It may seem crazy, but it’s true: the first critical application deadlines (particularly for Floridians) are less than 2 months away.

Florida State wants your student to submit his application by October 15. UF is only two weeks later on November 1.

Like objects in your rear-view, these dates are closer than they appear. And trust me, as the school year kicks off, they will arrive faster than you think. Like Usain Bolt fast. Well maybe not that fast, but just consider how quickly your summer flew by.

Anyhow, I bring this up because the college application season for Fall 2013 admission is now well underway. And financial aid season is right around the corner. (The CSS Profile, the supplemental financial aid application used by many independent colleges) goes live October 1. Are you ready?

And if you think that FL Prepaid is your answer, you are in for a surprise (and not a pleasant one). FL Prepaid may have been a good investment if/when you bought it years ago, and it is transferable, but you’ll need a lot more than that to address the cost of attendance, wherever your child ends up enrolling.

At the risk of sounding boastful, my clients are ahead of the game. I’ve reviewed more essays at this point in the season than I ever have before, and the vast majority of my clients are in the process of implementing admissions strategies that target colleges that will likely want their child, satisfy their student’s current and future aspirations, and meet their financial objectives.

It’s not too late, but clearly time is of the essence. Though there is often much that can still be done to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for college, even in late-stage college planning — it’s also true that the earlier you start, the more options you’ll have at your disposal.

If you’re the parent of a 12th grader, it’s time to act; if your a parent of a 10th or 11th grader, it’s critical that you learn the rules of the college game now, and deal with the financial aspects NOW, so that you’re not in an unecessary emergency 12 months from now.

I’m holding two Back-To-School Emergency College Funding workshops this month, one in Miami and another in Broward. If you’ve been putting this off, now is the time to get educated. I’ll cover:

  • The biggest mistake parents make with FL Prepaid and other 529 plans
  • The crucial questions parents should ask of every school on a student’s college list
  • How a ‘pricey’ private college can cost less than a state school, even considering Bright Futures and FL Prepaid
  • Why it’s taking, on average, 5+ years to graduate from college today and how to buck this trend
  • How to compile a list of schools that maximize chances at both admissions and financial aid
  • More!

 

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