So Grandmother wants to help pay for college? Amazing! Tapping into extended family resources can help parents overwhelmed by college costs. And since tuition payments are exempt from the gift tax, the grandparent’s help seems to be an effective way to disseminate family wealth without harmful tax implications.
Unfortunately, many family members don’t realize that there can be negative educational funding implications when a grandparent helps away. Unless Grandma is simply planning to for a way to exhaust her limitless financial resources—if this is the case, I am going to happily accept college payments designed for my two kids! —families presumably wish to maximize Federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs before turning to Grandmother for assistance. Unfortunately, failure to plan properly for Grandma’s university contribution can lead to thousands of dollars in lost financial aid and a larger financial burden being born by both parents and grandparents.
The Problem: Gifts as Pupil Income
The FAFSA , a financial aid application required by simply about every college in the US, requires students to report “money obtained, or paid on [their] behalf” by anyone besides their custodial parents. This is where learners are required to disclose cash gifts given, or tuition bills paid, by Grandma (out of her 529 College Savings Plan or otherwise). These gifts from Grandma rely as untaxed student income, plus student income, after a small money to cover earnings from a part-time summertime or after school job, is really subject to the harshest assessment rate imbedded in the federal financial aid formula—a whopping 50%. In other words, a student potentially loses 50 cents associated with financial aid for every dollar that Grandmother pays towards his tuition.
The Solution: Time Gifts Strategically
While the harsh treatment of relatives’ tuition payments as student revenue poses a significant financial problem for a lot of families, it is not an unsolvable one, at least at the vast majority of colleges that use the FAFSA as their sole financial aid application. A little upfront planning can go a long way in minimizing—if not completely eliminating—the negative financial aid impact associated with Grandma’s college payments.
- First, remember that students are given a $6, 400 revenue protection allowance, permitting them to work a small part-time job without charging themselves financial aid. Keep total student income, including gifts from Grandmother, under $6, 400 per year, plus there will be no associated loss of educational funding.
- Also, beginning with the 2016/17 academic year, the FAFSA form will ask about a student plus parents’ prior-prior 12 months income (e. gary the gadget guy. income from two years back). This means that any gifts that a student receives will show up on a educational funding application two years in the future. Following along an approximate timeline (slightly inaccurate due to differences in calendar years and academic years), consider this: any payments Grandmother makes for a student’s freshman calendar year will cost him financial aid in his younger year, payments made toward sophomore year will cost him senior 12 months aid, and any payments designed for junior and senior years of college will not cost him any financial aid because there will be no more subsequent aid applications. Grandma can pay as much as she wants in the direction of her grandchild’s last two years of college (actually beginning January of sophomore year), and there will be absolutely no financial aid effect.
- And if Grandma is so generous that giving $6, 500 each toward freshman and sophomore years, and unlimited contributions toward junior and senior years, is not sufficient for her (again, she’s welcome to embrace me…), then she can often contribute to a 529 College Financial savings Plan owned by the parents associated with her grandchild. That account will give food to into the financial aid calculations, but is going to be subject to the fairly gentle treatment of a parental asset, and endure, at worst, a 6% annual assessment. Much less than the 50% evaluation on student income!
While we all might not have the wealthy grandmother willing and capable of pay for all four years of college, mothers and fathers overwhelmed with the prospect of paying for college often overlook the potential generosity of their extended family. Asking for gift contributions to college funds to prize holidays and birthdays is a smart strategy for building up college savings, and when time comes to spend that savings, moms and dads should be sure to think strategically regarding any financial aid and tax implications of the spending in order to minimize their bottom line college costs—their own, their child’s, and Grandma’s.
Last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation continued the student viewpoint series, offering you advice straight from people who know the college search process greatest: a first-year college student!
The Student Viewpoint
Beth began the show with current University of Southern California first-year student Noa Braun about the girl search process. They chatted about Noa’s primary selection criteria, the part rankings played, and what happened summer time after junior year when the lady went on a big college tour. Noa joked that she was the sort of just how many applications is too a lot of. When presented with wonderful opportunities, Noa chose USC. She explained just what her parents had to say about her decision.
