Every year, it happens: students apply to California colleges.
Every year, they apply for government and institutional aid.
Every year, they aren't told until the senior year, often right before the Cal Grant submission deadlines, what their CAL Grant GPA is.
And many are disqualified when they COULD HAVE QUALIFIED.
We had student single mom ... completely ready to go to her first choice college ... and, then, WHAMMMO!
Her Cal Grant GPA was .02 short of the threshold.
That two hundredths of a point cost the family $13,000 for the first year of college ... and traditionally, another three years of tuition and fees ($39,000).
So that .02 cost the family $52,000 over four years of college.
Cal Grant GPA is a special calculation that is NOT on the transcript, and the time span is the sophomore and junior years in high school.
By the time the student finds out they fall short, it is too late to do anything about it.
Why can't guidance departments of high schools send home the Cal Grant GPA at the end of the sophomore and mid-term junior years?
If their Cal Grant GPA's are a teeny bit short, this will at least give students a chance to make up the shortfall.
Yes, the parents should be more proactive, but sadly, many aren't because they don't know the process.
Many families don't know that there are asset and income thresholds that must be met to receive Cal Grants.
Actually, many guidance counselors don't know that either.
In fact, I have been to "Senior Night" where the parents hear about the college admissions process ... and it's a joke at most high schools.
These advisers — who are expected to give wise counsel — actually tell parents, "Just apply and hope for the best," or "You never know until you apply."
Irresponsible and inaccurate.
If you are a parent of a high school student, ask your PTSA or guidance department to invite us to speak to parents about the college admissions and financial aid process.
We are a valuable resource for information that makes the college admissions process much easier and more accurate.
Tell all your friends about the next seminar at our office in the Harbor, July 14 at 9 a.m, where you could win a $1,000 software package.
For free seminars, webinars and useful tools to help guide the college planning process, please go to www.GetCollegeFunding.org, and sign up for our "Seven Mistakes Most Parents Make When Planning For College."