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What if it didn’t matter what college you went to?

student walking on road representing if college mattersIt’s the new year and I’m in a sort of philosophical mood. I just finished reviewing the most popular posts on my Facebook page and it got me thinking–what if it didn’t matter what college you went to? Because it seems to me that the posts that get the most traction have to do with either how to get your kid into the right schools or articles telling parents that there is no such thing as a best school, at least not one for everyone. So try it as a thought experiment, how would your student’s (and your family’s) life be different if it didn’t matter which college you went to? + Read More

12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 12

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:
These were the 12 most viewed Frequently Asked Questions on the website in 2016:

What is a Tier 1 school? (university or college)


Do I Need to Take Both the SAT and ACT?


What is a flagship university?


Can I send the FAFSA to more than 10 schools?

My high school doesn’t offer AP classes, will it hurt me in admissions?
 
What are the different college calendar types?
 
What is an academic resume for college admissions?
 
If my EFC is 0 does that mean I can go to college for free?
 
Can I go to college with less than a 3.0 high school GPA?
 
What is financial aid gapping?

 
What is a Public Ivy?
 
How many times should a student take the SAT or ACT?


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process

Roadmap to Cutting College Costs Class
 
Learn how to target colleges most likely to meet
your family’s financial needs. In three weeks you’ll learn how to follow the money to find the most generous colleges. As part of the course you’ll also receive your own custom College Money Report. The next class will start February 1. Use the coupon EarlyBird50 and save $50.

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12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 11

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the eleventh day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

11 Colleges Frugal with Financial Aid

Despite the costs, these are popular schools. Part of it has to do with location. Three are in the always desirable California. Another five are in or near in-demand east coast metropolitan areas.


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process

money representing full ride scholarshipFull Ride Scholarships Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet by Wendy Nelson lists all US
colleges that offer full-ride or full-tuition merit based scholarships. It contains 606 colleges in 49 states with over 1,200 scholarships. If you’re looking for full ride scholarships, this spreadsheet is the place to start.

12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 10

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the tenth day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

10 Things Parents Do That Increase College Student Debt

If you don’t have the money talk, your student may never apply to the colleges that would provide the needed scholarships. So you take out loans instead.


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process

Baseball player link to baseball spreadsheetDIY College Rankings Baseball Spreadsheet
 
If you’re looking to get recruited to play college baseball, start with this spreadsheet. It lists all 2 and 4-year college baseball programs along with divisions, conferences, test scores, and financial aid information.  

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12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 9

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the ninth day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

9 Ways to Expand Your College Education Through Off-Campus Study and Exchanges

Off-campus study programs can help you establish contacts in distant cities for internships or job opportunities. They can provide you the chance to try something different without having to commit to four years at one campus.


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process

DIY College Rankings College Search Spreadsheet
 
This is the spreadsheet that started when we were looking for colleges for my son. I was frustrated be college search websites because while they might display things like average net price and graduation rates for individual colleges, they wouldn’t let you search by them. But I guess that’s because of who is actually paying the bills for the website. Get the DIY College Search spreadsheet and start searching colleges for the best financial aid possibilities for the cost of a single college application. 

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12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 8

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the eighth day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

8 Things Parents Must Know About Paying for College

The most competitive colleges offer few, if any, academic scholarships.

8 Ways Showcase Camps Can Be a Waste of Money

Attending a camp without knowing what coaches will be present is a waste of money.


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process

Paying for College Without Going Broke, 2017 Edition: How to Pay Less for College

This is a how-to book for those approaching paying for college the first. Even if you don’t have a senior, this book will get you up to speed on the many financial aid issues you need to be aware of.

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12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 7

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the seventh day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

7 Things You Need to Know When Looking for College Scholarships

Approximately 7 percent of undergraduate students received private scholarships, with an average value of $1,982.


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process

The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price

This was the first, and still one of the few, college search books that talks about paying for college first. After all, the limiting factor isn’t which colleges you can get into but which you can actually afford.

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12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 6

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the sixth day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

6 Tips for Making a Better College Search List

The college search list should contain at least 20 schools, more if you have the time to research them. A good  search list will include colleges that you haven’t considered or heard of before you started creating the search list.

6 Things High School Baseball Players Must Have on Their Athletic Profile

Regardless of what format you choose, your athletic profile must include the following six elements.


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process


Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges
 
Ultimately, I believe that there are more than 40 such schools. However, by reading the descriptions of those in this book, you’ll get an idea of what to look for. Another antidote to college rankings and admissions madness.

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12 Days of Christmas 2016: Day 5

(I’m taking a break from regular blogging and newsletters during the holidays. Hope you enjoy the DIY College Rankings version of the 12 Days of Christmas. The following contains affiliate links.)

On the fifth day of Christmas, DIY College Rankings wrote to me:

5 Financial Aid Strategies Parents of Sophomores Need to Know Before the Spring Semester

Yeah, I know it’s cutting it close for this one to be useful, but still worth a read.

5 Rules About Paying for College That Most Parents Don’t Know

If you only have a limited amount of time to look for scholarships, your best bet is look for colleges that provide the most money.

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

Knowing your EFC means that you can apply to schools most likely to meet your financial needs.

5 Ways You Can Undermine Your Chances After Submitting Your College Application

According to the National Association for college Admission Counseling, the most common reason for colleges to revoke admissions offers was final grades.

5 Financial Mistakes that Can Limit Your Chance of Playing Your Sport at the College Level

I think all parents of 12 year-olds playing a sport should have to sign a form that states they understand that most college athletes do not receive full-ride scholarships.


Suggestion to help take control of the college admissions process

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success

I have to admit that I haven’t read this one yet. And while I’m interested, I have to admit that since it’s too late for parenting my son (he’s applying to grad school), I wonder if it would just add to my guilt. But those with a few years of parenting left, this might be a good read.

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