College Finance Questions Answered
In the second segment, Beth and financing expert Tara Piantanida-Kelly answered college financing questions submitted by our audience. Tara tackled questions on what families should be doing after they submit the FAFSA, how to cover gaps within aid packages, what happens if it appears like the school is pushing for an early deposit prior to May 1, and exactly what actually is federal work-study money?? The next time we will tackle financial aid appeals plus scholarship negotiation. Check out 5 Tips for Increasing your Financial Aid Offer if you’re looking for a few spoilers.
Encouraging Creativity in Students
Beth covered up the show with guest Kara Courtois to talk through the New York Times write-up from January on how to raise a creative child . Give a listen to hear Beth and Kara discuss what they liked, their thoughts on whether or not creativity can be bought or even micromanaged, and the implications when the pupil progresses to high school.
On tomorrow’s episode of Getting In: A University Coach Conversation , we’ll continue our student interview pupil with a Brown freshman, dive into Harvard’s Turning the Tide report on the state of college admissions, and discuss some of the way you can negotiate a better educational funding package. See you then!
Recent Episodes of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation :
- Why I Chose the University of The southern part of California: One Student’s Story
- Comparing Financial Aid Offers
- Can I Pay In-State Tuition within Another State?: Tuition Reciprocity Contracts Part 1
Tova Tolman is a member of College Coach’s team of university admissions experts . Prior to becoming a member of College Coach, Tova worked in admissions at Fordham University, Montclair State University, and Barnard College.
A recent report published simply by leading colleges and universities is calling to get concrete changes to the college admissions process. Here, two of our professional educational consultants discuss their opinions and ideas about the report.
Ian Fisher: Last month, I wrote a viewpoint piece for our blog on Turning the particular Tide , a report compiled by the Harvard Graduate School of Schooling and endorsed by college admissions professionals nationwide. In the month approximately since that report has been released, I’ve seen a mix of skepticism, usually from admissions professionals and college counselors, and optimism, usually through those on the outside of the field searching in. At the heart of this tension is really a big question: is this something new? And can it change how colleges approach admissions? I’m interested in getting your (Elyse Krantz’s) take on those two queries, but I’m also interested in ongoing the conversation for our readers.
So let’s assume that Turning the Tide contains a lot of good recommendations for students (something I argued in my initial post ), and let’s talk about some of the primary elements of the report. I’m curious specifically in the recommendations that the paper gives about meaningful engagement in the application process and how students and families might internalize these recommendations.
What did you find to be the best idea in the survey and what do you think it means for families going through this process?
Elyse Krantz: That’s a tough question because there are two recommendations that really speak to me personally.
The authors from the report strongly suggest that students need to find a way to contribute to their areas by way of “meaningful, sustained community service . ” While many high schools require that students log a certain number of volunteer hours as a graduation requirement, too often college students fulfill this goal through activities that have little or no personal meaning. Volunteering to help clean up your local park might sound wonderful to a budding environmentalist, but not all students would discover this activity rewarding. Similarly, several nursing homes would welcome volunteers along with open arms, but not all high schoolers would thrive or feel comfortable in this setting. Whether students are looking at attending a 2-year college, a public research university, or a extremely selective liberal arts college, they are going to directly benefit from engaging in a long lasting service project that has personal meaning.
My second favorite recommendation arrives at the end of the report. Given all of the media attention surrounding the dozen or so most selective schools across the nation, it’s easy for students and mother and father to forget there are literally numerous exceptional colleges that provide top-notch academic opportunities. Every year at College Trainer, I find that students from the same high schools are targeting the exact same colleges. And while there’s certainly absolutely nothing wrong with aiming for a popular dream school, I appreciate the report’s recommendation that students need help growing their notion of what identifies a “good” college. When jr families receive their personalized university list—whether it’s from their own senior high school counselor or University Coach —I encourage college students to take the time to research those educational institutions whose names are unfamiliar for them. Just because your best friend hasn’t learned about X College doesn’t mean it isn’t really a great school; it’s simply means that your friend isn’t very knowledgeable about colleges!
Ian Fisher is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts . Ian received his master’s in policy, organization, and leadership studies in the Stanford Graduate School of Training. Prior to joining College Coach, Ian worked as a senior admissions officer at Reed College.
