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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vision for future

Creating a Vision for Your Future that Delivers Joy


vision for future

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Creating a Vision for Your Future that Delivers Joy

Through the month of January, we looked at values and coming up with a Value Statement. Whether we realize it or not, we usually feel most fulfilled when we live within our personal values. Often while I do something foolish or out of character and then generate a sense of guilt or shame, it usually is because I have stepped outside of the things I value most. Taking the time to focus on the values we feel important, writing them down and keeping them in front of us helps keep us on our personal track and doing the things that offer the greatest sense of fulfillment and what I will call “Joy.”
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I would offer to you that these values live inside our mental state and, when focused on, will motivate us to those actions that fulfill our own lives and hopefully the lives of others.
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So, this month, I would have you begin to consider the actions that flow from your values that give you purpose. I mentioned the Value Statement that I carry for myself: “Free to serve, grow and laugh through trust, integrity and zest, all for the glory of God.”   In looking at my statement, the first four value concepts are verbs, words of action: free, grow, serve and laugh. The last three are nouns: trust integrity and zest.  The last carries purpose. What verbs are in your Value Statement, what are the nouns and what is the purpose?

Action Time.

Let’s take some time to briefly experience your Value Statement at work to help in the next step, developing vision for the future. If your value or vision statement has verbs in it, take some time to look back over some of the most fond memories and events you have experienced. These may have occurred through pure chance or they may have been planned. It may have been a time when events caused your mental light to come on (some would call that an epiphany!) or you just did something out of pure intuition, it turned out well and you experienced a great sense of satisfaction. Write a few paragraphs about the event, the things you did in the process and the results. In this journaling, write down some of the emotions you felt. Now consider the process through the lens of your Value statement. How did they line up? What was the thought or action process that brought you into and out of this event? Was your focus such that all the events around you were blocked out and you were in the pure flow of it? As you write down a few of these events and consider them, are there any common elements that were part of these experiences? If so, what are they? I would look forward to hearing from you understanding what you developed. We are making some good progress.
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
road map, personal statement, personal vision statement

Create Your Personal Vision Statement

road map, personal statement, personal vision statement

How to Create Your Vision Statement

Last week, we went through a process of figuring out and prioritizing your values. May not be perfect but it is well within the ball park and a reasonable starting point. Agreed?
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Next step is to come up with a “Value Statement” that is unique to you which incorporates the values that are most important you. So take the values and come up with a short, concise statement that really rings your bell loud and clear. Only put down the values and their uses that you can’t live without. Try and make the statement as concise as possible. Often, the shorter it is, the easier it is to remember and the more powerful it is in your life.
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Here is what I came up with for myself.
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The values I determined that were most important to me are Independence/Freedom, Service/Trust, Honest/Integrity, Accomplishment/Production/Zest, Growth, Humor, and Adventure. My value statement in its current form is: Free to serve, grow & laugh through trust, integrity and zest, all for the glory of God. I am trying to hone it down further but each of those values are things I personally find important and want to use in various parts of my life. So, I would challenge you to have some fun with it. Wrestle with it until it is as sharp and meaningful as you can get then live by it. That is the challenging part!

Action Time.

Developing a “Value Statement” can be one of the central parts of a person’s life or the life of a business. If taken to heart, it can keep us on our personal track when making decisions and reviewing actions that we have taken. When you have come up with your own personal “Vision Statement,” you can choose to share it with others or keep it very personal. Steven Covey, a professional who was very respected during his lifetime, had a Value Statement that was very personal and he chose not to share it with the general public. Others are more willing to do so and ask their friends to hold them accountable to this statement of their closely held values. I would look forward to hearing about your processes and what you come up with. By the way, this is part of the process I would use in helping people work through their career and college planning. If you would like some help and encouragement in working through the process, I would look forward to being your coach!

 

 

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
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

 

How to Become More Creative & Innovative

The Secret to Becoming More Creative and Innovative

How to Become More Creative & Innovative

How to Become More Creative and Innovative

The battle is a small skirmish between two neighboring tribes.  One tribe fought with spears, the other with bows and arrows. The tribe with arrows had discovered a potion that if placed on the tip of the arrow, would decommission the victim.  This potion came from vegetation they fed to their goats.  While it made humans sick, the goats enjoyed the roughage. The enemy tribe knew the potion wasn’t fatal if dealt with quickly.  
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The battling issue was relatively insignificant yet people are launching deadly spearsand arrows at one another. One of the great warriors was shot with an arrow laced with potion.  As he stands with the arrow in his leg, his loud curses halt the skirmish.  The numbing pain of the potion streamed through the strong body of this great warrior. Believing the wound to be fatal, he demands to look the enemy who shot this deadly arrow in the eye. A weak puny warrior steps forward as the perpetrator. The great warrior wails his condition and villianizes his opponent, demanding to know how and why he could do such a horrific act and especially to this great warrior.  Don’t they know who he is?  As he lay dying, cursing his fate, in his last breath, he demands an apology from the perpetrator. He is gone. His fellow warriors wail their loss.  The enemy goes back home, mocking the foolishness of their enemy, lifting this meager warrior on their shoulders; they take pride in the success of the battle. (How is that for drama?)
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In the same skirmish, a few bushes down, another of the tribesmen suffers a similar wound.  In all the commotion surrounding the great warrior, this warrior quickly pulled the arrow from his side. Having witnessed the effects of this potion in a skirmish between different tribes, this warrior had discovered a neutralizing remedy.  It was madeof some other vegetation and saliva from a goat. (He read tea leaves a lot and discovered the answer one day while relaxing, sipping tea and reading the leaves.) This observant warrior quickly retreats to his remedy stash in the pouch he cared just incase and treats the wound.  He survived.  His fellow warriors are amazed at his recovery.  They are willing to pay any amount to buy this mysterious solution.  Our survivor starts to mass produce the potion, builds a pharmaceutical company,employees his fellow tribesman to positions of great responsibility and industry, disarms the enemy and hires them at minimum wage to swab the throats of goats.
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Action Time.

