Archive for 'College Finance'

It’s that time of year again, when frenzied students can be found scrambling to turn in college applications across the country. But while most students are worried about crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s, many forget that, in addition to being stressful, college applications can be costly.

1 in 4 Students Submits 7 or More College Applications

According to a 2010 survey conducted by College Board, 90% of four-year, not-for-profit colleges have an average application fee around $40. A recent NACAC Admissions Trends survey found that 1 in 4 students now submits 7 or more college applications. Those application fees can certainly put a dent in your wallet!

Enter to Win $250 Toward Your College Application Fees

Sound scary? Don’t worry – StudentAdvisor and Kaplan Test Prep have got you covered. We’ve teamed up to give away $250 to help one lucky student pay their application fees this Fall.

Win $250 to Help Pay Your College Application

Win $250 to Help Pay Your College Application

Want to win $250 toward your college application fees? Enter now before November 17th!

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Free money for college? Absolutely!, is announcing the first ever $24,000 Scholarships All-Nighter to be awarded on April 26th – 27th as part of College Decision Month 2011. Every college student is eligible for one of twenty-four $1000 Scholarships simply by visiting and writing a review of their college. Scholarship Scholarship

“College is incredibly expensive so it is thrilling to be able to offer $24,000 in scholarships to students currently in college as well as alumni,” said Dean Tsouvalas, Editor-in-Chief of “It’s a rare opportunity to help change someone’s life for the better and also pay your student bills.”

Tsouvalas continued, “April is a critical month as students decide which school is the right fit because many deposits are due at schools May 1st. By writing an honest review of your college experience you are helping students and their families not only make the right choice but help them find the place where they will thrive.”

IT’S AS EASY AS 1-2-3!
Simply –
1. Visit
2. Next, write a review of your college
3. Post your review to enter to win one of the Decision Month Scholarships

Quality counts and the most helpful reviews will win!

The Decision Month Scholarships are open to current college students and alumni and you must be at least 18 years old to enter. Visit between now and April 26, 2011 to submit your college review.

One $1000 Scholarship will be announced each hour during the $24,000 Scholarships All-Nighter that will be live on the web from the offices in Boston, MA. The announcements begin at NOON on Tuesday, April 26 and last for 24 hours.

Even parents and faculty are eligible. Entering is easy and you could win one of twenty-four $1,000 scholarships to use as you want for tuition, books, and other expenses – you decide!

Also, if you haven’t visited our just released ranking of the Top 100 Social Media Colleges by all means check out how colleges around the country are leveraging social media for their online communities.  We will be updating the rankings approximately once each month.

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Sodexo Foundation STOP Hunger Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications

Recognizing and Rewarding Students who Fight Hunger in America with $5,000 Scholarships

The Sodexo Foundation, the anti-hunger charitable arm of Sodexo, Inc., opened applications for its national STOP Hunger Scholarship program on January 1, 2011.

Sodexo Foundation Stop Hunger

Sodexo Foundation Stop Hunger

Up to five students will be selected as national winners. Each will receive a $5,000 scholarship award and a matching $5,000 grant in their name for the hunger charity of their choice. In addition, up to 20 students will earn regional recognition, with a $1,000 donation in their name to the hunger charity of their selection. The deadline for applications is February 18, 2011. For a complete description of the program or an online application visit

The STOP Hunger Scholarships recognize students (K-grad school) who are driving awareness and mobilizing youth to be catalysts for innovative models and solutions to eliminate hunger in America.  First introduced in 2007, the scholarships support the education of young people who are working to end hunger in communities across the country – and to draw attention to the innovative and effective solutions that they are implementing toward ending hunger in their lifetime.

“One in four people on line at food banks is a child,” said Stephen J. Brady, president of the Sodexo Foundation. “The STOP Hunger Scholarship program recognizes that young people not only are the victims of this national tragedy, many of them are offering fresh, creative and effective solutions so that their friends and neighbors – and even complete strangers – have enough to eat.”

According to Share Our Strength, millions of kids struggle with hunger. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more than 17 million kids don’t get the food they need. That’s millions of kids who are sick more often, have trouble learning, and are more likely to develop behavioral and emotional problems.

The scholarships will be presented on June 9, 2011 at the Sodexo Foundation Dinner in Washington, D.C.

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an accredited education institution (kindergarten through graduate school) in the United States and be able to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to hunger-relief activities in their community.

The deadline for applications is February 18, 2011. For a complete description of the program or an online application visit

Watch videos of the 2010 recipients of the Stop Hunger Scholarship

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The only thing predictable about today’s economy is that it will have an impact on just about every aspect of life. To avoid creating unmanageable financial obligations, students planning to attending college or career school should sort out their budgets ahead of time and take advantage of every available funding resource, including federal and state financial aid.

Here are 10 financial aid tips from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

1. Apply, apply, apply

Many families will be affected by the economy and financial situations may change from one week to the next. This means that students ineligible for financial aid now maybe become eligible with any change in income, so you should always fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) every year, even if you think you won’t qualify for aid.