On last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation , Sally Ganga stepped in as guest host to discuss pre-dentistry studies, college co-op programs, and how to compare college finance awards.
Admissions expert, Christine Kenyon , assisted listeners understand what “pre-dentistry” really indicates in the context of both high school and college preparation. The lady pointed out the similarity to pre-med courses students would pursue yet underscored some main differences involving the two paths: pre-dentistry students generally want to be in a helping, health industry but not necessarily in a life or death situation; pre-dentistry students also tend to have an interest in business as many dentist start their own practice.
The Difference In between a Co-Op and an Internship
Following, former Drexel University admissions officer, Kennon Dick , discussed the difference between co-op and internship programs, and how these experiential learning programs can be of real value to students in any main. Co-op programs are really integrated into the academic program and calendar of the college, whereas to truly are more student-initiated and pursued own their own time. Kennon outlined mature, responsible, self-starter students as those most likely to thrive in the co-op.
Comparing Financial Aid Packages
Finally, financial aid expert, Kathy Ruby , laid out steps to make sure you are comparing financial aid packages “apples to apples. ” The financial aid notifications, which come out in March or earlier April, are not the same as the scholarship letter many students receive earlier within the year; this notification includes every thing in terms of what the family/student should be prepared to pay as well as exactly how the college is definitely helping. First, Kathy urged listeners to get organized! Next, she said to be sure to read the fine print and attachments to understand the terms and conditions associated with any awards. The big picture to keep in mind is that you need to understand the package within the context of planning for four many years and not just what’s laid out for the very first year of study.
On our next episode , Beth Heaton will certainly return to the show to cover these topics: Why I chose University or college of Southern California, raising a creative child (intended more for mothers and fathers of middle school students), plus finance questions from listeners.
Recent Episodes of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation :
- Comparing Financial Aid Offers
- Can I Pay In-State Tuition in Another State?: Tuition Reciprocity Agreements Part 1
- How Do These people Decide?: Admissions at Large State Institutions
At this time of year, a lot of parents of seniors may be realizing some relief. Your child has completed all of his or her admissions applications and it is starting to see a few offers of admission. Additionally , you have completed the necessary financial aid applications, like the FAFSA and the CSS Profile (if required by the schools on your list).
So , you’re thinking you have some time between now and the deadline to deposit to kick back and put up your ft. But before you shut off your mind, know that there is one more (often overlooked) phase to the financial aid process that you need to comprehensive before you send off your deposit check.
No, colleges are not car dealerships, and also you can’t negotiate with all of them. Yet families often leave thousands of dollars on the table when they do not take the extra action to negotiate. It is not as easy as calling the college and saying, “I can pay no more than X amount of dollars just for my child’s education, ” but here are some key tips to complete this process with success!
- Understand the difference in between appealing and negotiating: A financial aid appeal is based on the information on the financial aid form not accurately depicting your family’s real financial situation. Financial aid appeals should be done to make the college aware of some unusual circumstance, like:
- Job loss
- One-time financial gain
- Unusually high medical expenses
- Private high school expenses
- Parent academic loan debt
- Negotiating financial aid is different in that the reason you are asking for more money is because your own student may have a better financial aid package from another school, a better scholarship offer from a competing college, or perhaps a less expensive college to which they have been accepted.
- Note: If you are negotiating recruitment-based scholarships , your email must be addressed to your student’s regional admissions officer or the director of admissions.
Regardless of the technique, there is no downside to appealing or negotiating financial aid , so long as the student has already been accepted into the college (and preferably received their own initial financial aid offer). You will never end up being worse off than you were when you received the initial offer and you may also be rewarded with more money in your pocket!
Relevant Episodes of Getting In: A College Coach Discussion :
- Comparing Financial Aid Provides
- Understanding Financial Aid Packages and Avoiding Award Traps
- Financial Aid Advice That’s Too Good To Be Real: Separating the Myths from the Reality
Alex Bickford is a college finance expert at College Coach. Before joining College Coach, Alex was a financial aid officer at Southern New Hampshire University and an educational financing account manager at Citizens Bank.
