Recent Blogs

Looking for a list of colleges that…?

woman looking at a list of colleges on a camputerIf you’re planning to create a college list, take a look at some existing lists before starting. It’s possible that you’ll find a couple that can save you a lot of time. If nothing else, a quick perusal might generate some new ideas or bring up some issues you hadn’t considered. Best of all-most of the lists are free.

This is will be an on-going project so be sure to check back for updates.

Free Lists for Newsletter Subscribers

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  • Colleges that Meet 100% of Need
  • Colleges Sponsoring National Merit Scholarships
  • State Flagship Listing
  • Colleges with Free Application Fees
  • Listing of Public Ivies
  • 50-50 Colleges Cheatsheet
  • Colleges with a 20% Acceptance Rate or Lower

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How to Find Colleges that Give Tuition Coupons

woman entering coupon code representing colleges that give tuition couponsWhat, you say you’ve never seen a tuition coupon? Just because nobody has ever actually held one in her hands doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You know how you start getting coupons for movers and home stores when you change your address? Or after you visit a website online, you start getting discount offers from them in your Facebook feed? Well, it’s possible to get a coupon for $10,000 or $15,000 off your college tuition if you pick the right college. Continue reading

What High School Baseball Players Need to Worry About to be Recruited by Colleges

high school baseball player not worrying about recruitingIt seems that weekly, if not daily, you’ll come across another story about how today’s generation has been coddled with self-esteem trophies since their first little league game and have been told that their clay pots are special no matter how lumpy and cracked. This has an especially insidious strain in high school sports that can undermine a player’s chances of getting recruited to play college baseball.

Think about it, combine the me generation with a standout high school athlete and the too often accompanying egotism, you get a package of entitlement that will keep even the best players off a college baseball team. Continue reading

Have You had “The Talk” Yet?

alarm clock and money representing if you have had the college money talk yetAs families approach the college planning process, there’s one thing they need to do before anything else and that is have “the talk.” I know, parents have been putting it off because it can be embarrassing. Who wants to discuss such potentially intimate details with their teenagers? Besides, you’re pretty sure the school counselors have covered the topic so there’s no point in having to suffer through the rolling eyes and general awkwardness if you don’t have to.

Well, I’m telling you right now that you have to because “the talk” I’m referring to isn’t the “birds and the bees” but something just as important, “The Money Talk.” Continue reading

15 Sample Athletic Resumes and Letters

kid holding baseball representing need for sample athletic resumes (It’s been a little over a year since I’ve updated the resources, and wow, a lot of the more comprehensive planning guides have disappeared!  I’ve found replacements for them but they’re getting harder to find. There are still plenty of sample resumes and letters available so focusing on adding quality over quantity for my listing. If you don’t like any of the samples you see here, you can easily find others on the internet. )

There are plenty of samples of athletic resumes/profiles on the internet. After all, it seems just about every recruiting website has one posted. It’s just tedious going through all the search results to find something useful. Well, I’ve just saved you the trouble–you can thank me later.

Continue reading

Scholarship Search Toolkit Part 2: Scholarship Website Reviews

Part 1: Keys to Success
Part 2: Scholarship Search Website Review
Part 3: State and More Scholarship Resources


Scholarship Search Websites Review

tourist in a jeep looking at a review of scholarship search websitesThe table at the end lists 19 FREE scholarship search websites. Students need to be especially aware of privacy policies when they register on these websites. Basically, once the website has the student’s information, it can do with it what it wants.

Some websites will explicitly state that they will ignore “do not track” requests while others inform users that they will be contacted by marketing partners. Furthermore, some websites also claim the right to future use of any material the student may upload as part of a portfolio. Given that privacy policies can change at any time, take the time to review them before actually registering. Continue reading

Scholarship Search Toolkit Part 3: State and More Scholarship Resources

Part 1: Keys to Success
Part 2: Scholarship Search Website Review
Part 3: State and More Scholarship Resources


State and More Website Resources

Scholarship Websites

dog with glasses reading about scholarship search toolkitsThese are websites that link to other scholarships. These are not search websites-they’re just lists of scholarships.

Continue reading

Scholarship Search Toolkit Part 1: Keys to Success

Part 1: Keys to Success
Part 2: Scholarship Search Website Review
Part 3: State and More Scholarship Resources


Key and dollar sign keyhole representing key to scholarship searchThe Scholarship Search Toolkit contains everything you need to begin searching for scholarships. Ultimately, you may decide to buy a book to help you out or find more a more useful resource than one listed here. But this is the ideal way to stop wondering what to do about scholarships and just get started.

It’s a lot of information. I’ve been revising this now for four years to make sure it includes the latest information so you can search in the way best for your situation. Therefore, I’ve divided it up into three sections to make it easier to read on the web.

Keys to a Successful Scholarship Search

If you’re serious about trying to pay for college by applying for scholarships, you need to understand that this will require researching hundreds of scholarships and actually submitting applications for dozens. In other words, it will be a lot work. Continue reading

What if it didn’t matter what college you went to?

student walking on road representing if college mattersIt’s the new year and I’m in a sort of philosophical mood. I just finished reviewing the most popular posts on my Facebook page and it got me thinking–what if it didn’t matter what college you went to? Because it seems to me that the posts that get the most traction have to do with making sure your kid is successful but it doesn’t necessarily mean going to the most prestigious college. So try it as a thought experiment, how would your student’s (and your family’s) life be different if it didn’t matter which college your student went to? Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas 2017: Day 12

12 days of christmas(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas.)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

The twelve most viewed Frequently Asked Questions for the year.

What is a Tier 1 school? (university or college)

Do I Need to Take Both the SAT and ACT?

What is a flagship university?

What is a Public Ivy?

If my EFC is 0 does that mean I can go to college for free?

What are the different college calendar types?

How many times should a student take the SAT or ACT?

Can I go to college with less than a 3.0 high school GPA?

Do I need to be admitted to a college before I can apply for financial aid?

What is a good ACT score?

I won’t qualify for financial aid, why should I fill out the FAFSA?

What is self-help financial aid?


I know not everyone can or needs to buy my college search spreadsheets.

But if you’ve found my website useful this past year and are in the position to provide some financial support, I would sincerely appreciate it.

You can use the button below to pay to help support the content I create on this website.

And if you can’t afford to contribute, please share this website whenever you have chance.

Thanks for your continued support and best wishes for the new year.

Michelle

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