Comparing Schools: You be the Judge!

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Don’t rely on expert rankings or any other shortcuts.

Take your time, do your research, assess each school on its own merits and your desires and you’ll compile the list of schools right for you.

Before starting your research, brainstorm and list the features you believe are important in any school you’ll consider, such as location and size.

Rank those attributes in order of importance. Also, identify which criteria you might use in the event a tie-breaker is needed.

Research schools of interest, ranking your schools via the criteria you’ve identified. Assign points to each criteria – the more important, the higher the point value. Add up the points for each school, then rank them from most pointes to fewest.

Finally, visit schools. What looks great on paper may seem wrong during the visit.

Trust your gut!

Need help finding the best schools with the most favorable gifting formulas for your student?  Contact our Professional College Planners to schedule your meeting today!

Private Colleges & Tuition Discounts

When considering the affordability of a 4-year college education, parents and students focus rather intensely on “sticker price.” And, although those “sticker prices” are horrendously frightening, leading families to eliminate private schools that appear to be financially unavailable, the price is merely one facet of the equation on which a family should focus.

Eliminating private schools based on price alone can be a rather HUGE mistake!

According to a recent report issued by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (Yes…there seems to be an organization for everyone…), with respect to private schools:

“The share of tuition and fee revenues these schools are devoting to grants rose to its highest level ever in the 2016 to 2017academic year – 44.2% for all undergraduates and 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshmen.”

Private schools acknowledge that their published cost-of-attendance terrifies families, leading them to eliminate what may be the best school for their children from their list of possibilities.

Unfortunately, those families typically fail to understand that almost no family winds up actually paying the published price.

Private schools offer widespread discounts. This discounting means that almost all freshmen receive some kind of deal. Private schools offer discounts for a variety of reasons:

  1. Due to the Great Recession, and stagnant wages, many, many families find the published prices of private schools unaffordable.
  2. Based on demographics, private schools are competing for a declining pool of qualified candidates.
  3. The need to attract certain categories of students (i.e., very qualified and/or very wealthy).

A private school will do what it can to make the education it provides more affordable. If a private school truly wants a student, it will do everything it can to attract the student and make the price work for the family.

Do you know what private schools to approach? Do you have a plan in place that addresses how to handle your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

How to properly fund a college education may be one of your family’s most important financial decisions. Contact our Professional College Planners to begin your college planning campaign.