Do It Yourself College Rankings

It Takes More Than Rankings to Find Good Colleges

Face looking from laptop for a good collegeWhy? Because it all depends on how you define “good” colleges.

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?

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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.

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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

DIY College Rankings College Lists for Sale

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Reality Check Part 2: Playing College Baseball

baseball on field representing playing college baseball reality checkHopefully, the previous post demonstrated that the chances of getting a scholarship to play college baseball aren’t very good. Sometimes I think parents talk about the baseball scholarship as a way to justify the amount of time and money their family is spending on baseball. Claiming that it’s all to pay for college is an easy and obvious excuse.

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Colleges that Meet 100% of Financial Need Depending on How You Define Need

Chained money representing colleges that meet 100% of needProbably the biggest shock families experience as they consider their college options is finding out how much they’re expected to pay for college. But I think a close second would be how few colleges are actually able to meet the family’s admittedly flawed calculated need. According to CollegeData.com, only 80 colleges and universities claim to meet 100% of a student’s financial need.

If a family is able to show financial need, good luck in finding a school that will actually cover it.

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543 Colleges with No Application Fees for 2020

student looking at colleges with free application feesI’ve updated the list of colleges with no application fees list based on the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and information from the Common Application available in October 2020. The IPEDS data is the fee charged for the 2019-20 academic year while the Common Application Data is for the 2020-21 year. Yes, it’s very possible the data reported by IPEDS will not be valid for the coming year. But it’s what is available.

Everyone knows the cost of higher education is spiraling out of control. Did you know that the cost to apply to college has reached equally outrageous levels? Applying to US News 2020 Top Ten (there are actually 11 top 10 because of a tie) National Universities would set you back $845 in application fees with a low of $70 to a high of $90. Only two schools charged less than $75. That doesn’t include the cost of sending in testing scores reports.

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What are scholarships?

head of woman looking at scholarship written on blackboard representing what are scholarshipsWhat are College Scholarships?
What are the Scholarship Types?
How do students apply for scholarships?
When can students apply for portable scholarships?
How long do scholarships last?
How do students receive the scholarship money?
What can you spend scholarship money on?

Scholarships are simply free money for students to spend on their education. This basic definition includes scholarships awarded for pre-schools, dance classes, camps, and, of course colleges. When you start asking what are scholarships in terms of paying for college, things don’t seem as simple any more. Now you have athletic scholarships, academic scholarships, and other various merit scholarships. And scholarships are just one kind of financial aid available for college so you probably need to have some understanding of how it differs from grants, loans, and work-study.  However, even as you wade through various definitions, the essential definition of a scholarship is free money for students to spend on their education.

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