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Merit-based Aid

How Do You Choose a College?

Confession: My son chose his college because of a party. I spent last weekend in Tucson visiting Alex. It was wonderful to see him thriving at college. Coincidentally, while we were there a memory popped up in my socials, a picture from 2017 of him, Gabi and their cousins in Tucson where the family had gathered to celebrate their grandma’s…

How Do You Apply for Scholarships?

I get a common question from families applying for college: “I applied to the college but how do I apply for scholarships?” The answer to that is actually pretty simple: If you filed the FAFSA, you have applied for need-based aid. And your application to the college is the application for most merit scholarships. Most institutional awards– that is to…

EFC vs Net Cost

Expected Family Contribution– the amount that the FAFSA says your family can pay for college– gets a lot of air time. But there’s another number that’s more important: Net Cost. Your Net Cost is your actual cost to attend a college. It’s important to find out about net cost because colleges are under no obligation to meet your financial need….

Step 3 in Finding Scholarships

Now that you’ve done Step 1 and Step 2, what’s next to find scholarships? Step 3 is starting to build a spreadsheet of colleges that are likely to offer you scholarships so that you keep track of and meet application requirements and deadlines. If you don’t want to create your own, here is my college research spreadsheet. It includes columns…

Step 2 in Finding Scholarships

Now that you’ve completed Step 1, it’s time for Step 2 in finding scholarships. Step 2 is using colleges’ financial aid and scholarship tools to determine what scholarships you’re eligible for at which colleges. Colleges themselves are the best source of scholarships, since scholarships and other forms of tuition discounting are one of the primary vehicles colleges use to attract…

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