College Raptor Staff

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Applying to college can be challenging, and so we at College Raptor feel it's our duty to make that process as easy, smooth, and rewarding as possible. We work hard to clarify dense material, dispel myths, uncover information, and help you learn what you need to know!

What’s The Difference Between Preapproved And Prequalified For Student Loans?

A student holding a red binder. student loans
‘Preapproved’ and ‘prequalified’ are sometimes used interchangeably when discussing student loans. That’s not right however. The only similarity between the two is that they are both parts of the student loan process. Other than that, both of these terms are completely different. What Is Prequalification? Prequalification is basically an estimate of how much you may …

How To Overcome Financial Aid “Gapping”

The Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise. financial aid
To make the cost of college more affordable, many schools offer financial aid packages to accepted students. These packages are customized for each student based on the information submitted through the FAFSA. Schools usually try and cover 100% of the student’s financial need through a mix of grants, scholarships, work study and loans. However, many …

How To Get In Test Prep Practice With A Busy Schedule

Student sitting at a desk with notebooks and a laptop studying for her SAT. ACT & SAT
Preparing for the SAT and ACT takes time. It can take several months to be really prepared to ace these tests. Unfortunately, time in a luxury when you’re in high school. Your schedule is already packed with school work, homework, assignments, and searching for scholarships and colleges. Then of course, there’s life. It’s important to …

What is the Difference Between an Offer Letter and an Acceptance Letter?

student shaking hands with college official financial aid
‘Offer letter’ and ‘acceptance letter’ are two terms you will come across frequently while researching the college admission process. Many people use these terms interchangeably, which is not correct. An offer letter is not the same as an acceptance letter. Here are the vital distinctions between the two. What is an Acceptance Letter? An acceptance …

FAQs About College Offer Letters

Student thinking about offer letters financial aid
When you’re accepted into a college, they will put together a customized financial aid package for you. This is known as a college offer letter. Some colleges may call it a merit letter or financial aid award letter. Regardless of the exact name they use, all acceptance letters serve the same purpose. What’s included in an …

When Should I Have My Final College Choice?

Student standing on finish line college admissions
The college search and application processes are long journeys. Between researching, visiting, applying, and comparing, it can feel like you ran a marathon. Deciding on your final college choice is the home stretch. Wondering, “When Should I Have My Final College Choice?” We’ll answer that question and more here. Timeline for Narrowing College Choices This …

3 Critical Financial Aid Tips For High School Seniors

High school student thinking about financial aid financial aid
Financial aid may be the last thing on your mind when you’re in high school. You’re already juggling a lot. But the sooner you understand how financial aid works, the better. Here are 3 critical financial aid tips for high school seniors. Why it’s So Important to Start Exploring Financial Aid in High School College …

Do Freshman Grades Matter For College Admissions?

High school freshman doing school work college admissions
As a freshman, college is still four long years away. Should you really be worrying about getting good grades for college admission already? Do colleges actually check a student’s grades all the way back from freshman year? If you’re just entering freshman year, you should know that this is the right time to start working …

When and How to Update Your FAFSA Information

Student updating their FAFSA online financial aid
The FAFSA is the form college students fill to get financial aid from the federal government. All personal and financial information that you fill in your form must be accurate at the time of submitting of your FAFSA. The federal government uses this information to calculate your EFC or Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is …