2. Know and meet financial aid application deadlines

Be aware of the deadlines for your financial aid application paperwork and meet them. Keep in mind that you have to apply for financial aid every year, it’s not a one time thing. Also, the deadline at your college may be different from your best friend’s college down the road, so make sure you know the deadline for your college.

10 Ways to Find Financial Aid

10 Ways to Find Financial Aid

3. Financial aid application requirements vary from school to school

All schools require a FAFSA form but some colleges require an additional form – the CSS/Financial Aid Profile. Requirements for grants and scholarships may also include additional paperwork.

4. Understand the definition of Expected Family Contribution

The family contribution is the amount that a family can contribute towards the student’s school costs, as determined by the college. The family contribution is based on the information the student provides in the FAFSA and sometimes the CSS/Financial Aid Profile forms. The dollar amount of the family contribution is not necessarily what a family will pay and the amount could differ depending on the college.

5. Know the overall cost necessary to attend college

It important to calculate costs for books, supplies and transportation, in addition to tuition, fees and housing when considering paying for college. As usual, the amount a student receives for these additional costs will vary depending on the school.

6. Understand that there may be a difference between a student’s eligibility and a student’s need

If a student can meet all the requirements for a Pell Grant, their college must award them the funds. However, because a student is eligible for a Pell Grant does not automatically make them eligible for other types of aid.

7. Know the difference between need-based and merit-based financial aid

Merit-based aid is aid given to students based on their academic performance. Need-based aid is awarded to students based specifically on their family’s documented financial circumstances.

8. Get educated in the many types of financial aid

Students can receive federal aid, state aid and/or institutional aid. Students can receive aid in the form of grants, loans or work. And, for the record, colleges see loans as a type of aid.

9. Read your financial aid award letter carefully

Award letters vary so make sure you are aware of whether your aid is a grant or a loan. Also, check to find out if your aid is renewable every year so that you can make the necessary arrangements regarding deadlines or finding a different means of aid.

10. Didn’t get the financial aid you wanted? Appeal the award letter

If your family’s financial situation changes for any reason, contact the financial-aid office at your college to discuss aid options. Many college financial-aid offices will do their best to assist families as unexpected situations arise and this year colleges and families alike are expecting such situations.

Since your financial situation may change in the coming months or more, be thorough and careful in your efforts to receive financial aid so that you can continue on your path toward an education and the possibility of a brighter future. If you apply the above 10 tips to managing your student aid, you will improve your chances of receiving financial aid despite the unpredictable economic times.

Are you a parent? Do you have a teen who is going of to college this fall?

Check out StudentAdvisor’s Parent’s Survival Guide – it provides tips and information to help you deal with this exciting transition period in your child’s life! There is also tons of information available about financial aid and how to juggle college expenses.

Start reading today!

  1. Identify the colleges which best meet your academic, extracurricular and geographic criteria. Investigate schools which represent a range of costs but do not let higher costs pay_for_collegekeep you from seeking admission.
  2. Understand the difference between scholarships and need-based financial aid. Merit-based scholarship aid may be awarded to students with exceptional abilities in academic, music or other areas. Need-based aid is available to students whose families need help in meeting college costs. Most schools, but not all, offer both types.
  3. Find out what types of aid are available at the schools you like best, which aid application forms are required, and the deadline for each school. College and university catalogs, financial aid brochures and Web sites, and admissions and financial aid staff are your best resources for this kind of information.
  4. Don’t rule out private colleges because they may seem to cost more. The chance that your financial need will be met is actually greater at a private college or university because many state-supported schools cannot offer as many financial aid options.
  5. Apply for the types of aid that best fit YOU. Everyone’s situation is different and everyone’s financial aid experience is too. Don’t exclude yourself from the process because your neighbor didn’t qualify for scholarships or other forms of financial aid.
  6. Consider the final cost to you rather than the listed price of the school. Understand how much of your expense can be met through financial aid programs. At many schools, the majority of students pay less than the listed price thanks to financial aid.
  7. Compare the aid packages, or the combination of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study awards, that you receive from different schools. Be sure that in each case you understand your family’s bottom line cost for the year, the amount of loans and the amount granted through student employment.
  8. Notify the Office of Financial Aid if there is a change in your family’s financial status in 2010. A financial aid package can be adjusted, even after the academic year begins, but the office can only consider special circumstances if they have the new information. Keep the lines of communication open.
  9. Investigate other kinds of long-term, low-interest loans and monthly payment plans. There are a number of opportunities for parents to borrow or to spread their payments out over the course of the year or over as many as 10 years. Be sure to check out federal loans with tax-deductible interest.
  10. Select the college that offers you the best long-term value for the price and where your educational needs will best be met. Work and save as much as you can to achieve your goal.

