Olivia Pittman

About

Olivia Pittman is a Research and Content specialist at College Raptor. All of those questions you've been thinking about while looking for a college? Olivia digs in and finds answers.

Holiday Crunch: 8 Tips for College Applicants on Winter Break

It’s that time of year. Yeah, it’s the gift season, but it’s also frantic college application frenzy season. As deadlines for many college applications loom just around the corner, many students are now in what we call “Holiday Crunch” mode. If you’re a student–or a parent of a student–like most, who plan to use the …

Myth: Applying to Fewer Colleges Boosts My Chances of Acceptance

Charts showing than in 1995 only 10% of students applied to 7 or more colleges, now 29% of students do so. What are your college acceptance chances? myths
Generally speaking, colleges don’t share admissions information with each other. The only way a college might figure out how many colleges you’re applying to is through your FAFSA, where you list each of the colleges you wish to receive a copy of your financial aid application. The number of colleges listed on a student’s FAFSA …

Financial Aid Forms: FAFSA and CSS Profile Overview

If you think you won't get financial aid, you're wrong financial aid
So, in the alphabet soup of college financial aid, you (hopefully) learned that the grand-daddy of financial aid acronyms is the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Every school uses the FAFSA in determining and awarding financial assistance for college.  Through the personal and financial information provided on the FAFSA, the federal government …

How Do Students Afford Colleges Like Harvard or Stanford?

Harvard's net price is generally much lower than its sticker price, which means that for 90% of American families, Harvard may be more affordable than a state school -- afford colleges questions & answers
How Do Students Afford Colleges That Are Very Expensive? – College Raptor Q&A For the 2014-15 school year, the published costs of attendance at Harvard and Stanford are approximately $65,000 and $62,000, respectively. These numbers can easily be discouraging for those who want to afford colleges, especially for students from low-income families. Even students who …

Can I Get Financial Aid?

Financial need is equal to Total Csot minus Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). How does the FAFSA work? financial aid
Over 80 percent of college students met some financial aid eligibility criteria and received financial assistance during the 2011-2012 school year. This means there is a good chance you can get financial aid. You may think that the only way to get financial aid is to be extremely smart or a stand-out athlete. But most …

Is Early Action Right for Me?

This diagram shows the process of applying to a college early action and the possible outcomes. questions & answers
A number of colleges give prospective students the option to apply early action. Early action (EA) is a non-binding program which allows students to receive admissions decisions in December rather than April. Unlike early decision, applying early action is not a commitment to a single college. Is EA right for you? Applying Early Action can …

Should I Apply Early Decision to College?

Chart shows the differences at a number of colleges and universities in admission rate for students that apply regular decision versus those who apply early decision. questions & answers
Prepared students with a single first choice college may consider applying early decision. Early decision is binding–meaning if you apply and are accepted early decision to a college, you are expected to go there, with almost no exception. There are a lot of reasons students apply this way. Many believe it’s easier to be accepted …

How Do I Choose a College Major?

A small selection of potential college major -- from engineering to literature college majors & minors
Choosing a college major can be a huge part of your overall college plan. Knowing what you want to study can narrow down the college search. But with literally hundreds of majors to choose from, it can be hard to decide. The following are some things to consider when picking a major. What do you …

How do I Choose a College?

Graphic showing the number of factors that go into choosing the right college. questions & answers
It can be intimidating to try to choose one college from nearly 3,000 options. Luckily, you can easily narrow your search by considering fit and accessibility. Consider these questions as you search for the right college for you. Is the college a good fit for you? Compare your academic profile to the previous incoming class …