The free FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can seem like an intimidating process. Applications open October 1 before the next fall semester. Some schools have limited funds, so be sure to apply early. Here are some tips to help guide your way.
First, create your account at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. You will select your personal username and create your FSA ID (Federal Student Aid Identification). Be sure to type your name and SSN (social security number) exactly how they appear on your social security card. This ID will allow you to access your FAFSA form and promissory notes online. If the student is dependent, a parent must also create a FSA ID so he/she can sign the application electronically. If the parent does not have a SSN, there is an option to print a signature page at the end of the application. If you filled out a FAFSA form last year and want to renew it, select 'Log In', select 'I am the student and want to access my FAFSA form', Enter your FSA ID, and select 'Renew my FAFSA form'. Update any information that has changed from last year.
When you log on with your FSA ID, your name, SSN, and date of birth will automatically populate onto your application. The student is the person applying for financial aid, so be certain you are entering your FSA ID under 'I am the student and want to access my FAFSA form'. Do not mistakenly enter your parent FSA ID in this section.
You may need the following as you complete the FAFSA application:
-Your SSN and/or your parent SSN if you are a dependent student
-Your tax information or your parent tax information if you are a dependent student including IRS W-2 and IRS Form 1040 (the 2023-24 FAFSA asks for 2021 tax information). To get more information on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool go to https://finaid.org/fafsa/irsdataretrievaltool for more tips on how to transfer tax information onto the FAFSA form. Another good resource is '2023-24 FAFSA on the WEB Worksheet' at https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/2023-24-fafsa-worksheet.pdf.
-Your records of untaxed income and assets and/or your parent if you are a dependent student
You will then select at least one, but up to ten, colleges to receive your application. All colleges listed will use your FAFSA to determine financial aid you may recieve. Colleges cannot see other schools listed on your application.
Finally, you are ready to sign and submit your form. Sign with your FSA ID, and have your parent sign with their FSA ID if you are a dependent student. Once you see your confirmation page, you know you have successfully submitted your application.
Are you ready to get started? Go to https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa to begin your application. If you have further questions, please call local FAFSA expert Jeff Boron at 716-689-7477.
Although the SAT is usually thought of when preparing for college, there is another option to consider. Like its counterpart, the American College Test, or ACT, is designed to help universities assess your readiness for higher academia. It is normal for students to consider both tests when developing their college resumes to see which is better tailored to their strengths. The ACT is accepted by all four-year universities.
Students who will study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathemamtics) courses in college should complete the ACT test.
Unlike the SAT, the ACT tests four subjects: Math, Science, Reading, English, with an optional Writing portion. The grading scale is significantly different as well. The four required sections are graded from a scale of 8-36 with the optional Writing section graded on a scale of 1-6. The test takes 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete. Just like any comprehensive exam, there are key strategies All Pro Tutoring uses to maximize your score for each section.
The Reading section of the ACT is a 35-minute, 40-question assessment testing reasoning and understanding of information. There will be 4 passages using topics pulled from Natural Sciences, Prose Fiction, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Each passage will have 10 questions that follow.
The Math section is composed of a 60-minute, 60-question section. The topics involved are Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. Unlike the SAT, the ACT allows students to use a calculator for the entire session.
A 35-minute section made up of 40 questions, the Science section greatly resembles the Reading section but is split into 7 passages. As such, expect to use similar strategies, such as having a basic comprehension of graphs, data, and trends in topics such as Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
The English section consists of 75 short questions answered in a span of 45 minutes. Expect to be tested on grammar rules, punctuation, and concise usage of language. Although you’ll have the least amount of time per question, with the correct strategies you should have no issue finishing this section in time.
The optional 40-minute Essay prompts you with three perspectives. The requirement is to use all positions to form and defend a well-developed opinion. Many students opt to avoid the essay, but it is always important to check university program requirements before doing so.
Register for the ACT at, www.act.org and think about scheduling a practice exam. Since the ACT is offered throughout the year, it’s easy to build an effective study plan. Whether taking the test in a few weeks or a few months, scheduling a practice exam and having a study guide to review expectations will lead to a clearer understanding of how to increase test scores.
