As we wind down 2011 and look forward to the New Year it's important to keep in mind the college journey has its own unique timing to follow.

I've learned that those that understand and follow it tend to pay less and experience much less stress than those that don't.

New Year's Actions

To help you be on the proactive side here's my quick list of smart actions to take by class...

College upperclassmen - Research, network and make application for summer internships and coops in your field. It's THE best job search strategy that will pay you dividends later on in a historically tough job market.

College underclassmen - Confirm your interest and fit for your chosen major by doing job shadowing over your long holiday break. The high cost of changing majors and transferring can be avoided by getting a first hand feel for the actual type of job you may be doing.

HS Seniors - Be sure to check out this featured CAPlus newsletter below for college application pointers. Since many schools have a rolling admissions policy it is often not too late to apply. This newsletter edition has timely articles for helping your application stand out.

High school juniors are wise to be focusing on taking advantage of the upcoming school breaks this winter and spring by scheduling college visits with your parents. Don't procrastinate on doing this later in the summer or fall. It's unwise to waste the valuable lead time that you have and also increase your stress load your senior year.

High school sophomores need to begin preliminary career exploration for their top fields of interest. This helps give you much greater clarity on which schools to visit come your junior year.

High School freshman are well served to choose the more academically challenging track as you decide on your schedule. Critical writing and thinking skills help prepare you to perform better on the college standardized tests.

Live Workshop Schedules

Know any Buffalo area families interested in learning more about a consumer smart approach to college planning? Forward my latest workshop flyer page to them as well as Greater Rochester area families.

live workshops

For those outside of Western NY my webinar page is a terrific resource to share.

CAPlus Dec/Jan Newsletter

A terrific edition focused on college application pointers and more.

Dec / Jan Newsletter

If you have received this free bi-monthly newsletter from someone else and would like to receive this directly just click here to opt in.

May you and your family experience a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Dennis Raup

p.s. Some recent newsletter housekeeping changes to my CAPlus clients...
As I shared in my recent Client Connections holiday update, you are welcome to continue to receive these additional College Smart tips and updates I include with every CAPlus newsletter. Simply do nothing and you'll receive these fuller editions from me.

Beginning with this Dec/Jan edition you'll now also receive just the CAPlus newsletter directly from our CAPlus Customer Service team.

If you prefer to only receive one newsletter version feel free to opt out of the one you no longer wish to receive. You will find these opt out links below at the bottom of each newsletter.

Thanks, I want to be sure you only receive the mail from us that you want to receive.

parents talking

What Clients Are Saying

“…without your involvement, we never would have thought to approach the college directly…. We got the documentation together to obtain residency, created letters to send and were granted residency which translated to $20,000 in savings.

THEN we went back and said, 'don’t take away her out-of-state scholarship just because she is now a resident' and got OSU to maintain the $7,000 scholarship".

"We would like to express our appreciation for the service that our daughter received.

She is our first child to go through the college application process, and it was very intimidating for our whole family. You were able to create a clear, understandable path for our daughter.

As a result of all of this hard work, our daughter was offered three presidential scholarships at various colleges, including a full tuition scholarship to a private college.

Thanks again, and we look forward to working with you on our son's upcoming college search."

"HWS presented an above average financial aid award, however, it included some work study. With your guidance, I went back and asked that the work study be converted to either grant or scholarship to relieve the financial burden while allowing my daughter to focus on academics.

They came back with the conversion AND continued to keep her eligible for an equal amount of money through work study."