Recent Blogs

I need some help

Help sign I have to admit, I like working by myself and taking care of the different things that come up when you’re a “solopreneur.” But while I know I can generally figure out things for myself, sometimes it’s better to have others do specific jobs because that’s their expertise. Right now I’m having hosting a contest to redesign my sign-up page for my upcoming class on Using the DIY College Rankings Spreadsheet.

I’ve received some really good designs but I’m not sure which to pick. I know which one I like but I’ve come to realize that what I like as a data/detailed oriented person isn’t the same thing that most other people prefer. Therefore, before I pick, I would like to get as much feedback as possible.

So for those of you who have some time, I would very much appreciate it if you could take a look at the current designs I have at 99designs. You can rank them and give feedback on what you like or don’t like about each of them. This is one area where I can use some outside perspective and am grateful to all who take the time to provide constructive criticism.

50-50 Highlights: Colleges with Decreases in Average Net Price

declining steps of money representing decreases in average net priceAnyone who spends time on this blog should realize that very few people pay the actual published price for college. This makes it difficult to judge the significance of the rising prices of college tuition. A lot of schools, especially public institutions, justify increasing tuition by pointing out that a certain percentage of the increase will go to financial aid. + Read More

What the Super Bowl Can Tell Us About College Rankings

football on a fieldIn case you haven’t heard, the Super Bowl is this coming Sunday. Sometime during the ridiculously overdone coverage, viewers will see the starters from each team announcing their alma maters. And this has got me thinking. Here you have the two best teams in a championship game based on wins and losses with rosters of players from colleges ranked on wins and losses. Maybe, just maybe, the Super Bowl has something to teach us about rankings including US News College Rankings. + Read More

How to Find Merit Scholarships: Follow the Money, Part 2

(Part 1 showed how to identify colleges that are likely sources of merit money.)

Slug following the money to find merit scholarshipsNow that you know who has the money, you need to target those schools more likely to be giving it away. I do this by looking at information on institutional grants. This is money the school is giving the student and is usually the largest single source of financial aid for an individual student at private schools. Since IPEDS doesn’t require the school to distinguish between need and merit based grants, I also look at the percentage of freshman who receive the institutional grants. + Read More

50-50 Highlights: Colleges with the Highest Graduation Rates

graduating students from colleges with the highest graduation ratesPeople are generally a little surprised when I recommend using 50% as the minimum graduation rate for looking for colleges. It does seem like a pretty low standard but the fact is that only approximately a quarter of colleges and universities have a four-year graduation rate of 49% or higher. If you use the five-year rate for public institutions, than then number increases to about a third of all schools. + Read More

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