October 31, 2016

Can Merit Aid Affect A Choice Between Similar State Universities?

There is a saying among North Dakota football fans when describing the rivalry between their state universities: If you want to work the farm, you go to North Dakota State. If you want to own the farm you go to the University of North Dakota. It’s a fair bet that […]
July 28, 2016

Avoid the Pitfalls of Private Student Loans

When I started college nearly 40 years ago, the costs of room, board, tuition and books at Rutgers were less than $3,000. I took out a loan for a little more than half the money, got help from my parents as well as small scholarships, and took  a part-time job […]
July 27, 2016

What Causes Summer Melt In College Admissions?

The middle to end of July is usually a great time for a college admissions officer to take a vacation. High schools are typically out of session. Too few students are on campus to make campus events as worthwhile as they might be during the school year. But too many […]
April 11, 2016

Careful Reading Those Financial Aid Award Letters

With acceptance letters comes financial aid award letters. These are just as important for college-bound seniors who must make their college choice by May 1st. Ideally, a financial aid award letter should tell you: The total cost of attendance at the school. This is tuition, fees, room and board and […]
January 6, 2016

You Received a Merit Scholarship. What Should You Do?

More and more colleges offer merit-based versus need-based scholarship aid to prospective students, whether they need the aid or not. A college’s merit scholarship policy might not always be fair. But please keep in mind that colleges, like businesses and branches of government, have agendas. Why have colleges gone in […]
January 4, 2016

Why Are College Costs So High?

If you have been touring college campuses you have likely experienced “sticker shock” when you hear the rates for tuition and fees, room and board during the information sessions. Even the price of textbooks will make you wince. If you went to college yourself, you’re bound to wonder why the […]
December 30, 2015

How to Read Into Talk of a Tuition and Fee Increase

Yesterday, after writing my post about the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a reader sent me a link to an article about a proposed non-resident tuition and fee increase, which I also shared on this site. I recommend that any family considering one or more of the Big Ten schools read […]
September 2, 2015

Its Not Too Early for College Freshmen to Get Serious About Personal Finance

  Yesterday Huff Post College ran an article,  Top 5 Tips for College Success and Beyond, co-authored by Lisa Kaess, founder and producer of Feminomics.com and myself. This is the first of two articles where Lisa and I will provide personal finance tips for incoming college freshmen. This first article covers “macro” tips […]
August 10, 2015

Choosing a College Is-and Is Not-Like Shopping for a New Car

Last week I made an unexpected purchase. I bought a new car. My travels to schools had put a lot of wear and tear on the one that I traded in. I have been a car enthusiast most of my life, though I really hate the sales process as well […]