college student holding money representing colleges that meet 100% of need

As families start to encounter sticker prices during their college search, they are often revived from their state of shock by soothing voices whispering, “it’s ok, it doesn’t include financial aid.” Students and their parents learn the conventional wisdom that…

2 little kids reading about the common data set

What does it mean? The Common Data Set refers to data collected by a group of publishers including US News Best College Rankings, The College Board, Petersons, and Wintergreen Orchard. The data include information that is not part of government…

2 kids reading about financial aid gapping

What does it mean? When students submit their financial aid application, they receive a number they are expected to pay called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). When you subtract the EFC from the total cost of attendance for a specific…

Explainer~What is merit aid?

2 little kids reading about what is merit aid

What does it mean? Merit aid is a type of college financial aid. Colleges provide merit aid as an incentive for select students to attend their institution. Generally, these students have academic qualifications that would contribute to raising the college’s…

2 little kids reading about what is average net price

What does it mean? Average Net Price is a term defined by the federal government which is the average amount students paid to attend a college after deducting gift aid. According to CollegeNavigator, the college search website for the National…

tug boat pushing larger ship representing why you should consider going to a smaller college

Simple-there are more of them. By considering a small college, you’ve just increased your possible college options by two-thirds. There are a lot more small colleges than larger colleges. This has nothing to do with which are “better.” This has…

2 little kids reading about what is the financial aid PROFILE

What does it mean? The PROFILE’s full name is actually the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. The CSS stands for College Scholarship Service. It is a financial aid application administered by the College Board for non-federal financial aid. There are around 200…