Happy New Year


Happy New Year’s to you!

I hope you had a lovely holiday. My husband and I were fortunate to be able to spend this time with our daughter Caitlin and our son Ben over the break. The photo you see is of our family earlier this week at the lighthouse at the Point Reyes National Seashore, which is the windiest spot on the West Coast and also one of the most beautiful.

Ben, a 2014 graduate of Beloit College (math major) and the recipient of an education master’s degree at the University of Denver in 2105, is spending his first year teaching math at an alternative high school in the Denver public school system.

Caitlin, a 2011 graduate of Juniata College (Spanish major) is the director of marketing at Rokenbok, an educational toy company in San Diego.

Favorite College Posts

Heading into the New Year, I’m sharing some of my favorite posts from 2015 that are worth reading if you missed them. Or you might want to reread them.

At the end of the list, I also share an eye-opening piece from one of my favorite higher-ed observers that I would strongly urge you to read.

Here goes in no particular order:

Schools That Meet 100% of Financial Need

Less than six dozen colleges and universities claim that they meet 100% of the financial need for at least most of their students. In this post, I explain what that means and also share the names.

Your First Financial Aid Step

If you’re hoping to obtain financial aid or just wondering if you have a chance of qualifying for it, you should absolutely obtain your Expected Family Contribution. I explain what this important figure is and how to obtain it.

Colleges versus Universities: Which Are Bargains?

Research universities are far less likely to give families a price break than colleges. Private colleges give discounts to 89% of freshmen, but the percentage of private research universities that provide discounts is significantly lower. In this post, you’ll learn why.

Stop Fixating on These College

You and your teenager will be far less stressed out about college if you throw a wider net when searching for schools. Expanding your search can also result in a less expensive bachelor’s degree.

Deciphering Misleading Financial Aid Letters

The season for financial aid letters will be kicking into high gear soon. Unfortunately many schools generate confusing financial aid letters and sometimes this is deliberate. If you don’t know how to read an award letter, you will be less likely to know you have been lowballed.

And Read This…

The Fundamental Way That Universities Are an Illusion

This is one of my favorite higher-ed stories of 2015 that Kevin Carey,  an astute higher-ed observer, wrote. If you are tempted to pick a university by it’s general reputation (and many people are), you should read this op-ed piece in The New York Times.

By reading the piece, you will discover that universities are not monolithic organization that offer uniformly excellent, good or middling classroom experiences. The real differences do not occur among schools but often within department within a single institution. This reality means you will have to dig deeper when researching institutions.



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