When I worked at Reed, the colleagues and I had a saying that all of us loved to share with applicants summing up the best personal statements : “Neither analytical nor creative, the personal essay is a mixture of both that reveals who the student is. ”
As stated by Fitzpatrick and Constantini , the personal essay can’t be entirely creative, but it also can’t rely on the DBQ-style that earns you a five on the AP US History exam, either. More, the writer has to set aside the immense pressure they’re putting on them selves to write the “perfect” essay, that they imagine is going to win over the hearts and minds of their application viewer. There’s truly no “one” factor that admissions officers are looking for; in fact , the more expected, formal, or trite a topic is, the likelier the particular essay is to fail.
How to Write a Personal Statement
Let’s be honest. Talking about yourself is hard. And the particular type of narrative writing the college application requires can be extremely difficult to master.
So , I recommend that students know that this is simply a style of writing that very few people (let alone high school students) are ever asked to generate. So what can an applicant do to organize?
That’s right, read.
The more an applicant exposes herself towards the narrative style of writing, the more she is going to recognize what works and what doesn’t. “Hearing” the voices of others’ will help her develop her own. Experiencing the strength of a less-formal, first-person-forward essay also may help an applicant be more comfortable with this distinctively creative and analytical style of composing.
So , this spring and summer, before you ever actually open up the application prompts , begin by reading more narrative pieces of writing. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- The New Yorker Magazine
- Joan Didion’s essays
- Tina Fey’s memoir, BossyPants
- When Breath Becomes Air , by John Kalinithi
- The historical travel writing of Sarah Vowell
- A Walk in the Woods simply by Bill Bryson
- Into Thin Air or Into the Wild by John Krakauer
- Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers
- Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (Reed alumna! )
- Why This College? What Do I actually Say in That Essay??
- Getting Started on University Essays: 2015-2016 Common App Article Prompts, Part 1
- Successful College Programs: The Importance of Presenting Your Authentic Personal
If you have a student within eleventh or twelfth grade, chances are you’ve heard of the National Merit Scholarship . All test takers in their 3rd year of high school are instantly considered for the National Merit Scholarship or grant when they take the Preliminary SAT (PSAT), as the National Merit Scholarship Company is a co-sponsor of the exam. This particular non-profit organization recognizes students with the highest scores at the PSAT each year using a scholarship. In fact , the alternative name for the PSAT is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT).
The process for finding out if you are scholarship recipient is lengthy. Each year, roughly 11 months following a student sits for the PSAT/NMSQT, check takers are notified if they have already been identified as a National Merit Recommended Student or Semifinalist. Five months after that, Semifinalists will find out if they have been selected as a Finalist. Roughly half of all Finalists every year are deemed National Merit Scholarship or grant recipients, with approximately 7, 400 students ultimately awarded the scholarship or grant each year
So how will being a National Merit Scholarship applicant impact a college application? This fits into the process just like any other piece of the applicant’s file. When I reviewed applications for entrance, if the student included that the girl was a National Merit Commended College student or Semifinalist in her software, I would note it in my review but focus instead on other aspects of the application. Because the Nationwide Merit Scholarship recognizes students meant for high testing on a practice exam, plus our admission requirements focused on the student’s official standard testing , the rest of the file was much more important in our application review.
The timeline of the National Merit Scholarship identification process also makes it difficult for it to play a significant role in the college entrance process, because it spans the whole of a student’s final year an excellent source of school. For those colleges that have application deadlines between November one and January 1, no pupil would know by the time that they submitted their application if they had innovative from the Commended Student or Semifinalist stage to the Finalist stage. Finalist selection occurs in Feb of a student’s senior year and, only in the ensuing months, the last scholarship recipients are identified. It’s highly likely that if your student receives a National Advantage Scholarship, it will occur after their college application process has been completed.
With all this in mind, I would recommend taking a deep breath and focusing more on all the other aspects of your student’s college application. At the end of the day, your student has much more control over their grades, involvement, and essays, and the ones factors will be much more relevant in the admissions process. I would encourage most students to go into the PSAT/NMSQT having an open mind, but understanding that it is just one very small piece in the college admission process.
Relevant Episodes associated with Getting In: A College Coach Conversation :
- Just how do They Decide?: Admissions at Large State Schools
- Submitting Test Scores: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, And More!
