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College Countdown – Insight for parents with high school juniors and seniors.


Hello there!

My name is Patricia Roberts and I’ve spent over 20 years helping families prepare for the cost of higher education. I recently teamed up with ScholarShare 529 to host this website — College Countdown.

I’m proud to offer the resources on this site to families with college-bound kids. It’s my joy to be a part of your journey.

Welcome to College Countdown.

Patricia Roberts, J.D.

College Savings Advocate

Watch Our Welcome Video

Watch the Video

College Countdown


High School

Junior Year

Socrates’s statement, “Know thyself,” holds true for this year of the college search.


Encourage Good Study Habits – Keep Grades Up

Consider AP Classes, Dual Enrollment, SAT/ACT Prep Courses, College Ready Courses

Schedule College Visits and Attend College Fairs

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Research Careers and Colleges

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Draft a List of Potential College Choices (Appeal, Affordability, Selectivity)

Encourage Your Child to Connect with HS Guidance Counselor, College Admissions Counselor


Register SAT, ACT, AP Exam

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Continue College Visits (Virtual Visits) – Appointments with FA, Admissions, Academic Advisors

Research Financial Aid and Scholarship Deadlines


Start Writing Your College Essays

Family Discussion about Money, 529 College Savings

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Review Application Procedures for Top College Choices

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Skills to Teach: Budget, Laundry, Cooking, Healthy Habits (sleep, study, etc.)

Senior Year

Susan Sontag’s statement, “Do stuff. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead,” holds true for this year of the college search.


Avoid Senioritis

Register and take SAT, ACT

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Obtain FSA IDs for FAFSA

Learn Which Colleges on Your List Require CSS Profile, FAFSA, Supplemental FA Forms

Early Decision and Early Action Applications – Oct. 1, Nov. 1

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Submit College Applications


Research Financial Aid Options – Loans, Grants, Scholarships, etc.

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Request Transcripts

Complete Scholarship Applications

Financial Aid Calculator

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The Parent

Advisory Council

The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of ScholarShare 529 parents with children already using their 529 savings for college. That means they know a few things about college and are eager to share perspectives and insights with you as your teenager begins their college adventure. They have all signed up to be a resource for any of our members to talk to one-on-one. This is a group of parents who have been there, done that. Now, they’re ready to share insights, answer questions, and exchange stories with you.

Meet the PAC
An image of four individuals - A woman with long hair and blue eyes giving a soft smile, another woman with short hair smiling with teeth, a man with white hair, glasses and a big smile, and another man with dark hair and a white beard smiling with teeth.