Financial Aid, Admissions, and "Need Blind" Policies

Clients have asked me repeatedly to explain the relationship between the financial aid and admissions offices, and to help them to understand how financial need is factored into admissions decisions.  Usually these questions revolve around whether a college is “need blind” or “need aware.”  So in this post, I’ll try to shed some light on […]

Tuition Costs Went Up. What a Surprise!

The annual report from the College Board indicates that the cost of tuition went up last year.  On average, costs increased from 5-6%, depending on the type of institution.  If you want more specifics, you can see the summary of the report in today’s edition of Inside Higher Ed. The big question is how much […]

The Credit Crunch and Financial Aid: What Will It Mean for College Admissions?

The press is full of startling articles about the impact of the economic downturn on financial aid.  For example, George Washington University is likely to transfer a portion of its financial aid budget for next year to students currently enrolled.  The private university fears that a significant portion of its student may have to leave […]

Falling Stock Markets and College Budgets: Mergers & Bankruptcies on the Horizon?

Forbes posted an article on October 22, foretelling hard times in the country’s higher education industry.  With falling stockmarkets, declining endowments, and some colleges having loaded up with debt in the past decade or so, the article predicts that some colleges may be swallowed up by financially stronger competitors, or will at the very least […]

College Tuition–Is It Worth It?

Generally speaking, investing in yourself is a smart idea. More education usually leads to more opportunity, better jobs, and higher income. However, many students have no idea how to think about the investment in financial terms. For example, does it make sense to spend $100,000 and take on tens of thousands in loans in order […]

In Defense of Large University Endowments

The Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece today written by Anthony W. Marx, the president of Amherst College, in which he eloquently defended independent decision-making by independent colleges.  In the past year or so, Congress has had its knickers in a twist about the rising value of college endowments at some private colleges–even as […]

Artist Portfolio Review at National Portfolio Day

My clients who aspire toward a career in fine art know that they need to prepare a portfolio of their work to present to admissions officers.  These portfolios need to show off their best work, and provide a window into their creative thought processes. Most students interested in admission to a school of art and […]

Kaplan Test Prep: An Evaluation

I just finished reading Jeremy Miller’s article in the September issue of Harper’s. It’s entitled, “Tyranny of the Test:  One Year as a Kaplan coach in the public schools.” The focus of the article is Kaplan‘s corporate foray into the tutoring business, which has mushroomed since the implementation of No Child Left Behind, which requires […]

What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing In WYOMING?

During my recent visit to the University of Wyoming, I came across two women chattering away in Mandarin Chinese.  While one was Chinese, the other was from Saipan, a small island in the South Pacific that is within the US Commonwealth (like Puerto Rico or Guam). Her name is Jennifer “J.J.” Jang, and she’s a […]

How Americans Pay for College

Sallie Mae and Gallup released a new annual survey on how families in the US pay for college. It yields a great deal of information.  One of the problems in analyzing this data, however, is the huge variety of colleges student attend, the financial circumstances of those families, and the enormous varance in the price […]