Some of the most frequently asked questions from parents who have students in the college application process include:

Standardized tests like the ACT1 or SAT2 test are just one part of the college admissions process. Schools also consider things like grades, class rank, and extracurricular activities. In fact, some schools do not even require ACT or SAT scores, especially for programs that take 2 years or less.
One of the basic principles of student aid in the United States is that families are expected to pay for college costs to the best of their ability. Even if you are unwilling or unable to contribute to your child’s education, colleges need your financial information to assess the family’s finances and award need-based dollars.

So if your child is still a dependent, you must provide your financial information on the FAFSA and other student aid forms or your child will not be eligible for aid.

Most colleges welcome student applicants who have the college in their family history but, with rare exception, they do not view legacy candidates differently than other applicants. A qualified student who is demonstrably interested in attending the college her mother or father earned a degree from is certainly an asset, but colleges are equally interested in attracting qualified first-generation students and students who are interested in because the college is different than anything their parents experienced.

*Questions and answers are aggregated from college planning websites including Education Planner, Colleges That Change Lives, and CollegeBoard.