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Searching for guidance to help your student with their college and career plan? LaunchPad Consulting Group can help!

We offer full-service college and career consulting for students starting in high school and workplace consulting for young adults. We also have over 20 years of experience in the field of learning and attention issues. We are passionate about launching young adults on a path towards success.


Middle School
Middle School

Working with students to encourage exploration towards college and career planning. We can also help navigate parents to the right school setting for their child.

High School
High School

Finding the right path after high school is an important decision and one that takes planning.

Workplace Counseling
Workplace Counseling

Providing individuals with guidance during the job search and certification options. We specialize in helping students with learning disabilities and attention issues.

Know the 5 Basics of Financial Aid Resources to Pay for College

You’ve gotten to the point of your college search where you’re waiting for those acceptance letters. A time of anticipation and tentative excitement. You may also start to feel a sense of being overwhelmed as your brain starts the natural shift to thinking about “how the heck do people pay for all this?”.  We have you covered! There are strategies and tools we can help you take advantage of to continue confidently along your college planning path.

For a start, it’s important to know the five basic categories of financial aid sources.

National Merit Scholarships

Scholarships granted to those students who score in the highest percentiles on the PSAT test in October of the Junior year. Those students who receive these high scores then submit an essay, resume, and other scholastic data to the National Merit Scholarship Organization. This source is supported by many nationally ranked businesses who fund this program. The committees involved then select the student recipients, and the donations are then made directly to the school of the student’s choice.

Grant Programs of the Federal Government

Students who are eligible are those whose family’s adjusted annual gross income is less than $50,000 as determined by the combined filing of IRS forms. Students who have trust funds, or other assets, normally do not qualify for grant aid. Financial aid amounts can be determined when the student files the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, available online at www.studentaid.gov.  In fact, most colleges that grant any other type of financial aid (nonfederal) usually require that this form be submitted.

College Discretionary Scholarship Promise

These scholarships are given to students with outstanding SAT/ACT scores, high grade point averages or athletic skills. The private schools develop their own requirements regarding the granting of scholarships and will use this money to attract top students, students from special populations or students with special talents, i.e. football.  Some of the private schools with high tuition costs are also now offering financial aid support to those students from middle income families who might not be able to afford the high cost of private school tuition.

Student Loans and Work Study Programs

These are Federal sponsored loans that require FAFSA also be filed. The difference is that in order to receive these loans the student must promise to repay these loans at a future date. There are also non-federal, low interest, long term loans available for college bound students. Some of these loans are need-based, and some of them are options for credit-worthy parents to borrow funds for their child’s education. In addition, there are twelve federally funded curriculum areas that offer work opportunities for students through work study programs. Some college campuses also offer similar opportunities.

Private Scholarship Foundations

These scholarships are awarded by associations, businesses, private individuals, and charitable organizations for a variety of reasons from ethnicity to talent, to academic interest, to parent occupation, etc. They range in amounts from $50 to $5000. They usually have at least four requirements and can be researched at any public library that carries a database or reference volumes or online through various scholarship search engines.  For the database, students enter their personal data and the computer program will college all scholarship opportunities that fit the profile of the student.  Thousands of these scholarships remain unclaimed annually. Students pay only paper costs for these services.

Take it One Step at a Time

Don’t feel that you need to tackle all five right away. Take them one step at a time!

In College Pathfinder, the LaunchPad newsletter, we share opportunities for scholarships along with tips for completing financial aid applications. One of the best first steps is to make sure you are subscribed to College Pathfinder here!

Then work on completing your FAFSA and making a super-complete list of all the activities and sports you’ve been involved with as well as a list of your interests and hobbies.

Want some help taking those steps? Reach out to Beth today!

10 Things You Need to do to be Ready for Success in College

The transition to college starts today! For students with learning disabilities, ADHD, or on the spectrum, researching the support offered at each college is just as important as the major.  Now is the time to get ready for success in college. You need to take stock of the accommodations you use in high school and make sure you are working on your independent living skills.  Here are ten things you need to do to be ready for success in college. 

  • Plan for dealing with a lot of text! Are you using a digital textbook or a paper copy? Do you prefer audiobooks? Which works best for you? 
  • Understand how to navigate a LMS. Does your school use a learning management tool such as Canvas? If so, you may have learned where to find your syllabus, schedule, grades, homework, and extra reading supplements.  If your high school is not using digital tools, this may be a stumbling block for you during your first semester in college.  You can take a dual credit class through the community college that can provide that experience while you earn college credit. 
  • Start keeping track of your schedule on your phone or another planning device. One paper planner that I like is the Planner Pad Organizer. It takes the more significant tasks and breaks them down into the daily tasks and then the hourly tasks for that day.  
  • Learn to check your emails daily! Professors and others will be contacting you via email more than using text. 
  • Work on creating a digital filing system on your computer to save homework and other work.
  • If possible, start going to appointments on your own.  Set reminders on your phone to make sure you arrive on time. 
  • Set the alarm and get yourself out of bed each morning.
  • Learn how to do your own laundry Your mom and dad will appreciate this one, and so will your roommates! 
  • Work on decreasing procrastination. Try to plan out studying for tests, working on projects, etc. That’s where the Planner will come in handy.
  • Practice problem solving and self-advocacy.

To help, we’ve created two organizers for you! One for Taking Stock of your Accommodations and one to check-in on how you are doing with the Independent Living Skills you need to be ready for college. 

   

Click on the picture above to download a pdf of the organizer and be sure to follow us on Instagram for regular tips and updates for helping with your college planning!

Fall is the Time for Deadlines!

It’s Fall…pumpkins, Halloween decorations, and homecoming games! But for students with an eye on college, it also means completing applications, essays, the FAFSA, and college tours. Not to mention all the high school activities and academic demands you have in order to keep your applications strong!  

Here are some steps for staying strong this fall: 

The Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are fast approaching. They are the beginning of November at most schools. To reign in the anxiety, make a list of your colleges, their requirements, and the application deadlines for each.  

Finalize your college essay if you haven’t already. Each college has its requirement for submitting essays. Some require them, some don’t, and some have their own questions (Ex. Why us? Or Why this major?) 

Now, tackle each college application one at a time. The Common App offers a spreadsheet format to track all the college applications that you have created. If you don’t have a tracking method, you can create your own.  

You will need to request Letters of Recommendations and Counselor Letters too.  The Common App will send emails to recommenders and counselors for each college, or they can mail them to the college directly. Remember to provide an addressed, stamped envelope for each recommender!

Whew! This process can be a lot for many students, so working with a school counselor or an independent educational consultant like Beth can help keep you on track during this very hectic time.