Category Archives: Merit-based Aid

Colleges Still Have Openings for Fall ’17

Further confirming that college can be a buyer’s market, the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual College Openings Update: Options for Qualified Students (a list of schools still accepting applications after May 1) shows an increase in the number of schools still accepting applications compared with last year. In fact, the number has gone up every year since 2013; it increased by about 20% from 2016 to 2017. Continue reading Colleges Still Have Openings for Fall ’17

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

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

2016 SAT Results

The interwebs appear to be all aflutter about SAT results this week. That’s because the College Board just released the class of 2016’s results and generally the class of 2016 did worse on the SAT than did the class of 2015. There are potential explanations that have nothing to do with academic capability: changes in the test, resulting in changes in the Continue reading 2016 SAT Results