look forward to hearing about your next stroll.
That was short and sweet! (The last blog was rather lengthy!)
Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto
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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX

 

How to Negotiate With Colleges. Yes! It’s Possible.

competition, college, life, preparation, negotiations

Get Colleges to Compete for You & Learn How to Handle Their Financial Negotiations

This is an exciting time of year for high school seniors.  Lots of once in a life time memories are happening.  For some student athletes, they will be participating in the last game of its kind.  The Senior Prom is on the books.  The process of applying to colleges has passed for most (or at least it should have!) and offers from various colleges either have been received or will be in the very near future.  On the college attendance issue, it is decision time… or is it?  One of the services we offer to students is helping them get to a point where colleges compete for the student and equipping the student to obtain additional funding where at all possible.  College is a business and the colleges that offer grants approach the distribution as a business.
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Now what do I mean by that?

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Well, sometimes the first offer that you get isn’t the best offer and there is room for negotiation.  One basis is that your family has had a change of circumstances financially and the information on the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) does not reflect the new ongoing position of the student or their family.  In this case, you have the ability to communicate to the college your new circumstances and appeal to the college for additional grant money.  Here a letter acknowledging the current offer, explaining the new circumstances and the students desire to attend that particular college with a reasonable basis for additional funds can often open the purse of the college for additional thousands of dollars.  All for the cost of a post stamp and a few hours constructing the letter.  Another option is using the offers from different colleges as leverage to the school of choice stating that the cost of their school is not competitive with these other offers and if a better offer is made that puts the school more in line with other offers and costs, the student will gladly sign on the dotted line.  Now the issue becomes how badly the college wants the student and how far they are willing to open their purse to attract the student.

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Action Time!

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If you have applied to at least 6 different colleges and the offers put them all in the same ball park, both financially or academically, it is now a matter of personal choice.  On the other hand, if the offers are significantly different, negotiations are in order.  As a student, consider communicating to the college of choice your desire to attend but you have other offers that are more financially appealing.  A letter with a copy of the other offers and a request for additional funds might reduce the amount you otherwise have to finance.  Give it a shot and see what happens.  The worst that can happen is they rescind the first offer, which if your letter is respectful, is unlikely.  What may happen is that the offer gets sweeter.  I would look forward to hearing about your offers and what happens when you bargain.
Don’t miss out on all the tips, tricks, and articles  I share on “Coach Rossitto”  to help you thrive in Life!

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To Jump Starting Your College Life!

Coach Rossitto

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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC

The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX