1. What are the determining factors to decide which college is best for my child?
A few determining factors are:
– Preferred Major
– Cost of attendance / Financial fit
– Acceptance Rates
– Geographic location
– Career prospects
Jupiter’s counselors assess and cater to every family’s varied requirement, student’s profile and provides a customized college list.

2. Do we need to mandatorily do college campus visits. How many is the ideal number to visit?
College campus visits were one way to display the “Demonstrated Interest”. It, is good to subscribe to the College’s newsletter, sign up for any virtual fairs and such. If time and money are not constraints, then consider attending the campus of about 50% of the colleges being applied to.

3. When should we start the application process?
Our recent webinar has the steps/timelines of the application process (plus a host of other useful information). It is recommended to start the due diligence at the start of the 10th grade. This allows time to round up the various aspects of the application requirements – the extra curriculars, APs, project, volunteer, leadership work etc.
From a financial standpoint too, it makes sense to evaluate what the cost-of-attendance is early on.

4. How should we begin the application process?
Please avail our free, 30 minute “no obligation” consultation to help us provide information on the application process and the services offered through the journey. Our webinar addresses the timelines and steps involved in the application process.

5. What is the difference between scholarships and grants? Are both merit based?
Generally speaking, Scholarships are “merit based” while college Grants are “need-based”. There are many colleges that provide scholarships disguised as Grants and the difference could be just “semantics”. Scholarships are sometimes awarded for all the 4 years of study while grants may be limited to the entering year, and renewable based on availability of funds. Typically, in order to qualify for scholarships and non-need based grants, applying early is key (Nov 1 or Nov 15).

6. Does every student qualify for federal loans?
Federal loans are of two types – subsidized and unsubsidized. The loans depend on Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) as reported in the tax returns, and is only applicable to US citizens /Permanent residents or lawful residents.

7. What is the concept of “undeclared” when it comes to U.S College Admissions? How does that work?
Some colleges such as the UCs have seriously competitive majors (like Computer engineering, Biomedical, Mechatronics, etc) allow the student to not declare a major, and in the 2nd year, choose a major based on availability.

8. Can we get into a college undeclared and opt for any major later? Is there any criteria for being given admission to a major later?
Yes, but the later the student decides on the major, there may be more time taken to complete the requirements for the major. Jupiter recommends students to pick a preferred major and also helps students with the major selection. Taking internships and shadowing opportunities during the high school summers can help the student narrow down the major.

In colleges such as UT Dallas or UNC Chapel Hill, or U Wisconsin Madison, not declaring a major may mean there won’t be an avenue to enroll in an Honors program which is usually a coveted program.

9. When can we apply for transfers from community college? What is the eligibility criteria for getting transfer to the UCs /top colleges?
Three points you need to know and decide before you choose this path.
● You should know your community college
● You should know what program you want to do
● You should know where you want to transfer
Requirements vary depending on where you would like to attend. Each University’s guarantee has different eligibility requirements, such as achieving minimum GPA.

10. What is college application fee waiver? How do we apply for that?
Many colleges provide application fee waiver to students whose family income is below a certain limit. In the common app, college app, the fee waiver request can be made.

11. How do i know which colleges offer double major like Comp Science + Economics?
College websites are the best source for what’s offered. Also, current students, or websites such as collegeconfidential.com, quora.com can be used to enquire. However, the best source is the college itself and an email to the admissions office is a sure shot, authentic way to get the information and the requirements. It should be noted that double majoring is extremely stressful, and the student should evaluate the demands and the benefits thoroughly before committing to one.

12. As an International student, how do I go about the college application process for admissions in the top U.S Colleges. Will I be eligible for scholarships and grants like the U.S citizen /Resident students?
The application process is the same for International students as it is with U.S-based students. Filling out college specific application form or the Common Application, essays, extra-curricular requirements are all the same. Each college website has a section for international students that has answers to most of the questions. In terms of scholarships, the opportunities do exist. A good counselor should be able to identify those colleges and programs where international students can successfully get in and get a good financial package.

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