Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

How to Fill Out the PROFILE Form?

Eric Barnes -

We invite you to join ePrep’s partner, GetCollegeFunding.org, for a special webinar they’re hosting on Tuesday, December 30 that will walk you though everything you need to know about filling out the 2009/2010 CSS PROFILE form!

Register for the Webinar Here!

The 2009-2010 CSS PROFILE form is available. This form is used by about 200 colleges in order to qualify for financial aid. PROFILE schools include the 8 Ivy League colleges, Stanford, Duke, USC, MIT, Cal Tech, and the 5 Claremont Colleges. If your student is applying to at least one PROFILE school, you should complete this form. With the current economic downturn it’s more important than ever for families to submit their PROFILE forms as early as possible.

This WEBinar will walk you through Step-by-Step the process of completing and submitting the PROFILE form. You will see screen shots of the online process and learn valuable tips. Here are just a few of the topics that will be covered:

- Registration with College Board for the CSS PROFILE form
- How do these schools assess Home Equity?
- What information is required about other family members?
- Past and future income declarations
- Explanation of any “Special Circumstances”
- What are “Section Q Questions”?
- What is “IDOC” that is required by some of these colleges?
- What about the Non-Custodial PROFILE form for divorcees?
- What about trust funds and UGMA/UTMA accounts?
- Where do you enter 529 accounts?
- What about rental property?
- What about business owners and their company assets?
- What happens AFTER you submit the PROFILE form?
- and more . . .

Join Tom and Lawrene Bottorf, Founders of GetCollegeFunding, Inc. as they address all of these topics in a 90-minute interactive presentation. You’ll be able to ask questions via a “chat” format and receive answers real-time from them throughout the presentation.

And you’ll receive a link to the recorded WEBinar the day after so that you can refer to it as you’re completing your PROFILE form!

There is a $20 fee for this event.

How to Fill Out the FAFSA Form?

Eric Barnes -

If you’re are college student applying for financial aid, you’re going to have to get through the FAFSA form. We invite you to join ePrep’s partners at GetCollegeFunding.org for a special webinar they’re hosting on Monday, December 29 that will walk you though everything you need to know about filling out the 2009/2010 FAFSA form!

2009-2010 FAFSA Form: Step-by-Step Instructions

Webinar Registration

The 2009-2010 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form will be available online January 1st, 2009. There are more changes on this year’s form than previous years. And with the current economic downturn it’s more important than ever for families to submit their FAFSA forms as early as possible.

This WEBinar will walk you through Step-by-Step the process of completing and submitting the FAFSA form. You will see screen shots of the online process and learn valuable tips. Here are just a few of the topics that will be covered:

- PIN application and retrieval
- FAFSA data entry
- Signing the FAFSA
- What financial aid becomes available as a result of the FAFSA?
- The FAFSA only handles 10 colleges?
- How do you submit the FAFSA before your ‘08 taxes are done?
- What about making changes or corrections?
- What’s the SAR and why is it important?
- Does home equity count “against” you?
- What about trust funds and UGMA/UTMA accounts?
- Where do you enter 529 accounts?
- What about rental property?
- Does an ex-spouse’s income and assets enter in?
- What about business owners and their company assets?
- What happens AFTER you submit the FAFSA?
- and more . . .

Join Tom Bottorf, College Funding Columnist and Founder of GetCollegeFunding, Inc. as he addresses all of these topics in a 90-minute interactive presentation. You’ll be able to ask questions via a “chat” format and receive answers real-time from him and the staff at GetCollegeFunding throughout the presentation.

And you’ll receive a link to the recorded WEBinar the day after so that you can refer to it as you’re completing your FAFSA form!

There is a $20 fee for this event.

December 2008 SAT Scores

Karl Schellscheidt -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.com
December 2008 SAT scores will be available online starting December 23rd.

In order to access your scores, you’ll need your College Board user name and password. If you have them, CLICK HERE.

If you do not yet have an online account with the College Board, CLICK HERE to create one and access your scores.

If you’re not happy with your scores for any reason, CLICK HERE to learn about ePrep’s 300-Point Guarantee!

(Seniors, Don’t forget that, if you are applying regular decision, your January SAT results will be considered by colleges. Thus, you still have one chance left to get the scores you want and deserve.) Good luck!

Admissions and the Global Financial Crisis

Karl Schellscheidt -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comA few of my private-tutoring students recently asked me whether colleges today are strongly considering the financial need of applicants when making admission decisions. My response: With college endowments plummeting across the nation, I don’t see how most schools can ignore the financial need of applicants. After all, colleges and universities are businesses.