After registering, review scores top universities expect on their applications and remember to take a practice test. Determining your goal score is half the battle. At All-Pro Tutoring, our team has the skill and experience necessary to help you achieve that goal. The ACT is an important step in the application process, a step we’re willing to help any student take.
At All-Pro Tutoring, we offer three separate tutoring options for the ACT: individual sessions, group sessions, and a 4-hour or 9-hour class course. We also provide a free practice test to better prepare students for the ACT test.
Contact our team today to help with the next step in creating a stellar college application!
The short answer is yes! Taking the SAT is an important step in completing and improving college applications no matter where a student is in their high school career. It is a test that creates a common evaluation standard for colleges to fairly judge applicants. While the SAT is important, you still need to make sure to review other aspects of the application process as well. Ultimately, the SAT is a type of entrance exam for colleges to gage a student’s ability to handle higher education. It is nothing to be scared of.
To begin your college career, looking into the SAT is an excellent steppingstone. It is offered a total of seven times throughout the year. Students ordinarily take the SAT two or three times during their junior and early senior year. The SAT College Board offers a simple registration process that pinpoints the best locations to take the test near you. It is a long exam that usually involves sacrificing a few Saturday mornings.
The SAT takes three hours to complete and consists of three tests: (1) the Reading Test, (2) the Writing and Language Test, and (3) the Math Test. The Reading and Writing tests are combined into one section. The two sections are scored between 200-800 points with the best possible score being 1600.
This portion of the test is broken into two sub-sections. There is a 20-question, 25-minute section where a calculator is prohibited and another 38-question, 55-minute section that allows a calculator. You do not have to memorize the formulas. A formula sheet is provided at the test site.
This portion has two sub-sections as well. There is the 65-minute, 52-question reading and vocabulary section along with a 35-minute, 44-question grammar usage section.
The essay is no longer a component of the SAT test.
Since, it is a score-driven test, be sure to research what scores your top schools expect. It is common to find their range with a simple Google search or by researching universities. Exploring college websites for appropriate scores is an excellent way to discover what an effective college application possesses. Make sure to examine what other expectations each college requires to succeed academically. Yes, the SAT is important, but it is only a piece of the application puzzle, a puzzle we’d like to help with.
All Pro Tutoring offers comprehensive lesson programs with testing professionals. We offer individualized and small group setting lessons. Our strategic approach to test taking and the admissions process have helped many students succeed throughout the years. We can help with the next step. Inquire about a practice test and our in-depth tutoring programs.
It’s common to assume it’s best to focus on one test and avoid over-studying and over-worrying. So, why should you take both the SAT and the ACT? Although these tests possess differences, they use similar practices to test students. The best way to succeed at one or both tests is increasing the opportunity to take them AND study for them, especially since universities consider both tests when examining a student’s readiness. To check when both are scheduled, research collegeboard.org and act.org. The SAT is offered 7 times a year while the ACT is offered 12.
Yes, the tests are different, but they have many similar underlying qualities. In fact, taking both will help increase your aptitude for these strategies. As well as having common traits, the more opportunities to test, the more chances there are to hit goal scores. More importantly, taking both reveals which test you will be stronger in, helping to refine study strategies and possibly phase one test out.
First and foremost, the SAT and ACT are formatted differently. The ACT has a larger Grammar section, as well as an additional section dedicated to Science. Additionally, a calculator is allowed for the duration of the Math portion of the ACT, unlike the SAT which a calculator is permitted for a portion of the math test. Instead, the SAT relies heavily on logical reasoning and effective problem-solving skills to complete math problems. These key differences help us at All-Pro Tutoring better tailor lesson plans based on your strengths and weaknesses.
After taking both exams, it will be much easier to create an effective study plan and determine which test is a better fit. Again, consider taking practice tests that can be scored. All-Pro Tutoring can then pair you with one of our professional tutors to create a unique and effective study plan.
The SAT and the ACT are both esteemed comprehensive exams accepted by all 4-year universities. With that in mind, you should consider taking practice exams and registering for both tests. The more practice the better!
We offer multiple tutoring options at All-Pro Tutoring to prepare you for the SAT and ACT. Choose from individual lessons, group settings, or both. Contact us about a free practice exam and to learn more about what we can do to help.