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College Financial Aid – A Game of Strategy

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By Pete Becker

Every year, tens of millions of students and their parents struggle to complete the required FAFSA and CSS Profile forms. These forms are required if the family wants to receive financial aid. They ask for all kinds of personal, financial, and even religious information. It can be a very invasive process. What most parents don’t understand is that they are playing a Game conceived by the Federal Government and run by the colleges. Rarely do the colleges explain the rules in advance. In fact, this game is very much like a game of Poker.

For most people, the first few times they play a game, such as poker, someone explains the purpose and the rules to follow. They are helped until they understand and can play on their own. After a while, the new player may attempt to learn how to play the game well enough to win more of the time. If the player is really serious, they will seek out books, articles, and software to sharpen their skills. The strategies they learn will give them confidence in their abilities and they will start to win more often.

The College Financial Aid Game is different though. The rules of the game were created by Congress and the U.S. Department of Education. Each college gets to add in their own additional rules or change the rules to benefit that college. The game is aimed primarily at the parents. Where can they go to learn about the game? Playing this game means filling out the forms and pressing Submit. For most parents, there is only a once a year opportunity to play.

This game as I have described it is a lot like poker. Your cards are actually your income and your assets. The higher cards in a poker deck such as the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack are the equivalent of higher income and assets. Lower poker cards like 2, 3, and 4 represent lower income and assets.

In Poker, the hand with the highest cards at the end of the game wins all the time, except if you are good at bluffing. In the College Financial Aid Game, if the parents are holding high cards, they loose and the colleges win. The parents have to pay the colleges or will receive less in financial aid.

If the parents are holding or appear to be holding the low cards, they win. That means that the colleges will offer them a great deal in terms of financial aid, and this will include grants and scholarships. The key to playing this game is knowing the rules and learning the strategies that will make you appear as if you have low cards. This means knowing how to appear as if your income and assets are diminished.

The colleges do not play a friendly game. Their rules are tough. They are allowed to count your income and assets even in ways the IRS does not. For income, your Adjusted Gross Income is what counts. Your deductions and expenses are your problems. For assets, most are considered fair game. There are 153 different strategies that can be used to level the playing field for you.
When playing their game, it is in your best interest to learn the rules of their game and to learn the strategies that will help you to win!

About the author:
I have had a long career in financial products and small business. My new role is to educate high school parents on how best to prepare financially for college. As an introduction, I have just completed my brand new ebook which covers ten examples that colleges don’t want you to know about the process. It is “Secrets That Colleges Don’t Want You To Know”. Download it free at http://www.collegeplanningpathways.com

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Filed under: Admissions, Applications, Banks, College Debt, College Financing, College Planning, College Workshops, Essays, FAFSA, Grants, High School, Out of State Tuition, Pell Grants, Public Service, Scholarship, School supplies, Students, Tax Credits, Tuition, Universities, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Qualifications Needed To Become A Vet

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 By Chris Moresby

To become a vet, one needs more than a profound love of animals, although its importance cannot be discounted. After all, a vet spends most of his career caring for our four-legged (and some two-legged) friends. However, just affection won’t help serve animals when their health or lives are at stake. After all, a vet is responsible for the prevention of disease and for the medical and surgical treatment of animals, and it requires a lot of training and hard work to gain this expertise.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the governing body of vets in the country. Under the provisions of the Veterinary Surgeons Act of 1966, with certain minor exceptions, only a registered veterinary surgeon is permitted to diagnose and treat injuries and ailments of animals. In order to be granted membership of the RCVS, an aspiring vet will have to go to university and take a veterinary degree. The UK universities offering veterinary degrees approved by the RCVS are Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Cambridge, Edinburgh and London (the Royal Veterinary College). The courses are usually five years in length (six years at some schools). The Nottingham University has also started a new veterinary school. Applications are made through the Universities & College Admissions Service (UCAS).

There are also a number of overseas degrees from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa which are approved by RCVS. Graduates from North American schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association can also apply for membership to the RCVS. Holders of many European degrees are also eligible to register with RCVS if they are EU citizens. Seats at the veterinary degree courses are highly sought after and have stringent requirements for admission. These include a strong academic record as represented by the following: A Levels Biology must usually be offered at A level. The requirement for other subjects varies a little from university to university, but either one or two subjects from Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics should be offered. Some universities may accept a third A level in a non-science subject, but it must be an academically sound subject. The minimum grades generally expected are two A’s and a B, though some schools will require three grade A’s.

AS Levels Some universities accept AS levels, but specific requirements can vary. Sometimes, two AS levels will be accepted instead of one A level, except in Chemistry where a full A level is usually required.

SCE Highers Chemistry must be offered as well as two subjects from Biology, Physics or Mathematics. The grades generally expected are AAABB.

Advanced Highers Applicants are normally advised to proceed to the Sixth Year and include CSYS Chemistry and Biology or Physics in their subjects.

GCSE The applicant must meet the general entrance requirements of the university. Most universities require an applicant to have at least a grade C pass in English Language, Mathematics and Science, and many will expect A grades at GCSE. Where A level Biology or Physics is not offered, the candidate must have a good pass in that subject at GCSE level. Vocational Qualifications Applicants with certain vocational qualifications relevant to the study area, such as the BTEC Diploma in Animal Science, with distinction grades, may be considered by certain schools. In addition to academic excellence, the admission committees lay great stress on practical work experience. The applicant must show his interest in this field by prior work at a veterinary practice or a similar establishment, handling pets and farm animals. However, work experience cannot substitute academic credentials but can add to them.

Once the applicant receives his degree and registers with the RCVS, he can practise in the country as a qualified vet. If he wants to specialise in any particular field, further study is required to gain an additional diploma. 

About the author:

Find our more about how to <a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.ashford-vets.co.uk“>become a vet</a> at <a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.ashford-vets.co.uk“>www.ashford-vets.co.uk</a>

Filed under: Applications, Career Path, Career Search, Graduate School, Major, Universities, , , , , ,

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