30 Admissions criteria Colleges will use some, if not all, of the information listed below when determining whether or not to accept an applicant. Of course, individual colleges differ in how they evaluate this information. One college may place a great deal of importance on test scores. Another college may focus more on other factors. u Grade point average (GPA) u Special talents / awards u Strength of subjects u Personal qualities u ACT/SAT scores u Activities u Class rank u Essays u Recommendations u Interviews Paying for college With college costs continuing to rise, most families are concerned about how they are going to pay for college. Although college can be expensive, there is a great deal of financial aid available. There are four forms of financial aid: grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Grants and scholarships are considered “free money.” Loans and work-study are considered “self-help” programs. Students apply for financial aid during their senior year. There are also a number of ways to make college more affordable. Students can go to a public college in their home state, live at home and commute, start at a community college, or take advantage of military educational programs. Parents who are saving money for college may want to consider investing in a 529 plan. While these plans vary from state to state, they all provide tax benefits. For information, go to www.savingforcollege.com. The following websites have excellent information on paying for college, admissions requirements, college tests, financial aid, and much more. www.collegeboard.org www.act.org www.educationplanner.org www.studentaid.ed.gov www.petersons.com www.finaid.org Education is an investment in the future!