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Frequently Asked Questions
Planning for college can be one of the most exciting times in a young person's life. With colleges reviewing over 1,000 applications yearly college acceptance has become more competitive. While the process is often time consuming and complex, students can get a head start by researching colleges that suit their needs.
SAT and ACT scores are among many factors considered in the college admission process. While the test is offered several times a year, it is recommended that students take the official SAT and ACT for the first time during their junior year.
To apply for need-based financial aid, families must complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). Most full-time students receive some form of financial aid.
We encourage our students to conduct intensive research in an effort to create their own unique college experience. The resource links below will allow your student the opportunity to begin researching potential colleges and topics related to the application process.
Frequently Visited Sites
When is the best time to begin the college planning process?
Your sophomore or junior year of high school is the best time to begin preparing college lists, action plans, and a schedule.
Should students attend college fairs?
Students should start attending college fairs as early as their freshman year in high school.
Should students involve parents in their college selection process?
Yes it is crucial for parents to support their children in this process.
What should students do when asking a teacher and counselor for a recommendation letter?
Students should provide their teacher and counselor with a formal written request, a copy of their resume, a list of schools, and most importantly at least a two-week turn around time.
How many schools should a student apply to?
Students should create a balanced list of 5-7 schools.
When is a college application considered complete by an admissions office?
When you complete an online or paper application, submit an application fee, official transcript, official SAT/ACT scores through www.collegeboard.com and www.act.org, recommendation letters, an essay and supporting supplemental documents.
When should a student mail out their college applications?
Students should mail out their applications by Thanksgiving break, but no later than Christmas break.
Do colleges review senior year grades?
All colleges will request a final transcript from students.
Do colleges accept fee waivers?
Some schools welcome fee waivers.
What is the difference between early decision and early action?
Early Decision is a binding agreement between the student and the accepting college or university. If a student is accepted, he/she must attend that college or university. An agreement binding the student to the school upon acceptance is required prior to submitting the Early Decision application and is signed by the student, parent, and guidance counselor.
Early Action is a non-binding early decision process, typically requiring students to submit an application by November 1st of their senior year of high school. The Early Action Decision is provided to the student by mid-December.
What is EDU, Inc?
EDU, Inc. is a Common Black College Application that allows students to apply to thirty-six Historically Black Colleges for a one-time application fee of $35.00: visit: http://www.eduinconline.com
What is the Common Application?
The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that serves students and member institutions by providing an online admission application—students may submit to any of the 391 plus members visit: https://www.commonapp.org/Login
When should students take the SAT/ACT for the first time?
Students should take the SAT and ACT their junior year. This will give students the opportunity to improve their weaknesses by the first scheduled test of their senior year. Register for the SAT test at: http://www.collegeboard.com and for the ACT Test at: http://actstudent.org
What is the difference between the SAT and ACT?
Many educators believe that the SAT evaluates critical thinking and problem solving while the ACT is based on specific content and curriculum. Most colleges accept either test, while some colleges require SAT subject tests. Nearly 850 colleges are test-optional and do not require either the SAT or ACT.
What is the average SAT score per section?
The average score is 500+ for Math, Reading, and Writing.
What are the average ACT scores schools are looking for?
The average score is 21+ and above.
If a student does not score well on the SAT, will he or she get into a good college, right?
Colleges use a “holistic” approach to evaluate applications for admission. Along with the test scores, they also consider the student’s grade point average, whether or not the student is enrolling in challenging courses, extra-curricular activities, and letters of recommendation and leadership roles the student has undertaken in high school. Some colleges have become “test optional”, which allows students to be admitted based on a high grade point average or additional letters of recommendation.
When should I fill out the FAFSA?
You can complete the FAFSA on January 1st of every year: www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Do parents have to wait to complete the FAFSA after they have filed their income taxes?
No, they can estimate.
Is their a different deadline by State for completing the FAFSA?
Yes, every state has a deadline - please check the state your schools are in to determine their deadline date. The state of Maryland deadline is March 1st of your Senior year.
What is a SAR report?
A SAR report summarizes the data from your completed FAFSA and indicates your official expected family contribution.
When should I create my (student and parent) FAFSA pin?
You can create you FAFSA pin as early as September of your senior year. Be sure to keep your pin in a safe place http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp.
If a parent has a child in college or have filled out the FAFSA for themselves in the past will they need to create a new pin?
No, they can use their current pin.
How many scholarships should a student apply for?
Students should apply to as many scholarships as possible.
Suited 4 Success Services
What are the benefits of using Suited 4 Success over my high school's resources or over navigating the process?
The average public school counselor is responsible for 300+ students each year. Suited 4 Success will help in navigating the process as we provide you with guidance specifically catered to your individual interests and experiences. With 4000+ colleges and universities in the U.S., it can be difficult to fully explore all of your options. Suited 4 Success will guide you through the process with hands on counseling via email, telephone and face-to-face assistance in order to ease the stress of the application process and ensure you are aware of all deadlines and requirements.
When should my child start working with Suited 4 Success?
You are welcome to schedule an Initial Consultation for your student at any time, but Suited 4 Success programs for college-bound students do not begin until 9th grade.
Do you offer a comprehensive package to assist with completing the college application process?
Yes. We assist with all areas of the application process, including essay topic development, critique, proofreading, organizational assistance, selecting recommendations, preparation of activity lists/ resume and maintaining an action plan to complete applications.
In addition to comprehensive packages, do you offer rates for specific areas of the process?
Although the best value is our comprehensive packages, we do offer a number of packages for those seeking assistance on any limited aspect of the college admissions process.
Can I afford Suited 4 Success?
Our students are our number one priority and we strive to find the best fit for your family. We offer flexible payment options and the opportunity to customize your student's program, to help your family make the most of the Suited 4 Success experience.
I am not in the DC, Maryland, or Virginia area. Can I still use your services?
Absolutely. Our counselors work with students all over the United States in person or remotely via Skype, phone or email. All of our students, regardless of location, benefit from our services.
I would like to schedule a consultation as soon as possible. How soon can I get an appointment?
You may call us at 301-237-3775 to schedule an Initial Consultation. Prior to the consultation, your counselor will do an in-depth review of your transcripts, test scores, and student and parent survey.
I just have a few questions about my student. Can I talk to a counselor without an Initial Consultation?
We do not provide advice or guidance without a thorough review of your student's history. You are welcome to ask specific questions during the Initial Consultation.
Do counselors meet with students on weekends or at night?
We have a variety of meeting schedules to accommodate our clients in person or virtually through Skype. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 6:00pm. We pride ourselves on our availability and accessibility.
Do you provide tutoring services?
We do not provide tutoring services, but we do maintain a list of outstanding tutors with wonderful credentials for both academic subjects and standardized testing.