Originally compiled by Helen Nunn, Director of Financial Aid, Susquehanna University

Attention Single Moms! would love to hear feedback from Single Moms out there on the following questions!

  • What’s the best advice that you’ve ever been given? (Regarding your finances, going back to school, etc.?)
  • What would you like to see more information on? (either on EducationGrant, on the Internet, in magazines, etc.?)
  • What was most helpful for you when you were trying to/going back to school?

Please comment on the article below – your feedback is appreciated!



Are more expensive colleges worth it?Nowadays, the total cost of elite Ivy League schools like MIT, Rice, Duke, and Amherst are approximately $50,000 a year, but luckily many students pay less due to their financial aid packages. Public state universities cost less, and may be just as good as the private ones. The question that comes up often with students and families is: will going to a $50,000 school mean that you will make more money over time (and therefore justify the cost?)

Many people assume that students who go to elite colleges will make more money than those who don’t. asked graduates to report their earnings, and it was no surprise that students from schools like Dartmouth, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford reported the highest mid-career median earnings.

A 1998 study by economists Alan Kreuger and Stacey Dale looked at more than 14,000 people who started at elite colleges (as defined by SAT scores) in 1976, and compared their earnings 19 years later to students who applied to elite schools but went somewhere else. Basically their findings showed that it didn’t matter where the students went, as long as they were capable of going to the elite schools. Their research showed that earnings were unrelated to the selectivity of the college that students attended among those who had comparable options.

However, one thing worth noting was that the earning power of students from lower-income families definitely improved by attending elite schools. Caroline Hoxby, a respected educational economist, found that graduates of more selective colleges earned more than those who went to schools that were easier to get into. “If we compared two men with the same measured aptitude, the one who graduates from a more selective college still tends to earn more over his career”, Hoxby said.

The study did not take into account parents’ income, or the student’s choice of profession. If you attend an elite school but don’t go for the right degree program, it is not going to boost your earnings that much. And remember, a student’s character, ability, career choice, and fate are important factors when figuring out which school to attend.

Regardless of where you get it, earning an accredited and quality degree is important and will help you earn more. Answer a few simple questions and get matched to a degree program today!

Source: BNET,

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Usually students in their senior year of high school apply for financial aid, by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). At this time, most students have already decided which colleges they are applying to, and are making final choices about their academic future.

The U.S. Department of Education developed FAFSA4caster as an early estimator tool, because students should be researching and aware of their financial aid eligibility BEFORE their senior year of high school.

FAFSA4caster is not the financial aid application. High school juniors or seniors (in their first months of their senior year) should use this tool, as it provides them with more specific financial aid information. They can enter their information, and FAFSA4caster will estimate their financial aid eligibility. By doing so, they will already have this financial aid estimate when they start to look at potential colleges. It helps relieve some of the stress about whether or not they will be able to afford a particular school or not while they are conducting their college search.

FAFSA4caster also provides general information on financial aid, as well as helpful tips. You can also easily transfer your information from FAFSA4caster to FAFSA on the Web, once you are ready to officially apply for aid. It is meant to be a helpful resource to prepare students for their financial aid application process.

Applying for financial aid doesn’t have to be stressful! Start preparing today!

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A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that in recent decades it is taking longer for students to earn their bachelor’s degrees. This trend is not across the board for all colleges, but rather is more common among students who enroll at less competitive four-year public institutions and at community colleges.

Data from the study shows that of the students who graduated from high school in 1972, 58% earned a bachelor’s degree within four years of finishing high school, which many consider to be on time. For students who graduated in 1992, only 44% earned their bachelor’s degree within four years of finishing high school.why is it taking students longer to earn bachelor's degrees

There is a difference among the rate at which students complete their bachelor’s degree at public schools:

  • At top ranked public colleges and universities, 55.5% of students finished their bachelor’s degree in four years
  • At other state and local schools, only 34.7% of students finished their bachelor’s degree in four years.

People who want students to graduate more promptly need to focus on the schools’ budgets. Dwindling resources at less-selective public universities may be the cause for why degree attainment rates are lower than before.

There are links between school resources and the time it takes to earn bachelor’s degrees. In public institutions during the time of the study period, student-faculty ratios increased in overall public institutions from 25.5 to 29.8 students to 1 teacher. At the top ranked 50 institutions (and at private colleges), the ratios decreased meaning that teachers could pay more attention to each individual student, making the overall learning experience better.

Another factor increasing the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree is, with higher enrollment rates at schools the amount of resources per student decreases. The study found that for every 1% increase in a state’s population of 18 year olds, the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree increases by 0.71 years. And for those students studying NOT at the top ranked 50 institutions the increase in time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree is greater: 1.11 years.

One author of the study concluded, “That these increases are concentrated among students attending public colleges and universities outside the most selective, few suggests a need for more attention to how these institutions adjust to budget constraints and student demand, and how students at these colleges finance higher education.”

Check out more information on financial aid and ways to afford your college education.

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