Summer Bummer College Guy Rant to Seniors - PART 1

Gee whillikers Seniors (when’s the last time you heard that expression outside of the “Andy Capp” comix pages?) - time flies don’t it????
Seems like just Monday I was at the beach - wait a minute, I was at the beach Monday - reveling in Maine’s summertime glory and now it’s back to the work-a-day office or schoolhouse. Oy vey.
Well the good news is that we’ve still got a couple weeks plus of summer left, but the bummer is that, well, it’s time to put our collective and proverbial noses to the grindstone and take care of business. Which is what this latest rant is all about.
Since it’s late and there's a deadline coming up I’m going to keep this short and sweet as a “Part 1”. Ignore this at your peril, which means read it carefully. And stay tuned for Part II, which will be muuuuuuccchhhh longer but no less important on the subject of: 
“What every good senior who aspires to go to college next year (or after a carefully planned gap year) should know and be doing to stay on top of things and get the job done”.
Can ya dig it?
Now on to two brief but important points:
#1: The deadline for the October 6th SAT (and SAT Subject Tests) is midnight September 7, which is this Friday (tomorrow)!!!
Those of you who took the SAT for the second time in August (a terrible time to be taking a four hour test IMHO, but whaddayagonnadoaboudit?) are all set, but those who didn’t should be considering taking the SAT for a second time on this test date. Register at
The SAT (and subject tests) will be offered two more times: on November 3rd and December 1st, which are not too late for any regular decision college.
The ACT will be given on October 27th, and the sign up deadline for that is September 22. Some of you (those who perhaps are disappointed with your SAT scores) might consider trying the ACT test. It’s no better or worse than the SAT, just different, and some say easier. Colleges accept either scores.
The ACT will also be given on December 8th, and if you take it and do well you should consider taking it a second time (cause you’ll most likely do even better upon retesting).
Are you confused about all this testing clap trap? Well who wouldn’t be???? Give me a call or email (number in signature below) and I’ll put your mind to rest. 
That’s why I’m here!
#2: The two significant financial aid forms - the FAFSA* and the CSS PROFILE* - “go live” on October 1st and cannot be filled out before that time.
…which means that if you’ve been filling out either form you’re filling out last year’s version and you should stop. You’re going to fill out the 2018/19 version of the FAFSA and (perhaps) the CSS PROFILE.
Don’t worry about it, lots of folks make that mistake, and it’s not a big deal because despite what you may hear neither of these forms are that difficult to complete. Plan to log in and get cracking on these forms after the 1st of October, and have a goal to complete them by October 15th (particularly if son/daughter is applying early decision or early action somewhere).
What you can do now, in preparation for filing the FAFSA, is get “FSA IDs” for every student and for one parent (in cases of divorce the parent who will be filling out the FAFSA). This is a required user name and password which you’ll need to complete and sign and send the FAFSA.
1. Go to
2. Scroll down to the link which says “Get an FSA ID”
3. Click on “Create your FSA ID Now”
4. Follow instructions and get user names/passwords for BOTH student and for one parent.
It will take you about 10 minutes each - maybe 15. It’s not hard but a bit of a pain in the you-know-where in that they require four or five “security questions”. You don’t want to lose or forget your FSA IDs so write everything down (including exact answers to the security questions!
Make sense?
Okay, you’ve got your marching orders. Look for my “Summer Bummer - Part II” over the weekend or next Monday and for cryin’ out loud read it carefully! You won’t find better advice/analysis anywhere.
And if you want to know what folks actually pay me for, give me a call or email. 
From your astute academician, your loquacious lexicologist, your erudite essayist,
*The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid”) is required by ALL COLLEGES if you intend to apply for financial aid. The CSS PROFILE is required by about 300 selective and private colleges if you intend to apply for aid. To see a list of schools which require the PROFILE go here:
Gary L. Canter
College Placement Services
210 St. John Street
Portland, Maine 04102
(207) 772-9711

College Placement Services provides high school students and their families
assistance with all aspects of the college search, selection, application
and financial aid process.