Recent Blogs

Unfinished college applications dragging down your holiday good cheer?

Don’t miss the upcoming Facebook Live Session Denied/Deferred in the Early Decision Round: Now What? and learn the next steps to take to get past the rejection.

Evelyn Alexander, Certified Educational Planner and founder of Magellan College Counseling, will provide you with the information you need to help your teen refocus her efforts to ensure she has plenty of good options to choose from and everyone can enjoy the holidays!

This FREE session will be this Monday, December 18, 1:30 pm Central Time on the DIYCollegeRankngs Facebook page. Enter your name and email below to get a reminder so that miss your chance to ask Evelyn questions.

If you missed the first two sessions with Evelyn,  check out the recordings below.

“College Essays: Tips to Make Them Shine”

“College Applications: How to Rock December”

50-50 Highlights: Best Financial Bets for Public Universities

graduate holding money represent public colleges best financial betsA few years ago I did a post on Best Financial Bets for 50-50 Public Universities. The idea is to create a list of public schools that accept at least 50% of students and have at least a 50% graduation rate and are likely to be affordable through either merit or need-based financial aid. I’ve decide to update the list using simpler criteria which increased the number of colleges on the list. Ultimately, I ended up with 66 50-50 public colleges as best financial bets. If you aren’t interested in the gory details of how I came up with the list, just skip to the end to see the entire list. Continue reading

Should You Pay Someone to Complete the FAFSA?

Hand with sign asking for help to comlete the FAFSA.In July of 2015, the United States government finally gained control of the FAFSA.com website. Until then, the website was owned and operated by Student Financial Aid Service, Inc. which charged students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Over the years, FAFSA.com became the  poster child for financial aid scams designed to take advantage students and families trying to get financial aid for college. So does its demise represent the final statement of whether or not students should pay for a private financial aid consultant to complete the FAFSA? Continue reading

Do More Rich Kids Get Into Harvard Because They’re Smarter?

Little kid in front of blackboard representing wealth advantage in college admissionsWhy am I asking the question? It started with a college list. I decided to create a list of colleges that have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower. The idea is that I would use it as a sample for other lists I’m creating and hoping to sell. See, most students won’t get into the most competitive schools so I’m not really losing anything by giving away such a list. A total of 43 schools made the list. Continue reading

Public Universities with Lowest Out-of-State Tuition

pocket with money representing saving at colleges with low out-of-state tuition(I’ve updated this post with information available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System in the November 2017)

Back when I was a freshman attending a rather large state university in Austin, Texas, I ran into quite a few students (relatively speaking) from the state of New York. They told me that they were attending college in Texas because our out-of-state tuition was cheaper than their in-state tuition. I only saw them that one year because the following year, the legislature raised out-of-state tuition and Texas was no longer as appealing to New Yorkers as it once was. Continue reading

50-50 Highlights: Public Universities with Highest Percentage of PLUS Loans by State

piggy bank and calculator representing Public Universities with Highest Percentage of PLUS Loans by StateWith all the talk about student debt, it’s easy to miss the PLUS loan numbers. PLUS loans are federal loans taken out by parents on the student’s behalf. The really scary thing about PLUS loans is that parents can borrow up to the full amount of tuition. Furthermore, eligibility for PLUS loans isn’t based on ability to repay the loan but rather your credit history. Just think about it, even with a great credit history, a bank won’t loan you money for $250,000 house without some evidence that you can make the payments. The government will. Continue reading

Must Reads about the Odds of Playing College Sports and Receiving Athletic Scholarships

college football with money representing sports scholarshipsJust a casual browsing of my blog would reveal that I’m not anti-athlete. When my son wanted to play baseball in college, I spent a lot of time educating myself about the college baseball recruiting process and shared the information here. However, there’s a big difference between playing college sports and receiving an athletic scholarship. Continue reading

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