Recent Blogs

50-50 Highlights: Public Universities with Highest Percentage of PLUS Loans by State

piggy bank and calculator representing Public Universities with Highest Percentage of PLUS Loans by StateWith all the talk about student debt, it’s easy to miss the PLUS loan numbers. PLUS loans are federal loans taken out by parents on the student’s behalf. The really scary thing about PLUS loans is that parents can borrow up to the full amount of tuition. Furthermore, eligibility for PLUS loans isn’t based on ability to repay the loan but rather your credit history. Just think about it, even with a great credit history, a bank won’t loan you money for $250,000 house without some evidence that you can make the payments. The government will. Continue reading

Must Reads about the Odds of Playing College Sports and Receiving Athletic Scholarships

college football with money representing sports scholarshipsJust a casual browsing of my blog would reveal that I’m not anti-athlete. When my son wanted to play baseball in college, I spent a lot of time educating myself about the college baseball recruiting process and shared the information here. However, there’s a big difference between playing college sports and receiving an athletic scholarship. Continue reading

5 Ways to Get Smart About College Baseball Recruiting

Baseball player silding into baseAs you start the college baseball recruiting process, you need to know what you don’t know. And sometimes it feels like you would rather not know than try to make sense of all of the information out there. Not only is there so much information out there, so much seems contradictory. Sometimes you just need a baseline to start with so that you can make sense of the rest of the information. So before drowning in Google search results, try these resources first.

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Demonstrated Interest is NOT the Secret to Getting Into Any College

Group of students representing demonstrated interestLast summer, Inside Higher Education published the findings of a paper by researchers that according to the article’s title,  revealed “Another Edge for the Wealthy.” According to the research, students who visited a college in person had a statistically significant advantage in gaining admissions to the college. And college visit companies across the country rejoiced. Continue reading

50-50 College Update-or Colleges You Can Get Into and Graduation From

University road sign representing 50-50 collegesI just finished updating the list of 50-50 colleges with the latest IPEDS data release and thought I would share some statistically non-significant (as far as I know) observations. For those who don’t know what I mean by 50-50 colleges, these are colleges that accept at least 49% of students and have at least a 49% graduation rate. There are currently 441 such institutions with at least 500 or more full-time undergraduates. Continue reading

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

baseball player representing what needs to be on athletic profileThere are a variety of ways to format an athletic profile for baseball. And, yes, you want to have an athletic profile you can print out or email to coaches. Having an athletic profile in PDF form is very handy to attached to an email to a coach, especially if the college doesn’t have an online recruiting form.

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You Can’t Get Merit Aid From a College You Never Apply To

hand rejecting bag of money representing applying to colleges without generous merit aidIn my last post, I defined Expected Family Contribution (EFC), how it works theoretically, and what happens in the real world. For many families, the difference between theory and practice is irrelevant since their EFC is much higher than their actual ability to pay. There are steps that you can take to reduce your EFC, and you should definitely do if you have the opportunity. However, the fact is that you’re likely to do more to cut the cost of college by targeting the right school than by trying to rearrange your finances. Continue reading

Must Read Book on Paying for College: The Financial Aid Handbook

Cover for the Financial Aid HandbookWith the availability of more free information on the internet than we know what to do with, the suggestion of reading a book to understand a topic may seem, well, old-fashion.  But it’s precisely because of the information overload spawned by the internet that books can be a great investment. A good book will present you with the information you need to know in a meaningful way without any distractions. That has value. And for those looking for such value, I want to recommend The Financial Aid Handbook by Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik.

If you only read one book to understand the intersection of finding and paying for a college, this is it. Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik have taken their experience as college admission directors and created an essential guide that will take families through a cost based college search. And best of all, it’s written for students. Continue reading

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