Recent Blogs

The Must Read Chart for all Parents Thinking about Paying for College

Girl looking at efc chartFor the past few years, Troy Onink has had a Guide To FAFSA, CSS Profile, College Financial Aid And Expected Family Contribution at Forbes Magazine. It’s a great article that explains critical elements of the college financial aid process. I think the most valuable part of the guide is the Federal EFC Quick Reference Table. Continue reading

50-50 Highlights: Test Optional Colleges

Erasing a mistake on a test representing test optional collegesStudents everywhere who struggle with standardized tests appreciate the increasing number of test optional colleges. However, it’s important to understand that there isn’t any one definition of “test optional.” Furthermore, just because a college states that it’s test optional for admissions doesn’t mean that tests aren’t required for scholarships or course placement. So be sure to check out the colleges for their specific requirements. Continue reading

How to Pay Less for College: Understand Supply and Demand

Chalk board with money signs to show how to pay less for collegeIf you’re trying to figure out how to pay for college, if you’re looking for the best merit scholarship opportunities, you need to understand the basics of supply and demand in higher education. Why? Because we charge students to attend college. Granted, the way we pay for higher education is a complicated mixture of public finance and individual contributions but it’s still part of the market place. There’s a reason why colleges bury high school students in an avalanche of slick brochures and social media invitations–colleges are competing for students willing to pay to attend their version of the “collegiate experience.” Continue reading

50-50 Highlights: Colleges for Transfer Students 2017

Picture of college for transfer studentsAs the cost of attending many state flagship universities passes $30,000, more and more families are considering the financial benefits of starting at a community college. Combining living at home with paying only a third to half of the tuition of a 4 year public institution represents significant savings. However, those savings will exist only if student’s actual path in real life follows the plan–and that is far from being certain. Continue reading

How to Start the College Athletic Recruiting Process

football kickoffYou’ve heard the saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know?” It’s relevant to college athletic recruiting–when starting out, many families don’t know where to begin or what to ask. So I put together this list of posts for athletes and their families just starting the college athletic recruiting process. After reading these, you should have a basic understanding of college athletic recruiting that will allow you to start asking the right questions.

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Why YOU Should Care About College Graduation Rates

College hat on money showing importance of college graduation ratesWhen 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. Continue reading

7 Steps to a Smarter College List

person walking on stones representing steps to a smarter college listThe 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. Continue reading

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