When high school students start looking for colleges to apply to, they rarely consider college graduation rates. Even with the sky-rocketing costs of college, most families still don’t consider graduation rates. They may notice it when a school advertises its four-year graduation guarantee but I suspect most just dismiss it as not applying to “their” situation. + Read More
The list of colleges you apply to will make the biggest difference in how much you actually end up paying for college. Think about it in the most simplistic terms, your local community college is going to be a lot cheaper than Harvard or Stanford.
The problem is that most people don’t create their college list with affordability in mind. And unless you’re willing to pay the full cost of college, this can be an expensive mistake.
Even if finances aren’t a primary consideration, most people don’t do a very good job of creating a college list. + Read More
I’ve talked about colleges most likely to provide merit aid before. In this post I’m going to focus just on 50-50 schools and consider all financial indicators. For example, in previous lists I didn’t take into consideration PLUS loans. I also limited schools by test scores which I don’t do in this list. + Read More
If you read any books on college athletic recruiting, you’ll come across a section that discusses the biggest surprises to new college athletes coming from high school. I can’t think of a single one that doesn’t mention the dramatically harder college strength and conditioning programs. In fact, I’m willing to bet it would come in first by a wide margin over any other freshman surprises. + Read More
(You can find even more information and strategies in How to Create a College List When You Don’t Know Where to Start.)
Sometime in their junior, or maybe even their senior year, high school students will generate a list of colleges based on some general characteristics such as size, majors, and location. When it comes to narrowing the list, many students are at a loss of how to do it. There’s no magic formula for deciding between schools. Ultimately, students need to research them further to find their differences. But how do you research a college?
Here’s how to start. + Read More
The point of the 50-50 schools list is to identify colleges and universities that are accessible to most students while meeting a minimum standard for college graduation. However, just because a school is academically accessible doesn’t mean that students can afford to attend. Some of the most expensive colleges make the list. Like colleges and universities in general, colleges on the 50-50 list vary dramatically in their financial aid generosity. + Read More
If you’re looking to play college athletics, you can’t help but hear about verbal commitments. And if you’re pursuing an athletic scholarship, chances are that you’ll be making a verbal commitment yourself. Plenty of powerhouse schools expect athletes to verbally commit long before National signing day. So the sooner you can make a verbal commitment, the better–right? The question is better for whom? + Read More
The 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. + Read More
People 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