Expert: Avoid the pitfalls of college admissions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Expert: Avoid the pitfalls of college admissions

(WMC-TV) - It is the time of year that many high school seniors or rising seniors are focused on college admissions, and that process can be daunting. A native Memphian who helps parents and students through the pitfalls of college admissions has some advice for saving money on the cost of college.

"We are seeing so much competition. [It's] one of the greatest reasons, and it's great for Memphis, that we have lower dropout rates," said former Memphis City Schools teacher and student Vanessa Peterson who now works for a college prep company called Kaplan. "We're talking with seniors who have gone through the ACT process. They've actually taken the test and now their looking at their admissions options."

There are four common scenarios:

1.) What if my top choice rejects me?

"Continue to think about what schools said, 'Yes, we're interested in you.' And moving from there because ideally students have applied to more than one school," said Peterson.

2.) I've been wait-listed. What are my chances of getting in?

"Do not wait if you've been wait-listed," said Peterson."In some of our most competitive schools only 17 percent come off of the wait list and are admitted to the schools."

3.) I got into my college, but there's not enough financial aid.

"Financial support from schools. It's negotiable so students need to learn how to bargain and if their financial situation changes. For example, a parent loses a job or lose a parent, go ahead and notify the financial aid office. They understand that bad things happen in life."

4.) I got into several top schools, where do I go?

"Revisit those factors that they originally sought. After those admissions processes, what did they see weigh those options?" said Peterson.

Another recommendation is keeping in contact with your college guidance counselor, and family and friends who are alums of the schools you are interested in.

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