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FAQ: What is EFC (Expected Family Contribution)?

EFC stands for expected family contribution. This is the amount of money families are expected to pay for their students to attend college. Colleges and federal and state governments use the EFC to calculate a student’s financial aid award. The basic theory is that the lower your EFC, the bigger your financial aid award. A … Read more

Find Colleges with the Most Merit Scholarships in 4 Easy Steps

(For those looking for colleges with the most merit scholarships, I’m updating this post. Because I’ve updated the spreadsheet several times since I wrote this post, some of the numbers in the text won’t match the results in the graphics. You can see a video demonstration at the end of the post.)     If you’re … Read more

How Much Should Students Borrow for College?

Anyone who pays attention to the media has heard the alarming reports about student debt. In the United States student loan debt is about $1.7 trillion which exceeds the total credit card balance. Scary numbers. You would expect the question, “How much should I borrow for college?” to be the question that all students and their … Read more

Should You Use an Athletic Recruiting Service?

As students and parents start to wade into the college athletic recruiting process, they’ll soon see all kinds of advertisements, websites, and offers from athletic recruiting services. All promise to help you with getting an athletic scholarship because, they’ll tell you, they have access to people and information that you don’t. And as the wading … Read more

5 Reasons to Know Your EFC Before You Even Apply to College

Too many people think that your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is something that you worry about when you apply for financial aid–if they have heard the term at all. And if you’re a family with high school students thinking about college, it’s definitely a term you should become familiar with immediately. Why? Because what you don’t know … Read more

9 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Playing College Baseball-Part 1

Here are nine things that you can do that will improve your chances of playing college baseball. These aren’t about improving specific baseball skills, although that may happen. It’s about giving you the edge over another player who has the exact same stats and ability ratings as you do. In other words, these suggestions aren’t … Read more

Parents: Don’t Ignore These 5 Numbers when Comparing Colleges

Before parents sit back and let their kids drive the college application process, there are some numbers they need to understand when comparing colleges. Because while it’s true that it’s the student who is going to attend college, the colleges are pretty clear that they are going to turn to the parents to pay the … Read more

5 Ways to Get Smart About Financial Aid Award Letters

After diligently reporting their families’ financial information as accurately as possible in the FAFSA under the threat of a $20,000 fine and/or prison, high school seniors are anxiously waiting to receive their financial aid award letters. Now, even though each student’s family situation is different, applicants all completed a standard form for financial aid. Major … Read more