Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

College interview primer: Show some passion

College applications are submitted, and for some, it’s now time for interviews. The first thing we need to do is to shake that image of the stereotypical elderly, tweed-jacketed, pipe-smoking, bespectacled, cranky admissions person. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that many college     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Save big bucks with these FAFSA tips

If you hope to score any need-based aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Many families assume they won’t receive aid and don’t bother to file the form. Even if you are certain you fall in the “no-need” category, it is still recommended that you fill it out     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

How to figure out the FAFSA finances

If it is the beginning of January and you are the parent of a high school senior, then you need to be filling out the forms and figuring out your finances. The official FAFSA form ( www.fafsa.ed.gov) was made available Jan. 1. Since funds are distributed on a first-come-first-served basis, even those     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

How to handle bad news on Early Admissions

Most of the Early Decision and Early Action decisions are in. UNC Chapel Hill and a few others are the slowpokes of the gang and won’t release their notifications until the end of January. Hopefully most students have heard from at least a few colleges, and for many of them that means there has     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Early college notifications are on the way, what now?

It’s easy to celebrate and toast your child when the fat envelope arrives and everyone is smiling. It’s not quite so easy when you’re the first one to open the mailbox and see the scrawny, “thin” envelope you wished was addressed to someone else. So the letters coming in now are in response     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Mythbuster: Greater prestige doesn’t equal greater happiness

Last week I talked about the ill-conceived notion held by many families that due to the high cost of college, they must choose only in-state institutions. Other families unwittingly believe that “all private schools are better than all public institutions.” Now that we know those are falsehoods,     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

Mythbuster: Don’t feel forced to pick between Price OR Prestige

I meet with all varieties of families; some who are admittedly overwhelmed by the entire college admissions process and others who feel as if they’ve done their homework and have a pretty good understanding of what needs to be done. The commonality between them, is that when looking at colleges,     Continue Reading...

Lee Bierer - Nationally Syndicated Columnist and Independent College Counselor.

5 tips for getting that college essay written

OK, all you procrastinators, it’s now officially December, and with Jan. 1 deadlines looming, you really can’t wait much longer. Yes, of course, I know you can, and some of you will wait until Dec. 29 to start “thinking about” what you’re going to write. So here are some tips that I’ve     Continue Reading...