College Planning Resource Center

If you’re trying to figure out how to find quality, affordable colleges but don’t know what you don’t know, this is the place to start. I’m listing resources that I think you should know about that will help you navigate the college search process. If you have any suggestions, please let me know so I … Read more

What Happens to People Who Go To Colleges No One Has Ever Heard Of?

I think that there are a lot of families out there that would like to drop out of the race to get into the most prestigious college possible. They know that there are good reasons to look elsewhere. With seemingly ever decreasing admission rates among the brand name schools, the numbers are against you. And financially, … Read more

Why YOU Should Care About College Graduation Rates

When high school students start looking for colleges to apply to, they rarely consider college graduation rates. Even with the sky-rocketing costs of college, most families still don’t consider graduation rates. They may notice it when a school advertises its four-year graduation guarantee but I suspect most just dismiss it as not applying to “their” situation. Share824Tweet10FlipEmailPin6191.5K … Read more

3 Hooks in College Admissions

Trying to figure out your “hook” for college admissions? In general, a college hook refers to the element of your college application that makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s what will make the admissions office “bite” on your application. But not all college hooks are the same. Share1.1KTweet2FlipEmailPin5141.6K Shares

The Truth About Rejection by Elite Colleges

I think that the greatest unacknowledged truth in college admissions is that if you’re good enough to get into an Ivy League school then you are good enough to handle being rejected by them. What am I talking about? Let’s start with the joke that in order to get into the elite universities, high school … Read more

Cutting College Costs: 273 Community Colleges with Dorms

(I’ve updated the number of community colleges with dorms with data available from IPEDS in March, 2023.) As families recoil in horror contemplating the price tag of four years of college, some start to look more closely at all of the available options, including community colleges with dorms. Since community colleges are offering more traditional … Read more

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

In a previous 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 (with changes to financial aid, soon to become the Student Aid Index) is much higher than their actual ability to pay. There … Read more

Why Your EFC Should be how you Start Your College Search

What is EFC? To start your college search, you need to be able to answer this question. If you’re like most parents starting the college search process, you don’t have a clue what EFC means. In fact, most parents don’t understand until they are well into the college application process which is not a good … Read more

21 Schools to Avoid if You’re Making a List of Affordable Colleges

In case you haven’t heard, some colleges are more likely to provide you institutional scholarships and grants than others. Some are more generous with merit aid while others give better need-based aid. And just as some colleges are known for their aid, there are those that are known for the lack of it and shouldn’t … Read more