Recent Blogs

College Search Cheat Sheet

listing showing college search cheat sheetAre you worried about finding the right college for your kids? Does the idea of researching colleges make you nervous? Do you find the idea of finding and paying for college daunting? Do you just want to know how to get started? If you answered “yes” to any to the previous questions, I’ve got a college search cheat sheet for you. Continue reading

5 Ways to Get Smart About College Baseball Recruiting

Baseball player silding into baseAs you start the college baseball recruiting process, you need to know what you don’t know. And sometimes it feels like you would rather not know than try to make sense of all of the information out there. Not only is there so much information out there, so much seems contradictory. Sometimes you just need a baseline to start with so that you can make sense of the rest of the information. So before drowning in Google search results, try these resources first.

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Demonstrated Interest is NOT the Secret to Getting Into Any College

Group of students representing demonstrated interestLast summer, Inside Higher Education published the findings of a paper by researchers that according to the article’s title,  revealed “Another Edge for the Wealthy.” According to the research, students who visited a college in person had a statistically significant advantage in gaining admissions to the college. And college visit companies across the country rejoiced. Continue reading

50-50 College Update-or Colleges You Can Get Into and Graduation From

University road sign representing 50-50 collegesI just finished updating the list of 50-50 colleges with the latest IPEDS data release and thought I would share some statistically non-significant (as far as I know) observations. For those who don’t know what I mean by 50-50 colleges, these are colleges that accept at least 49% of students and have at least a 49% graduation rate. There are currently 441 such institutions with at least 500 or more full-time undergraduates. Continue reading

You Can’t Get Merit Aid From a College You Never Apply To

hand rejecting bag of money representing applying to colleges without generous merit aidIn my last post, I defined Expected Family Contribution (EFC), how it works theoretically, and what happens in the real world. For many families, the difference between theory and practice is irrelevant since their EFC is much higher than their actual ability to pay. There are steps that you can take to reduce your EFC, and you should definitely do if you have the opportunity. However, the fact is that you’re likely to do more to cut the cost of college by targeting the right school than by trying to rearrange your finances. Continue reading

Must Read Book on Paying for College: The Financial Aid Handbook

Cover for the Financial Aid HandbookWith the availability of more free information on the internet than we know what to do with, the suggestion of reading a book to understand a topic may seem, well, old-fashion.  But it’s precisely because of the information overload spawned by the internet that books can be a great investment. A good book will present you with the information you need to know in a meaningful way without any distractions. That has value. And for those looking for such value, I want to recommend The Financial Aid Handbook by Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik.

If you only read one book to understand the intersection of finding and paying for a college, this is it. Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik have taken their experience as college admission directors and created an essential guide that will take families through a cost based college search. And best of all, it’s written for students. Continue reading

Should you tell coaches about an injury during the recruiting process?

examining injured leg representing if you should tell a coach about an injuryJust asking this question suggests that it’s possible to hide the injury from the college coaches. I suppose it’s possible if it occurs off-season and the player isn’t actually on crutches or doesn’t have an arm in a sling. But how many sports today actually have an off-season? Even those players being recruited in sports that do have a limited season such as football are likely to be playing other sports. Don’t you think the recruiting coach might wonder why the player is sitting out his secondary sport? Continue reading

Expert Advice to Get You Started on Your College Application Essays

hands writing and on keyboard representing starting your college application essayIf you haven’t started your college application essays yet, it’s time to stop procrastinating and get to work. Why? Because even though the college application essay would seem to fall under academic tasks you have already mastered in high school, it is an essay after all, the reality is that it’s not. By that I mean it’s not an academic task.

The college application essay has nothing to do with your ability to craft an essay to demonstrate to a teacher your analytical abilities in literature or history. It has everything to do with figuring out who you are and how to show it to the people reading your application. Now which high school class covered self-discovery? Continue reading

Why Teen Checking Accounts Should be Part of Your College Prep

student using atm representing importance of teen checking accountsParents make sure that their kids are prepped for the college admissions process. They make sure they take the right classes, get the appropriate grades, study for the ACT or SAT, and participate in extracurricular activities. But do they make sure they’re equally ready to handle the financial aspects of independent living? Students may be able to do the math to calculate interest rates yet 43% don’t understand the differences between debit and credit cards. Continue reading

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