Patrick O’Connor is on the Political Science Faculty of Oakland Community College and is Director of College Counseling at The Roeper School, both in Metropolitan Detroit. Born and raised in Detroit, he has been a college counselor since 1984, serving students in rural, urban, and suburban high schools, as well as community college. In addition to writing a weekly column, his writing has appeared in High School Counselor Week, MyFootpath.com, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Detroit Free Press and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
College is Yours 2.0 is available at a discount price of 10% (45% by ordering 10 or more copies) by clicking here – type in College is Yours 2.0, and follow the link.
Schools and other groups can also order a custom designed version College is Yours 2.0 that includes up to 16 pages of information provided by the group—all at a 40% discount price. For more information, e-mail the author here.
For more information on the topics we discussed in May, follow these links:
An overview of changes to the SAT
A look at the kinds of questions on the new test
How 9th graders can prepare for the SAT
A list of test-optional colleges
What this year's college decisions mean to next year's seniors
Advice for parents of next year's seniors
For more information on the topics we talked about in the January-February program, follow these links:
Summary of the White House Summit
Patrick O'Connor's Letter to First Lady Michelle Obama
A Call for an Executive Order to Help School Counselors
Counseling Ratios in Indiana and Michigan
Counselor Ratios for All States
Colleges That Don't Require SAT or ACT for Admissions for Most Students
What School Counselors Do
Why You Should Celebrate National School Counseling Week
How to Work with Your School Counselor
Ten Things Principals Can do to Support Counselors
Ten Current Trends in College Admission (this is the second article on the page)
College Applications and Social Media
Overcoming college application anxiety
Writing a good college essay
The overlooked college application question
Check your applications, Part I
Check your applications, Part II
What parents want from colleges
Early applications: What to do when a College says Maybe
Working with Student When a College Says No
Why Colleges Say No to Top Students
Why Colleges Reject Students
Understanding college costs
Finaid.org's overview to scholarships
Avoiding scholarship scams
First, apply for Federal Aid:
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Will you qualify for Federal help?
Need help completing the FAFSA? Check out College Goal Sunday
Second, see how much your colleges might really cost. By federal law, each college must post a net price calculator to its Web site to give an *estimate* of costs to attend that college. They aren't always easy to find, but go to the college's Web page, type in "net price calculator", and follow the directions from there. Here are some samples:
Albion College Net Price Calculator
Harvard Net Price Calculator
SUNY Net Price Calculator
University of Michigan Net Price Calculator
Some colleges require you to complete both the FAFSA and a second financial aid form to be considered for aid. Check your colleges' financial aid web sites; many will require you to complete the CSS Profile, which can be found by clicking here.
MeritAid ( for merit scholarships-- be sure to double check the college's Web site)
More Web sites, including one to search by major
For all other questions about aid, including loan repayment, start here.