Author Archives: CollegePlanningAssociates

Saving for College and Investing in you Child’s Future

Parents do not need a special study done to realize that:

  • College is expensive!
  • Children grow up quickly!
  • Now is the time to start saving for college!

Families really cannot save enough for college. A ball park average figure for expenses parents have to pay for a four-year degree is $25,000 per year, which means $100,000. Consider starting a 529 college savings plan as soon as the child is born. A $200 contribution for 18 years at an 7% annual return, could possibly get you close to $100,000. Of course, an investment account will not be guaranteed to get 7% return every year. The basic point is to start saving early and consider it an investment in your child’s future and not an expense. By the way, grandparents and friends may want to consider helping with contributions.

> What are some popular, unique and downright unconventional college mascots and should I wear the swag for my campus visits and interviews?

Wearing college colors and/or mascot emblems will not make nor break your chance of admission.  That said, it’s kind of fun to know what persons, places or things may represent your future college!

Popular Mascotscougar

  1. Bulldogs
  2. Eagles
  3. Tigers
  4. Wildcats
  5. Hawks


  1. Purple Cow (Williams College)
  2. Fighting Okra (Delta State University)
  3. Hokie Bird (Virginia Tech)
  4. Blue Hen (University of Delaware)
  5. Nittany Lion (Penn State)


  1. Jasper (Manhattan College’s mascot name comes from Brother Jasper of Mary F.S.C., who served the institution in the late 19th century.)
  2. Billiken (Saint Louis University’s mascot is a mythical good-luck figure.)
  3. Hoya (Georgetown University’s teams were originally named “The Stonewalls.”  A student started a Greek and Latin cheer, “Hoya Saxa” or “What Rocks!”  Hoya was the outcome.)
  4. The Red Flash (St. Francis University, PA)
  5. Bantams (Trinity College, in Connecticut has described it’s mascot as a “proud, unfazed rooster.)

> How do I demonstrate my interest to a college?

You may show the level and intensity of your love in a variety of ways.  However, always be sincere while demonstrating your interest.

The ultimate way to tell a college you are amongst the most interested of all applicants is to apply Early Decision.  Because ED is binding, this option is not well-suited to every candidate.  Some students (and their parents) may want to see multiple financial aid awards and merit-based scholarships.  Others just aren’t 100% certain and need more time to make a final decision.

Other forms of demonstrated interest include: scheduling a visit, accepting an interview if offered by the admissions staff either on campus or through alumni admissions representatives, meeting with a professor to learn more about your intended major or attending a campus event such as a musical performance or athletic competition.

Remember:  Showing sincere interest benefits both you and the colleges.  The latter use this tool to enroll a specific target number of students.  Admissions Directors want to admit students who truly want to attend.

On a silly note:  Will wearing collegiate colors or the mascot make a difference on my campus visit?

> The College Visit

Why visit college campuses?

The campus visit is unique for each student and not only helps lead to a sound choice but may even help with prospects for admission.

With the rise in the number of colleges using the Common Application and the resulting increase in the number of applications per student, the use of “demonstrated interest” in the selection process has become paramount for many institutions in ultimately determining yield (the percentage of students who choose to attend a college that offers admission.)

So, how does a student demonstrate his or her interest?

Just as Elizabeth Barrett Browning asks how she loves her beloved in Sonnet 43, “How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.” You too, should let your “beloved” prospective colleges understand what about them enthralls you.

Next:  What are some examples of “demonstrated interest?”