Well, not all the pieces of the story fit perfectly.  It was fun making it up. Two types of warriors.  Ones who bemoan their state, minor or major that it may be, fall victim to some action and are decommissioned from the joys of life.  Others deal with the circumstances.  They see and come to know the problem.  They disarm it and use their experience to benefit themselves and others.  What is your problem?  What experiences or relationships do you have that can help develop a solution?  What actions are you going to take to resolve it?  How might those actions benefit you or others around you in the future? When are you going to deal with it?  I would look forward to hearing about your potions and the arrows you pull out.   

 

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 Start Healthy and Productive Relationships

happy relationships
One benefit of going to college is the relationships that one develops with peers and instructors. The roles one takes on campus and in their personal life are often indicative of the paths they will take in relationships and careers. Some of the people you meet in high school and college will be friends and acquaintances for the rest of your life.   These relationships can be uplifting or debilitating.
Dr. John Gottman has developed a variety of measurements on marital relationships and does so from a few interesting angles, including Game Theory. If you know anything about Game Theory, you may be wondering how or why a psychologist would use this math concept to deal with relationships. I will let you figure that out. Now this isn’t a blog about marriage so don’t worry, I’m not going there. Dr. Gottman does offer some important characteristics to consider in people that you would want to develop lasting relationships with. His big 5 are: Honesty, transparency, accountability, ethical actions and proof of alliance.
Honesty is self-explanatory. For Gottman, transparency is sharing details with you and introducing you to things and people that are important to the person. If they are unwilling to offer this basic information, what else may be going on that you may not be comfortable with? Accountability is not requesting that you just trust the person but he or she is willing to give details of important stuff. Ethical action speaks for itself. Proof of alliance is demonstrating that the person is on your side even in small ways and not only acting in their own self-interest.
If a person consistently fails on these basic issues, they probably aren’t people you want to develop a close and lasting relationship with. They may be good acquaintances, but may not be a good fit as a trusted friend.

Action Time

Consider going through Gottman’s big 5 in some of the relationships you currently have.
First off, how do you personally rate? Oops!   How can you improve? What steps can you take to become a more trustworthy acquaintance? How are you going to do that? Who will you hold yourself accountable to in following up? Having looked in the mirror first? How would you use this list to develop friendships in the future?
In the acquaintances you now have, how can you use these to strengthen good relationships and lessen poorer acquaintances? Now, don’t prejudge people but also don’t look through rose-colored glasses. Hey, let me know what you come up with and the steps you take.
Want to learn more? 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

 

 

 

 

chalkboard

Go Back to the Basics

chalkboard

Going Back to the Basics Where Growth Happens

Wanting to have an activity that is serves double duty, I recently enrolled in at a local karate course. The course is offered through a local church and has levels starting at the beginner stage and moving up through the various belts. My desire is to have a routine with both exercise and self-defense. I have also enrolled my 9-year-old daughter so it is a father daughter event. While waiting for the regular class to start, I was in awe of a mother daughter pair going through their practice routines. For me, it was a work of art. Both mother and daughter were moving gracefully in step with one another. While at present, I don’t understand the use of the different moves, I can appreciate the time spent practicing the moves to generate the flow.
 As a beginner, I am in the beginner class. All the other students were quite a few years younger than I (and that is putting it mildly). One of the first steps is coming to attention. The next is the first defense stance. To move from attention to this stance, one holds their left foot still and sweeps and plants their right foot out about shoulder width and moves their arms to about a 90-degree position with fists clenched about a fist distance apart.
The instructor (called “sensei”) is a delightful, patient gal who had attained the level of red belt. Some of the younger boys were anxious to start kicking and doing various moves that I am sure they saw on various movies or TV shows. They first had to learn the first defense stance and that involved moving ONLY their right leg, not their left leg but their right leg. After various attempts to move to this position and detailed instructions on identifying which was their RIGHT leg, we all performed the command correctly. These young students will have to wait another day to perform flying kicks at their opponents.

“To skim over the basics in pursuit of end results can lead to disaster.  In your quest for further improving yourself, be it in sports or scholastics, improvement on the basics has an exponential impact on the final results.”   

Action Time.

The head sensei made the point of getting the basics down well and correctly. He pointed out that some battles were never fought as the combatants observed their opponents simply taking the sitting position in such a precise fashion that to go further was pointless and the outcome predetermined. To skim over the basics in pursuit of end results can lead to disaster. In your quest for further improving yourself, be it in sports or scholastics, improvement on the basics has an exponential impact on the final results. Take a minute to consider one topic that you are working on. What are some of the primal basics that you can focus on to improve? What steps are you going to take to do so? What will you have to do to see improvement? How will these changes improve your process to the final product? As always, I would look forward to hearing about your processes and improvements.

 

Want to learn more? 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