Category Archives: Application Process

Some School Rankings

No, I’m not trying to excuse my recent absence from posting by suddenly buying into ratings hype!

The Princeton Review has some interesting rankings that might be a good second step on your winnowing-down-of-schools process. (The first step being of course identifying schools that you can likely afford.) In addition to their ranking of the “Best” 381 colleges, Continue reading Some School Rankings

Negotiating an Aid Award

My apologies if this is a little down-to-the-wire. Then again, you might do better waiting until the last minute to negotiate an aid award. If you’re planning to do so, here are a few things you need to know.

The first step is to determine what type of aid is being offered, need or merit (or a Continue reading Negotiating an Aid Award

How America Pays for College

Sallie Mae’s annual How America Pays for College report has some good news: In the 2015-2016 school year, the average amount families spent on college went down slightly, to $23,688. The biggest decline came on spending for 2-year colleges; families with students in 4-year schools reported spending about the same as in the previous year. In Continue reading How America Pays for College

CSS/PROFILE Question SR 160A

Perhaps the #1 most-frequently-asked question about the CSS/PROFILE is “How am I supposed to answer question 160A?” (“Enter the amount your parents think they will be able to pay for your 2017-18 college expenses.”) It’s a trap, right? A higher-stakes version of the “name your price” offers musicians put out there for concerts and downloads. Answer too high and you might be giving up aid; answer too low and your student might Continue reading CSS/PROFILE Question SR 160A

Why file the FAFSA

As many as 1/3 of college students don’t complete the FAFSA. There are a variety of reasons why not, ranging from fears about its complexity to the assumption that it’s not worth the time because the family is not eligible for aid and hundreds if not thousands of other reasons. The end result is that a lot of money is left on the table and many families Continue reading Why file the FAFSA

Tuition Growth Slows

Moody’s annual survey of US college and university tuition shows that tuition increases are slowing down and for the most part are consistent with the overall inflation rate in the economy.

On the private school side, Moody’s projects annual net tuition increases to remain in the Continue reading Tuition Growth Slows

Regional Tuition Exchanges

Regional tuition exchanges are a great tool for kids who want to go out of state but don’t want to pay out-of-state tuition. These programs allow students from neighboring states to attend one another’s colleges for (typically) a slight premium over in-state tuition but well below full out-of-state cost. Each of these programs has its own rules and processes, Continue reading Regional Tuition Exchanges

FAFSA Deadlines

Just because the FAFSA is available earlier this year doesn’t mean you have to complete it now. Most school and state deadlines haven’t changed. For example, the Oregon schools still have their end of February/beginning of March deadlines. Why is that? The goal of making the FAFSA available earlier is enable families to understand their financial position in advance of (or alongside) the application process. Schools don’t generally¬†need your FAFSA information until they get your application. But knowing¬†your EFC in advance Continue reading FAFSA Deadlines