Recent Blogs

54 Best Bets for College Merit Aid

Money from faucet representing best bets for merit aidAre you serious about looking for an affordable education at a good college? Don’t think you’ll qualify for any significant financial aid? Then it’s time to begin looking beyond the rankings and paying attention to the data that tells you how much money schools are giving students. In this post, I’ll provide a list of best bets for college merit aid. Continue reading

It Takes More Than Rankings to Find Good Colleges

Face looking from laptopWhy? Because it all depends on how you define “good.”

And that’s the problem. How do you know what makes a college “good?” Is it the college where the good students go? After all, the colleges that admit only a small percentage of students with high GPAs and college test scores are the ones that show up at the top of the college rankings. But does that mean the school is good because it admits good students or do good students go there because it is a good college? Continue reading

How to Decide Between Two Universities You Were Accepted To

Student Deciding Between Two Universities Was Accepted ToCollege is likely the first glimpse into the “real world” that you will see. In this time, you’ll build a foundation for your career, create connections for future jobs, and learn to parent yourself. These years can be great – or another repeat of high school; it all depends on where you spend them. But what if you applied to two great schools and got accepted to both? If you’re having trouble deciding between two universities, consider these points: 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

5 Ways to Get Smart About Filling Out College Applications

University Application FormFilling out college applications is just one step of the college search process. But students and families quickly find out that the one step isn’t as simple as you might think. And there is a lot advice out there on how you should complete the step. Before you swamp yourself in page after page of internet search results, use the following websites to orient yourself and figure out what information you really need. Continue reading

5 Rules About Paying for College That Most Parents Don’t Know

Woman reading about paying for college If you want to get any financial aid, you need to submit college financial aid applications such as the FAFSA and PROFILE. This is obviously a critical step: no application, no aid. But if you want to pay less for college, it certainly isn’t the first step. The fact is that the FAFSA is just one of the final steps of many in paying for college. I’m not talking about the savings account you were going to set up for your kids when they were little but never got around to. What I’m talking about are the things you need to know before students even start applying to colleges. Continue reading

How Far Away Should You Go To College?

GPS and MapHalf of all college students attend schools less than 100 miles from home. Only 20% of students travel 500 or more miles from home. This pretty matches the preferences expressed by far too many parents and students of wanting to be close enough for them to come home on the weekends if they want to or in case of emergencies. Yeah, I have a problem with that. 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

How Come No One is Talking About Pathetic College Graduation Rates?

College graduates representing college graduation ratesIf college graduation rates were high school graduation rates, every politician, pundit, and policy wonk would be in the mainstream media talking about the crisis of college dropouts and devising ways to tie faculty evaluation to student graduation. Not that such an approach is necessarily the answer. After all, given the situation with high school graduation rates, I’m not sure that we would actually come up with any solutions but, boy, we sure would be talking about it. Continue reading

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