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July 2022 Newsletter

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Opportunities and Resources

BestFit College Advisors has a full list of resources and tips just for you!

Still thinking of ways to make your high school summer productive? Some young adults secure internships, others choose to travel or do community service, and get a summer job in order to tuck money aside for college. What are you doing? Think about participating in an activity that is consistent with the rest of your application and one that represents who you are and where you want to go. With the junior year behind you, and the senior year fast approaching, it’s an exciting yet anxious time as it kicks off the college application season. To assist with a smooth college application process, I have provided a list of tips including resources to help you.

Tip #1 - College that Meet Financial Need

Colleges Meeting 100% or Most of Student’s Demonstrated Financial Need

The average American family now pays more than $150,000 out of pocket for a degree from a private four-year college. College is an expensive endeavor, and one of the most stressful parts of college planning is anticipated costs. The good news is that there are a lot of schools out there that strive to cover the family’s financial needs in hopes of making the experience more affordable. A family’s EFC (expected family contribution) and the cost of attending are two key factors in determining how much support a student will receive. Learn more about what it means to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need and which schools are able to offer this amazing benefit on the links below.


Tip #2 - Scholarships - It's Never too Early to Start

Scholarships and grants help students have more time to devote to their studies.

About 70 percent of graduates give up a huge portion of their monthly income to student loans, so it can be hard to afford the cost of living. There are scholarships out there for almost everything and many go unused. It takes time and effort to search them out. Start now, it’s worth the effort! Think about this. You spend 2 hours applying for $1,000 scholarship and you win. You just earned $500 an hour for the two hours invested in applying for this scholarship. Isn't it worth it?

Check out the following resources:

FAME (Finance Authority of Maine)

Fame is a free service to help make education more accessible and affordable

➔ Reach out to Guidance Counselor office at your high school

Going Merry - A free scholarship and financial aid platform offering personalized

matching of thousands of scholarships and grants.

Maine Community Foundation

scholarships/ High school scholarship program to help seniors in underserved

communities to attend college and other learning institutions

Tip #3 - FAFSA

About 85% of students said they weren’t aware that FAFSA determined their eligibility for more aid than just federal student loans

For rising seniors entering college in 2023-2024, the FAFSA portal opens Oct 1, 2022

To learn more about filing a FAFSA: check out the links below.

Tip #4 - Net Price Calculator

Net Price Calculators can be found on a college or university website.

Valuable online tool when evaluating which colleges and universities will be more affordable and which will be budget deal breakers. Learn more about net price calculators at

  • Online tool offered by each college- calculates estimated annual cost to attend.

  • Compare net price after grants, scholarships, etc.

  • Some colleges may be more affordable than you realize. Don't rule them out.

Tip #5 - Building a College List

Self-Discovery is the first step in finding the BestFit colleges. Getting to know your interests, your goals and what's most important to you is the best place to start. Students should start broadly and then narrow their list down to colleges that best fit their needs, interests, style, etc. experts say.

The following steps will get you started on the right path.

  1. Ask yourself some questions

  2. College Search Step by Step

  3. Discuss Financial Affordability with your Family

  4. Explore What Matters Most to You

  5. Search for Colleges

  6. Add to College List

  7. Narrow down List into Three Categories: Reach, Target, and Safety

There are many tools to help with this process. Check them out:

BigFuture from College Board, which has a lot of different variables to search

College Navigator (one of my favorites)

Collegescorecard, which is from the U.S. Department of Education

Higher Ed Data Stories, which is great for searching for particular degrees or programs

College Express another free search engine

The Fiske Guide to Colleges (text)

➔ Steven R. Antonoff's book, The College Finder and College Match (text)

How Can Parents Help their College Bound Students

Be open and honest with your student about financial limitations and expectations.

It's important for parents to be straight about the costs of tuition and room and board. Most students can't fully understand the idea of spending $50,000 or more per year. Be specific about what you’re willing to pay for and even more specific about what you’re unwilling to pay for. Discuss the hidden costs at college. Some fees are not included in the list of required fees. According to Edvisors, most students will spend $250 to $500 per month on these hidden costs. Limit the number of credit or debit card accounts your students set up. Be clear with them about what you’ll pay for and what is their responsibility. Schedule periodic financial check-ups with your student.

Get guidance on how to simplify this process in any of these areas by reaching out to Cheryl today at BestFit College Advisors at (207) 229-8603.


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