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Resources for Students

Leading Change Scholars are encouraged to think big. As you approach the college admissions process, we urge you to explore all possibilities. Below are resources to assist with your college application to a selective institution.

The College Application Process

DEVELOPING A LIST OF COLLEGES FOR TRANSFER
WHY SELECTIVITY MATTERS IN YOUR COLLEGE DECISION
PUTTING TOGETHET COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS
It’s never too early to begin researching your college options. The internet, college guidebooks, and your community college’s transfer adviser are great sources of information.

In addition to academic, personal, and professional interests, you will need to consider if a school is transfer-friendly before adding it to your list. A few points to consider as you are doing your research and planning to transfer include:
 
  • Does the school provide information about the amount of aid reserved for transfer students? Some schools distribute scholarships to traditional first-year students before determining if there is any left over for transfer students.
  • Are there specific programs geared towards transfer students?
  • How does the school evaluate transfer credits?
  • Does the school provide application fee waivers?
  • A great resource is College Fish, where you can research transfer-friendly colleges and scholarships available specifically for transfer students. Another resource is Edvisors.

After you find schools that meet your basic requirements, divide these schools into three categories:
 
  • Reach Schools: You fall at or below their academic profile in terms of grades and standardized testing (if required). Because of the benefits of attending selective institutions (i.e., those with acceptance rate of 30% or less), we strongly encourage our scholars to apply to 3-4 schools in this category.
  • Target Schools: You fit their academic profile in terms of grades and standardized testing (if required) and the acceptance rate is around 30%-60%. We encourage our scholars to apply to 2-3 schools in this category.
  • Likely Schools: You are at or above their academic profile in terms of grades and standardized testing (if required) and the acceptance rate is 60% or higher. We encourage our scholars to apply to 2-3 schools in this category.
You may find it useful to use our worksheet to make sure you are finding the right information about the schools and then track your final choices.

Types of Financial Aid

Grants and Scholarships
  • Funds students do not have to pay back
  • Based on academic merit, financial need, or other criteria (i.e., leadership, service, athletic, musical talent)
  • Given by schools, state and federal government, or private organizations and may or may not involve an application
  • Can be a renewable or one-time award
Work Study
  • Provides part-time work opportunities (10-15 hours per week) offered through the school but funded by both the federal government and the school
  • Provides income ($1,800+) per semester in additional funds for school-related expenses
  • Part of an overall financial aid package granted by the college
Other Information to Consider
Over two-thirds of all college-going students receive financial aid each year. Strategies to maximize aid opportunities include: starting the process early, researching on the web, and selectively picking the scholarships that can bring the greatest return on your investment of time and energy. In other words, don’t pursue all scholarships equally but consider:
  • Criteria of the scholarship and whether you can be competitive
  • The time it takes to complete the application
  • Amount of money of the scholarship, how many years you might get the funding, and how it might compare to the costs of attending the schools you are considering           
Keep in mind that once you get your financial aid offers, you can contact the financial aid office to find out whether there are more funds available or whether the college or university can change the aid package to be more accommodating.

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