- Holistic Admissions Process: A Behind-the-Scenes Look
Christine Kenyon is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions professionals . Prior to joining University Coach, Christine was a senior admissions officer at Babson College and also a scholarship reviewer and interviewer in UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University.
Congratulations upon progressing to National Merit Finalist status! While you may be enjoying nice this has afforded you within your school and community, you might also be questioning what this designation means for you from a financial perspective?
According to the Nationwide Merit Scholarship Corporation , regarding 50-60% of National Merit Finalists receive funding as a result of their standing. You could receive one of three varieties of awards:
- A one-time $2, 500 scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Every Finalists are automatically considered with this award, but the NMSC awards this only to the top of the National Value Finalist pool.
- A renewable, college-sponsored award from a participating college or university. The minimums for these awards range from $500 to $2, 000 (depending on monetary need). In order to receive this scholarship or grant you must notify NMSC that an institution is your first choice by the published deadline .
Some colleges exceed these minimums and award particular recruitment scholarships to National Value Finalists. They may even offer additional opportunities like summer research and study abroad. Institutional awards for National Advantage Finalists are like other merit-based scholarships ; less picky schools may be generous and innovative in their attempts to enroll you, while more selective colleges award the particular minimums (or do not participate in the program at all).
- A corporate-sponsored award from the company that employs your parent, operates in your community, or would like to encourage a particular career path for scholars. These awards range in amount and in renewability. You may have completed a separate application to be considered for this award.
By March 1, NMSC asks you to report a first choice college or let them know if you want to remain undecided. In the week after March 1, NMSC sends a roster to every college letting them know which learners have selected them as 1st choice.
As you make your decision about who to report because first choice (or whether to remain undecided), research the websites of each from the colleges you are considering. This will help you determine if they participate in the NMSC plan, how much they award, and if they have got any particular deadlines you need to meet up with to gain maximum consideration. When picking out a first-choice college , keep these things in mind:
- Sometimes (not always), there may be an advantage in reporting a university as first choice by March 1 . Some colleges limit their particular awards and give priority to the learners who appear on their first roster from NMSC. Alternatively, you may want to show “demonstrated interest” at a particular university by letting them see you have selected them as first choice.
- Remember, if you report a college as initial choice, you can always change your mind. However , try not to miss NMSC’s deadline for reporting this change. Technically you have until May 31 to change your first choice. However if a college offers you a good award and NMSC goes out having an announcement of that award on Might 1, then you are no longer able to exchange the college sponsorship, and you will be ineligible in the new institution. Therefore to be safe, make sure you report your new first selection to NMSC by April 30 at the latest. This is practical, since you’ll be deciding where to enroll by then anyway!
In addition to the procedural requirements associated with receiving funding (including a renewal process each year), how much money (if any) you receive as a National Value Finalist ultimately depends on the college where you decide to enroll and on which type of scholarship you receive. And similar to the impact on your admission, National Advantage Finalist status is just one part of the college finance puzzle.
Relevant Episodes associated with Getting In: A University Coach Conversation :
Upon last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation , guest host Ian Fisher shared several insight on the college process from the perspective of a large, public college, helped listeners better understand the process of financial aid verification, and shed some light about how colleges evaluate the high school that your child attends.
College Admissions, Georgia Style
Wondering about how exactly large, public universities make their own admissions decisions? Kelly Bird, Older Assistant Director of Admission on the University of Georgia, joined the particular show to explain how UGA examined the 23, 000 applications they received this year. The conversation covered all aspects of application review from UGA, including how the Early Activity process differs from Regular Decision, and what the admissions committee looks for, from both a numeric plus holistic perspective. Kelly and Ian provided some great insights, including an analysis on how a student’s choice of main does not affect the admissions decision.
How does the student’s High School impact college admissions?
Within the second segment, Karen Spencer joined Ian to answer two very popular questions: How does my high school factor to the college admissions decision and, when the choice is available to me, how do I select what high school to attend? While you will find definitely those ‘high-powered’ and very well-known high schools out there, the truth is there are a lot of challenging high colleges, in almost every city and neighborhood around the country. Karen shed some light on how college admissions officers use the senior high school profile to understand the high school, and read the student’s transcript in the appropriate context. For those students who get a choice about what high school to attend, Karen provided some insight into how go about making that decision. Not surprisingly, as with the college search process, the best way to choose is usually by evaluating fit, rather than search positions.
