College Financial Aid - FamilyEducation
College Financial Aid
04/20/2009 at 09:56 AM

I’m getting the sense that universities have bee looking more closely at college exams for financial aid requests. Is anyone else seeing that? I guess it’s to be expected given how the recession is causing a lot more students - and their parents - to request grants and scholarships than in the past. A friend of mine actually said the most anxious email-opening for him this spring wasn’t his kid’s acceptance-or-rejection notice but the one with the financial aid offer.
While I have mixed feeling about the emphasis put on SATs/ACTs, etc., I'm starting to acquiesce about the need to get my daughter better prepared for them. Interestingly, while my wife and I were at a mid-term parent/advisory meeting a few weeks ago at her high school, I noticed a table set up by one of the test prep companies (I think it was Princeton Review), and among other things they were advertising an upcoming event at the end of April where sophomores and juniors can take (for free) a full-length practice test for the SAT and ACT and then get an analysis on how they did.
Has anyone done this sort of thing before? It seems like a pretty good opportunity, and while I realize that Princeton Review would ultimately like me to sign up for their test prep courses, it doesn’t look like there’s any obligation. So…I guess I’m thinking it shouldn’t hurt for my kid to get an early sense of what the test is really like and how she might do. Thoughts?
Anxious Dad

The 4 older kids did great without practice, but this one . . . I think a free practice might have been well worth the time.

So, when I said my first four did fine and my fifth not so well on the ACT, and that if I were doing it again I'd go for the practice test for him, why was that not posted? I didn't even mention fruit cocktail. Just curious. If you re-instate that post, please remove this one, as it would probably confuse someone for no good purpose. My fifth child is not as good at comprehension as the first four were. His math and reasoning skills are excellent, his composing skills are vastly improved, but still not great (journalism helped a lot). He has an innate talent for history and somekindofcomputerwebdesignstuff that I don't understand at all. I think the practice test would at the least have helped him pay more attention to details while he was reading in the test.

Yes, taking the practice test and getting the analysis is a great idea. My son did so, found out his weak spots and took the prep classes. He was so much more confident and did well enough on his SAT test to get a grant, financial aid and a small scholarship to the collegeof his choice. It was well worth the money spent on the prep course. Good luck to you!!

The prep test is definitely a good idea. I was never the best at test-taking, but after a prep course, I did much better the 2nd time around. Good luck.