Lynell Engelmyer

About

Lynell Engelmyer is a nationally-recognized expert in college planning, admissions and financial aid. She has more than 20 years of experience, working as an admissions officer, financial aid director and also for the College Board. She has been published and quoted in hundreds of books and articles and serves as a professional college counselor for students from around the country.

How to Tell Colleges About Your Mistakes

Photograph of a "Wrong Way" sign that symbolizes your mistakes as a high school student, which you need to explain during the college admissions process. college applications
News flash! You’re not perfect. You know it. Your parents know it, and every admission counselor reading your application knows it. So, how do you handle your imperfections when it comes to applying to college? Some issues don’t need to be shared. The fact that your bedroom looks like a pile of old Mayan Ruins …

Financial Aid and Unique Family Circumstances: How to Let Colleges Know About Your Financial Situation

A unique financial situation shouldn't stop you from receiving financial aid financial aid
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the federal government’s attempt to put every American family on a level playing field in an effort to award aid fairly. What happens, however, when the FAFSA does not adequately allow you to express your family’s unique financial circumstances? For example, the FAFSA asks you to submit …

Tips for Writing a College Essay: Learn How to Sell Yourself

Sell yourself to the admission officers when you're writing a college essay college applications
You’ve likely heard that your college application is your time to “sell” yourself.  For most of us we translate “sell” to “brag” and that just feels uncomfortable or slightly obnoxious. But, selling can span a spectrum somewhere between telling and boasting. The key for you is to find the right spot on that spectrum–to tell your …

What to Do If You’re Waitlisted by a College

What should you do if you've been waitlisted? college applications
You finally finish your college applications, your parents have stopped nagging you, and now you wait. If you get in, your ecstatic. If you are denied admission, you can move on, but being waitlisted is a little bit like being stuck in the nowhere land of college admissions. It’s the purgatory of your senior year, …

Where Does Financial Aid Come From?

Sources of student financial aid financial aid
Once you hit send on those financial aid applications, what happens next? Money doesn’t suddenly fall onto your doorstep, so where does it come from? In being a good consumer, it is good to know this information. Where do financial aid dollars come from? There are 4 primary sources of financial aid: Federal Government State Government …

Guide to College Financial Aid

how much is college financial aid
The financial aid equation You can run but you cannot hide. It’s time to face the finances. Before you get into the details of how and when to apply, it’s important to have some basic understanding of how the system works. I promise that it’s not as gruesome as you fear. In fact, the underlying principle …

How to Choose a College Major

Future aspirations: Choosing a major even if you don’t know what you want to do How to choose a major Start with your passions and choose a general direction. Don’t be afraid to change your mind later. Most students do. For pre-professional programs, consider your undergraduate options carefully. Consider the downside to any major or career path. …

How to Choose a College: A Complete Guide

Three students sitting at a table, with a laptop and notebooks on the table. college search
Choosing a college is part science: making sure they have the academic major or extracurricular activities of your choice in the location you like and with the opportunities you seek. But, choosing the “right” school for you is also very much an art. I often see students who search the Internet and find a place …

Paying for College: Grants, Scholarships and Loans

College Tuition List financial aid
Paying for college You need to understand the difference between sticker and net price before understanding how paying for college works. The amount left after you factor in merit and talent scholarships for the college, need-based aid from the college, and any federal grants for which the student may qualify is your net price. It …