Knowing Financial Aid Verification
In the final portion, financial aid expert Beth Feinberg-Keenan stopped by to explain the part of the financial aid process known as “Financial Aid Verification. ” In this segment, Beth was able to explain why certain applicants are chosen for verification, shared lots of great advice on what documentation families need to provide, and how best to manage the process.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s reside episode of Getting In: A College Coach Discussion , when host Beth Heaton returns for a discussion upon Naviance, tuition reciprocity agreements, and answers to listener questions.
Relevant Content articles:
- Financial Aid Verification – How to deal with the Process
- Big University or Small College? A College Coach Conversation
- Kindness offers always mattered: How the Harvard admission report will actually change college admissions
Recent Episodes of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation :
- How Do They Decide?: Admissions at Large State Schools
- The Student Perspective and Responses to Listener Questions
- Parents: Please Don’t Become more Memorable than your Students!
In the final post , I covered exactly how I’ve been using Naviance with our junior son to help him develop a long list of colleges to research plus (later) a short-list of universities to which he will apply. This week, I would like to share some of Naviance’s other amazing features.
In the Career Module , students can explore various kinds of careers and discover majors that may be appealing to them. While it’s not necessary for students to be certain of their major before getting into college, it’s always fun to imagine the possibilities. The “Career Cluster Finder” and “Career Interest Profiler” are simple assessments which help a student discover profession matches based on activities of interest, personal characteristics, and most-enjoyed subjects. The results of the assessment include the student’s strongest areas of interest and those of lesser interest. Students can also view matching careers and career clusters that may be appealing to them based on the results of the assessments.
Career clusters really are a way of grouping careers with common features and skills. Careers within the same cluster typically require comparable education and training. Exploring careers as clusters can be a useful method to find a good career match, especially if a student has general areas of interest although not sure which specific careers suit these interests. Students can link to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to research their profession interest, including information on job duties, required education and training, spend and benefits, and future perspective for job growth.
I have found that this is a great exercise for the high school student! Encourage your child to include possible careers to their “career list” in Naviance, but don’t worry if your child can’t decide on a particular major; many students change their major at least once during their college career! If students do not know what they wish to major in, using the tools in the Career module can help them thin down their choices. In addition , these types of exercises can help a student better understand how their high school coursework prepares them for certain types of careers and majors.
Under the About Me tab, there are additional tools for your child to use. Students can set goals and reminders designed for tasks that need to be completed, and there is a useful function that helps students create a resume. Students can use layouts to create a well-formatted resume, listing respects and awards, activities and night clubs, volunteer and service, and outdoors jobs.
The MyPlanner section serves as a great tip tool and online “to do” list for students, helping all of them stay organized and on track throughout the entire process. If you have access to Naviance as a parent, this is a great spot to keep track of your student’s progress through the application process without having to nag.
Finally, one of the most helpful features of Naviance is that the program allows your own school’s guidance counselor to speak with students directly as they move through the college application procedure . Students can request transcripts, school reports, and letters of recommendation from their school counselor, all through Naviance. In addition , Naviance integrates with the popular admissions application portal, The most popular Application , simplifying the application procedure on the high school end. To be able to make use of that functionality when applying to colleges, students need to sign up for the Common Application with the same current email address they use for their Naviance login .
If your child’s high school subscribes to this software platform, I encourage you to dive in plus join your child in his or her journey to college. Whether developing a college list based on a student’s academic and career interests, tracking apps throughout the admissions process, or evaluating admissions rates at the colleges on your own child’s list, Naviance is a precious college planning tools that assist students and families make up to date decisions and stay organized throughout the college process!
- How To Use Naviance As A College Research Tool: Part 1
- Choosing the Right College to suit your needs
- Big University or Small College? A College Coach Conversation
Appropriate Episodes of Getting into: A College Coach Conversation :
- The Student Perspective plus Responses to Listener Questions
- Researching Schools and Listener Questions
- College Admissions by the Numbers: Learn How to Put Together a College List Based on Your Numbers