One of the most important things you can do as a prospective student is position yourself. It’s an important way to help get the best financial aid package from a college.
Student positioning means applying to those colleges where you are wanted as a student. When a college receives a student’s application, the student is compared to all other applicants and “positioned” according to their SAT or ACT scores, their GPA, and other criteria that make them eligible to attend that college. Each college sets its own range of SAT/ACT scores, and incoming students are expected to fall within that range. The closer to the top of that range a student’s scores are, the more financial aid they will receive. A college wants a student who’s scores indicate that they are going to succeed in their academic endeavors, and it is willing to give a student funds to help them attend that school. Thus the student needs to position themselves so that a school wants them to be part of its student body.
The goal of the college admissions office is to build a community that fosters the development and nurtures potential of the student population. Student positioning is about matching the right school to the right student. Finding a school that is as interested in what you have to offer to the community they are trying to build.
Keep in mind two things in reference to student positioning:
- The positioning of a student by the college is always reflected in the award package that they are offered. A good GPA and SAT score are reflected in a meet-the-need financial aid offer. Lower grades and SAT scores are reflected in a lower-than-need financial aid offer.
- Due to the number of graduating seniors in the next 12 years, the competition for financial aid among college students will be high. It is very important that a student look for colleges where they are wanted. You should apply to at least six schools so that you can compare the awards offered and can decide which school has positioned you so that you receive the best financial aid offer.
If you are a parent, you must know what schools will offer your child the best financial aid package based on student positioning. To find out more information on how Maier & Associates College Planning can help your family with student positioning, feel free to contact us or register for a complimentary workshop.