Why You Should Visit CollegeData.com

(This was originally published on DIYCollegeRankings.com)

3 Steps to Show You Why You Should Visit CollegeData.com:

  1. Select College Match Search from the College 411 Tab Menu.
  2. Scroll to the Financial Friendliness Section. Under Merit Aid, check Include Only Students Without Financial Need. Select 30% or higher
  3. Scroll down and click Find

You now have a list of colleges where 30% or more of students without need receive merit aid.

Continue reading “Why You Should Visit CollegeData.com”

Public Universities with Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition

(This originally appeared on DIYCollegeRankings.com.) Back when I was a freshman attending a rather large state university in Austin, Texas, I ran into quite a few students (relatively speaking) from the state of New York. They told me that they were attending college in Texas because our out-of-state tuition was cheaper than their in-state tuition. I only saw them that one year because the following year, the legislature raised out-of-state tuition and Texas was no longer as appealing to New Yorkers as it once was.

Continue reading “Public Universities with Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition”

Should You Pay Someone to Complete the FAFSA?

(This article originally appeared on DIYCollegeRankings.com)  In July of 2015, the United States government finally gained control of the FAFSA.com website. Until then, the website was owned and operated by Student Financial Aid Service, Inc. which charged students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Over the years, FAFSA.com became the  poster child for financial aid scams designed to take advantage students and families trying to get financial aid for college. So does its demise represent the final statement of whether or not students should pay for a private financial aid consultant to complete the FAFSA?

Continue reading “Should You Pay Someone to Complete the FAFSA?”

426 Colleges with Free College Application Fees

(This article originally appeared on DIYCollegeRankings.com)

Everyone knows the cost of higher education is spiraling out of control. Did you know that the cost to apply to college has reached equally outrageous levels? Applying to US News Top Ten National Universities would set you back $775 in application fees with a low of $65 to a high of $90. Only one school charged less than $75. That doesn’t include the cost of sending in testing scores reports. Continue reading “426 Colleges with Free College Application Fees”

Explainer~What you need to know about home equity and financial aid

What does it mean?

Most colleges do not consider home equity when calculating financial aid. These colleges only require students to submit the FAFSA financial aid form. The FAFSA does not ask for home equity information. Some colleges do consider home equity in their financial aid calculations and students must also submit the PROFILE financial form to receive institutional aid. Continue reading “Explainer~What you need to know about home equity and financial aid”

The Truth About Scholarships

(This was originally posted on DIYCollegeRankings.com)

There are two major delusions/misconceptions about paying for college that too many parents have. The first is that by not saving for college, parents claim this will make their kids eligible for more financial aid. Why bother saving if it means they won’t get any financial aid? This falls into the delusional category. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt but I can’t help but think this has more to do with preferring to spend money now rather than saving for later. Oh, FYI, financial aid doesn’t work that way. Continue reading “The Truth About Scholarships”

Explainer~What is Preferential Financial Aid?

What does it mean?

Preferential financial aid describes a financial aid package that indicates the college really wants the students to attend. These packages provide a combination of financial aid that minimizes self-help aid such as loans and while maximizing the free money from grants and scholarships. Continue reading “Explainer~What is Preferential Financial Aid?”

The Apprenticeship Alternative: What You Need to Know

There is one way to avoid paying for college-don’t go. With all the emphasis on going to college, this seems unthinkable. And when you compare the lifetime earnings of college graduates to those who only have high school diplomas, it seems financially foolish. However, the growing number of apprenticeship opportunities offers an alternative that’s not considered by most students. Continue reading “The Apprenticeship Alternative: What You Need to Know”

50-50 Highlights: Colleges with Free Application Fees

(This post originally appeared on DIYCollegeRankings.com)

Everyone knows that the college has become expensive but just applying to them can set you back a nice chunk of change as well. Application fees are hitting $100 for some institutions. Think about the next time you hear about some student applying to 20 schools. According to the Integrated Public Education Data System (IPEDS), among all public and private schools with 500 or more full-time undergraduates, the average application fee is $34, with the public universities having a higher average of $39 than private ones at $31. I have a list of all free schools at 426 Colleges with Free Application Fees. Continue reading “50-50 Highlights: Colleges with Free Application Fees”

24 Places to Get Help with the FAFSA

(This post originally appeared on DIYCollegeRankings.com)

In case you haven’t heard, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available on October 1st this year. That means that it’s time for high school seniors to fill out the FAFSA. If you don’t think you need to fill out the FAFSA, you need to read I won’t qualify for financial aid, why should I fill out the FAFSA? The Department of Education estimates the average time to complete the FAFSA, including gathering documents, to take two hours and it is two hours well spent. If you find yourself needing some help with the FAFSA, try these resources first. Continue reading “24 Places to Get Help with the FAFSA”