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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 … Read more

50-50 Highlights: Colleges for Low-Income Students–and which to avoid

(Updated for 2019) Robert J. Kibbee, the former Chancellor of City University New York, observed “Over the years, we have come to identify quality in a college not by whom it serves but by how many students it excludes. Let us not be a sacred priesthood protecting the temple, but rather the fulfillers of dreams.” … Read more

50-50 Highlights: Best Public Universities for Low Income Students by State

Given that very few private colleges meet 100% of financial need, the cheapest option for most low-income students will be one of their state’s public universities. There will always be some low-income students that will have their full need met at private colleges, but they will be the exception. The majority will find themselves “gapped” … Read more

31 Potential Colleges for Students with a Full-Pay Hook

Families that can’t afford to pay the sticker-price for private colleges need to do two things. The first is identify which schools are more likely to provide need or merit aid. The second is avoid those that are less likely to do so. This means steering clear of “dream” schools that may rank in terms of prestige … Read more

50-50 Highlights: Colleges for Transfer Students 2018

As the cost of attending state flagship universities passes $30,000, many families are considering the financial benefits of starting at a community college and then transfer to a 4-year university. Combining living at home with paying only a third to half of the tuition of a 4 year public institution represents significant savings. However, those … Read more

50-50 Highlights: Colleges with the Lowest Student Loan Default Rates

Given that paying for a college education now rivals buying a house, it isn’t surprising the New York Fed reports that “Balances of student loans have eclipsed both auto loans and credit cards, making student loan debt the largest form of consumer debt outside of mortgages.” Faced with limited financial aid and the prospect of … Read more

Financial Aid for Low Income Students-No Cause for Envy

When I went to college, back in the 80’s, my Pell Grant covered my tuition. My parents were usually able to help pay for books and my student loans and part-time jobs paid for room and board. Thanks to financial aid, I was able to graduate from an honors program at my state flagship university … Read more