A little off topic today

Lately it feels like the Interwebs are loaded with stories about “perfect” kids—4.3+ GPAs, 1400+ SATs—not getting into their first choice schools. Kids are being told that getting into a “good college” is the “best path” to a “good life” so they work hard, hit all the marks they’re supposed to, and then get shut down in the college admissions process. (Scare quotes are deliberate there.) Going into a four-day trip chaperoning the high Continue reading A little off topic today

2018 Rhodes Scholars

As May 1 approaches, undecided students or those disappointed not to have received an admissions offer from their top choice should take a look at the 2018 Rhodes Scholar winners. The diversity of educational institutions represented in the list speaks volumes about the range of universities that can prepare students to excel in a variety of areas. While elite schools are of course well-represented, the winners come from a variety of institutions including public, private and military. The accompanying press release highlights four students chosen from colleges who had never before had a Rhodes Scholar: Hunter College, CUNY; Temple University; the University of Alaska Anchorage; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

AAUW’s Student Debt Showdown

AAUW did their own version of March Madness, and the results are pretty interesting. They took the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament brackets and had the teams compete based on median student debt held by women upon leaving the institution. The results are of course quite different than the basketball games’ outcomes, with Duke winning the men’s bracket and Princeton the women’s.

Full details and results are here. Even if you’re not a basketball fan, check it out because it’s probably among the more entertaining ways to view student debt burdens by school.

Potential Changes to Federal Loan Programs

In late 2017 and early 2018 there was a flurry of news about plans to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, which governs student loan programs among other things. Both the PROSPER Act which passed through committees in Congress in December and the White House budget proposal earlier this year called for changes to loan programs, especially the PLUS loan program. (PLUS loans are those used by parents and graduate students. Despite their relatively high interest rates– in the 7% range– they are an Continue reading Potential Changes to Federal Loan Programs

When to Accept an Admission Offer

Sorry not to have written anything in a while. We had spring break (more on that later) and now it’s the crazy season at my day job (financial advisor).

With admission offers out and acceptance deadlines coming, many students jump on the acceptance from their top choice. Often, that’s the right thing to do: it relieves the stress Continue reading When to Accept an Admission Offer

Feeling Guilty About College Savings?

If your college savings fund is generating negative emotions, you’re in good company: A recent survey by Student Loan Hero found that almost half of parents who are saving for their children’s college feel guilty about not saving enough. The survey also showed some rather worrying data: Continue reading Feeling Guilty About College Savings?

Student Loans by School

If you’ve been reading this for a while, you probably know I’m a huge fan of College Navigator as an information source. It’s run by the National Center for Education Statistics and has some information that any prospective student should be aware of. Last week I mentioned the loan default rate by school. Another affordability-related topic that prospective students should consider is the student body’s borrowing rate– also available on College Navigator. Continue reading Student Loans by School

Student Loan Default Rates

While you’re waiting for acceptances (seniors) or starting to get more serious about particular schools (everyone else), you might want to check out student loan default rates at the schools you’re interested in. Even if you’re not planning to borrow for college, the default rate can be an interesting number insofar as it is probably indicative of whether graduates of a particular school are finding gainful employment, particularly Continue reading Student Loan Default Rates