Recent Blogs

4 Easy Steps to Find Colleges for Potential Merit Scholarships

Person crossing stepping stones representing steps to finding merit scholarships(For those looking for affordable colleges, 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.)  In this post, I’m going to show you how to use the DIY College Rankings Spreadsheet to find private colleges most likely to provide generous merit aid in just four easy steps. These are schools that students with high Expected Family Contributions (EFC) should target for non-need based aid. This is in no way a guarantee. Rather, consider this a way to improve your chances for merit scholarships given the available information. The idea is to use this list as a basis to create the final list of colleges to apply to. + Read More

FAQ: If my EFC is 0 does that mean I can go to college for free?

Post-it note asking If my EFC is 0 does that mean I can go to college for free?Unfortunately, the answer for most students is “no.” Although the federal government has determined that if your expected family contribution (EFC) is 0, there isn’t any requirement that the government or the college provide you with the money to pay for the total cost of your education.  With an EFC of 0, you can be sure of receiving the maximum allowed Pell Grant for the year ($6345 for 2021) as well as qualifying for the maximum government subsidized loan. However, there are three issues you need to be aware of when your EFC=0. + Read More

College Baseball Teams by State and Division

Map of us with baseball field representing college baseball teams by state and divisionDo you know which state, Texas or Pennsylvania, offers more college baseball teams? You’re wrong if you said Texas. Texas offers more D1 and Junior College programs but Pennsylvania has twice the number of D2 baseball teams and over three times the number of D3 teams. Knowing which states offer which types of college baseball teams can improve your chances of making a college team. (This combined with the DIY College Rankings Baseball Spreadsheet forms the foundation for your college search.) + Read More

Why People Waste Their College Visits-Part 2

Students walking on campus representing college visitsIn the first part of Why People Waste Their College Campus Visits, I discussed how students and families don’t make the most of college visits because they don’t understand there are different types of campus visits and don’t prepare appropriately. I covered some common issues regarding campus visits and listed one of three types of campus visits. This post lists the remaining types of visits and what to do if you can’t visit. + Read More

College Softball Teams by State

Softball team huddle(Updated for 2020) If you want to play on a college softball team, you should probably be looking in California, Pennsylvania, or New York. However, if you’re looking specifically for Junior College teams, you should be focusing on Illinois and Texas. The states with the most D1 softball programs are California, Texas, and New York. The D3 college softball teams are concentrated in Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. + Read More