Five Steps To Appealing a Financial Aid or Merit Award

Excited for college admissions? Great! Now learn how to navigate merit aid awards.

Now that students are receiving their financial need-based and merit scholarship awards, it is important to look at the fine print. Colleges typically lump together grant aid, which is money that does not need to be paid back, with loans. When comparing awards, it is important to compare grants to grants and exclude loans from the comparison to truly evaluate which colleges are offering the best…

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Financial Aid Changes For Class of 2017: Prior, Prior Year

Members of the Class of 2017 are the guinea pigs for several new initiatives in the college application process. There is the new SAT that debuted in March, the new Coalition for Affordability and Access application platform and now the Prior, Prior FAFSA. So what exactly is a Prior, Prior FAFSA?  

The FAFSA (Federal Application For Student Aid) is the US government’s application form for federal financial aid. College institutional grants, federal grants such as the Pell …

College Endowments and the Student Experience

“Which college is better?” This question came up in a recent conversation with a family about two universities, one a large state university and the other a large private university. It is a good question to ask, but a hard one to answer since so much of what makes a college “good” for any individual student is so dependent on that student’s needs and interests.

So let’s assume for a moment that a family is evaluating two colleges that they already think are a good fit academically …

Class of 2013 Admissions: Lessons Learned

Colleges continue to make admissions decisions based on their quest for the best possible students, those who they think will actually matriculate and to some extent, those who are able to pay. Here are some lessons learned from this year’s admissions cycle:

Many Applicants Accepted Early Decision. Many colleges admitted a significant percentage of the class during early decision. While many students try to use early decision to gain an advantage at a college where admissions…

Decisions, Decisions

On April 1st, the world shifts for high school seniors. April Fool’s Day is generally the final day by which seniors receive their college decisions. Then the tables turn as admissions officers begin their campaign to convince seniors to matriculate at their college next fall. Making the decision about where to attend college is significant. Here are a few considerations for students and families to consider.

1. Understanding the merit scholarship. If you are a strong student…

Worried about College Costs? Tips for Finding Scholarships and Applying for Financial Aid

With the ongoing problems in the economy, it is no wonder that families are becoming increasingly nervous about the cost of college, even if their own jobs and future seem secure. Here are some resources and links for finding scholarships and applying for financial aid.

1. Scholarship search engines. The following search engines require that students complete a questionnaire about their grades and test scores, college and career interests, extracurricular activities …

Financial Aid and Loan Offers – Evaluate Carefully

By now college-bound seniors should have received their award letters from the colleges of their choice. Remember that both grant awards (which is outright money that does not need to be paid back) and loans are listed on the same letter. Also keep in mind that loans are not financial aid. For this reason it is critical to review the loan terms and interest rates being offered very closely. Families who own a home may discover that they will get a more favorable interest rate through…

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