When I recently asked Peter Van Buskirk of The Admission Game to comment, he offered to share a blog he recently posted on his website. His blog post appears below:

How Should You Check the Financial Aid Box?
The line on applications for admission that makes parents shudder most is the one that reads, “Do you plan to apply for financial aid—Yes or No?” As eager as one might be to check “yes” with the hope of receiving some type of assistance, there is a growing reluctance to do so for fear that checking “yes” might compromise the student’s chances of gaining admission.

This conundrum hits close to home in the current economy when even families who live in relative comfort are suddenly faced with uncertainty regarding cash for college. As the need for some type of assistance (merit scholarships, loans, campus work study) becomes more acute, so does the angst with regard to how that expression of need might be interpreted in the admission process.

Will institutions discriminate in the admission process with regard to a family’s ability to pay? Sure. However, they are not likely to do so based solely on the response to the “Yes/No” question. Rather, they will discriminate at the back end of the process when they have a full view of all the candidates they like as well as the respective financial needs for those candidates. It is at this point when they can see the big picture that they determine how to use available funds to leverage the enrollment of the students whom they value most.

Discriminating against students solely on the basis of who checks “Yes” to the financial aid question would be foolish. Roughly one-third of applicants for admission who check “Yes” indicating that they intend to apply for financial aid either never apply—because they realize they don’t need it—or they do apply and demonstrate that they don’t need it! Discriminating based on a “Yes” response means an admission committee will arbitrarily eliminate one-third of its applicants—many of whom would not have required institutional assistance.

So, what do you do? First, respond honestly. If you think you need assistance, say so. By acknowledging the possibility you enable an admission officer who is interested in your candidacy to track the progress of your financial aid application. If anything is missing, late, or incomplete, s/he can let you know in a timely fashion. And second, trust in the fact that colleges that value you for what you do well will admit you and give you what you need financially in order for you to enroll.

What you DON’T want to do is scheme the process. Don’t pretend to be “rich” by putting all of the money you have saved for college into your first year in order to improve your chances of getting in—and then expect to receive financial aid in subsequent years because you’ll be so darn poor you need it! Colleges budget financial aid for years two, three and four of your enrollment based on the expectations of year one. If you look “rich” when you apply, they expect you to be “rich” in the years that follow. If you plead poverty after your first year without evidence that something catastrophic (serious illness, injury, death, or loss of employment) has affected your family’s financial picture, don’t be surprised if the response of your financial aid officer is simply, “That’s your problem.” This is when families—and students in particular—start borrowing beyond their means to stay in school.

I would like to offer a couple of related thoughts. One, if you know you don’t require institutionally funded need-based assistance but anticipate applying for a Guaranteed Student Loan (Stafford) or you hope to secure a part-time job on campus, be prepared to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as institutions will use that to determine your eligibility for federally subsidized programs on their respective campuses.

Two, if you would like to be considered for any merit scholarships offered by a college or university, look for evidence that the school in question may actually offer such awards. If they do, find out about the eligibility criterion and protocols for placing yourself into consideration for an award. Most schools will have separate evaluation processes in place to determine merit scholarship recipients apart from the “Yes/No” question discussed previously.

Finally, when in doubt about what to do, check with the financial aid officers of the school(s) in question. It is better to move forward with good information than to discover too late that you have misinterpreted the process.

Special Note! The Best College Fit Membership program is about to launch! Watch for details to learn more about how you can go inside the college planning process with me to find and get into the schools that best fits for you! www.theadmissiongame.com

Counting Down December 6 SAT Exam

Videos   Strategies   SAT   ePrep
Catherine -

We want to wish all our ePrep students best of luck on this Saturday’s SAT test. You should feel very confident based on the effort and practice you’ve put in over these past several months. Following the ePrep method of practice, grade and review (under simulated, test day conditions!) you are well prepared to take on the SAT.

You might consider reviewing our ePrep strategy session videos this week as a final preparation going into the test. Summarized below are links to many key video lessons focused on test taking strategies.

SAT Test Day: The Night Before and Morning Of
Real SAT Stories: Second Guessing on the SAT
SAT Directions: Optimize Your Time on Test Day
When to Guess on the SAT Writing Section
When to Guess on the SAT Critical Reading Section
When to Guess on the SAT Math Section
SAT Sentence Completion Questions: When to Guess?
Don’t Blame the Chicken Pox for SAT Math Mistakes
Approach to SAT Math Problems
Habeus Answer, or Show Yourself the Answer!
Mastering Your SAT Test Weaknesses
SAT Questions…Easiest to Hardest
Autopilot - Don’t Set a Course for a Lower SAT Score
A Lesson from a Course in Wills, Trusts and Estates
Bubbling: Avoid Mistakes in Your Answer Key
Please Put Down Your Pencil!
The Dreaded SAT Experimental Section

Additionally, we’ve included a link to our presentation (in PDF format) on “what to do the night before and the morning of the SAT test” right here: Webinar Presentation - Night Before the SAT

Best of luck on Saturday!