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The Responsibility of Freedom

Most teens eventually seek more independence from the watchful eyes of their parents, and many of them believe the freedom they so desire will be found attending college. Yet, just like Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolutionaries (or anyone seeking change), as so aptly advised:  Prudence, indeed will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and…

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How to Forecast the Expense of College

College admissions officers award merit scholarships to demonstrate their “value” of a student’s high school experience like signing bonuses for highly sought after employees. A merit scholarship acts as a “discount” on tuition, reducing the overall Cost of Attendance (COA) of any college education, as merit awards are typically renewable for four years.  Also, merit aid is awarded without regard…

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The search for merit aid begins with the proper valuation of a college degree

“Do you help with scholarships?” is often one of the first questions that parents ask me. Fearful of the ever-increasing cost of college tuition, they (mis)perceive a college education as a large purchase, rather than an investment.  To invest in a college education, both institution and family mutually consent to a partnership. Yet, in any partnership, both parties must first…

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Coming Changes to the FAFSA

Over the next three years, the Federal Department of Education will phase in changes to the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Aid, which may increase out of pocket college costs for families, yet reduce the complexity of applying for need-based financial aid. The following are highlights of the changes, as well as recommendations for families to consider:   NUMBER OF…

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University of California Regents To Consider Raising Tuition Starting in Fall 2022

In Summer 2021, the University of California (UC) Regents will likely consider a proposal to raise tuition by 2% plus inflation starting in Fall 2022. Tuition would be frozen for six years for the Class of 2026 (those students starting college in Fall 2022).  Then, each year, tuition would again be raised 2% plus inflation, each subsequent tuition increase frozen…

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Imperfect information to seek value in education

Education is often one of the most complicated investments people make in their lifetime.  As such, accurate information is essential, yet often difficult to acquire thus only increasing the risk of educational malinvestment.  There is a cornucopia of free information regarding every possible educational issue known to man, but remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for…” and…

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SUMMER, A Childhood Internship for Living True

For many of today’s kids, experience is often confined to playdates, organized sports, tutoring sessions, afterschool homework centers, and summer camps—all structured programs where the young rarely risk failure or rejection and are often rewarded no matter their engagement or achievement. As a consequence, the youngest generation are fragile, unpracticed at navigating life when it doesn’t quite work according to…

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The Top 100 Colleges in the U.S. Ranked by Tuition

How to assess the value of a college education in order to avoid malinvestment

Comparing the published price of tuition along with the size of the student population can be one metric to value a university education. However, “shopping” colleges on price alone is shortsighted, thus families may overlook valuable educational opportunities.  Instead families should determine the value of any college education by discussing answers to reflective questions, starting with, “Why is a student…

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Advice on How to Answer COVID-Related Questions on College Applications

In the increasing subjectivity of admissions, as grades are affected by the transition to virtual learning and many extracurricular activities have been canceled or suspended until further notice, college admissions officers are seeking information about what students had planned, yet did instead.  Thus, students should reflect on their COVID-interrupted educational experience, to add context for their academic and extracurricular resumes…

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Challenging Employment Prospects for Class of 2021 Grads

Class of 2020 and 2021 college grads, anxious to shop their abilities amongst employers, will confront a complex labor market post the 2020 COVID-influenced economic meltdown.   As Class of 2021 graduates emerge from the chrysalis of college, seeking entry into the professional class, they may instead queue up behind the 45% of their Class of 2020 peers who are still…

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Uncommonly Common Advice for Graduates Seeking Collaboration instead of More Competition

As new college grads join the ranks of the career-minded, dutifully employed professional, hopeful yet apprehensive in the concomitant uncertainty, I’m sharing advice from Avni, who’s a few years post college graduation. Her wisdom as she reflected on her few years working full time wrangling adulthood, then wondering what if… I would give two pieces of advice to anyone who…

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Post-Pandemic Innovation in Education a Real Possibility

During the last fifteen months of living a pandemic disrupted experience, kids experienced unstructured days amidst distance learning and suspension of regularly scheduled activities. Simply seeking to stave off boredom, many (re)discovered talents.   Perhaps a break from running on the hamster wheel of modern family life, chasing prosperity was just what we needed. Pandemics throughout history have disrupted, short-circuiting the status…

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Preparation in preparation for the application process

In preparing for college applications, families often skip discussions about how they’ll work together to manage the process. Yet, without such frank discussions, families may add stress in an already complicated process thus risk strategic missteps and even malinvestment.  Several suggestions for discussion points, an agenda for family discussions about college: Regarding the college essay editorial process:  Do parents (both,…

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