3 Things You Need to Know Before You Submit Your Early Decision Application

Student thinking about early decisionThe first of the Early Decision college admissions deadlines are approaching and students are nervously revising their college application essays. However, before they submit their application, they need to remember that there are reasons why people criticize Early Decision as primarily benefiting rich kids. As students make one final review of their application, they should make sure they know the following three things about Early Decision. Continue reading

50-50 Highlights: Most Expensive Colleges for Out-of-State Students and the Cheapest

car driving on money representing expensive out of state tuitionOf the 464 colleges and universities on the 50-50 list, 179 of them are public institutions. Furthermore, 50-50 schools are not distributed equally among all of the states. That means that if you want to start your search with the largest number of schools possible, you don’t want to immediately eliminate out-of-state public institutions. Continue reading

517 Colleges with No Application Fees

student looking at colleges with free application feesThe free college application fees list has been updated based on the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and information from the Common Application available in June 2018. The IPEDS data is the fee charged for the 2017-18 academic year while the Common Application Data is for the 2018-19 year. Yes, it’s very possible the data reported by IPEDS will not be valid for the coming year. But it’s what is available.

Everyone knows the cost of higher education is spiraling out of control. Did you know that the cost to apply to college has reached equally outrageous levels? Applying to US News 2018 Top Ten National Universities would set you back $780 in application fees with a low of $65 to a high of $90. Only one school charged less than $75. That doesn’t include the cost of sending in testing scores reports. Continue reading

50-50 Highlights: Most Affordable Public University by State

Money representing Most Affordable Public University by StateOne factor that will determine how much you pay for college is location. I’ve talked before about how students who insist only on schools in the northeast or on the coasts will pay for the privilege. Geography can actually be a hook depending on the location of the college and the student. Here, I’m going to cover how location can affect how much you pay to attend a public university. Continue reading

The Truth About Scholarships

hand stacking coins representing the truth about scholarshipsThere are two major delusions/misconceptions about paying for college that too many parents have. The first is that by not saving for college, parents claim this will make their kids eligible for more financial aid. Why bother saving if it means they won’t get any financial aid? This falls into the delusional category. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt but I can’t help but think this has more to do with preferring to spend money now rather than saving for later. Oh, FYI, financial aid doesn’t work that way. Continue reading

Public Universities Where at Least Half of Students Graduate

College graduates representing pubic university graduation ratesThe idea behind the 50-50 school listing is to identify colleges that meet a basic standard, graduation rates, while accepting more students than they reject. However, acceptance rates of 50% or better do not guarantee accessibility for many students. The fact is that the majority of the 50-50 schools are private and not all are generous with their financial aid. Continue reading

Why Your Best Financial Aid Will Probably Come From a College No One Has Ever Heard Of

Never-heard-of-it-200I’ve reviewed multiple college search websites and searching by size is always an option. Size is probably one of the first limitations students use when searching for colleges, often based on little to no real experience or evidence. And if you’re interested in getting the best college financial aid possible, this is a big mistake. Continue reading

Most Expensive Public Universities for Out-of-State Students

sad piggy bank representing expensive out of state universitiesMost people understand that private colleges have a much higher price tag than public universities which is why many never consider private schools. This is a shame since there are some private colleges that offer great opportunities along with generous financial aid. What a lot of people don’t realize is that out-of-state public institutions generally have the worst characteristics of both public and private colleges. They have the high price of private colleges with the limited financial aid of public universities. Continue reading