UC Raises Tuition: A Sign of Fiscal Troubles?

The University of California (UC) will begin raising tuition annually starting in Fall 2022 and extending through at least Fall 2026. However, tuition will be raised for each incoming class of first year and transfer students, then held flat throughout the remainder of their years at the UC.  For Fall 2022 applicants, rising high school seniors on the cusp of…

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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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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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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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Consider College Value to Avoid Malinvestment

According to famed investor and one of the world’s wealthiest men, Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay and value is what you get.” And, given that the total price for college continues to rise at a rate greater than consumer price inflation, and families have already invested considerable capital as well as effort to prepare for college, it would…

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Paying for College: Risk Versus Reward

The 1200% increase in college tuition over the last four decades, outpacing inflation by nearly 1000%, is Reason Number One parents often anxiously ask me about how their kid can apply for scholarships. As the conversation unfolds, many often also reveal having saved some for their children’s college expenses, though the amount is woefully inadequate, and are now looking for…

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College Tuition Increase = College Value Decrease?

For many higher education institutions, like the University of California (UC), the fiscal losses are growing as the health emergency extends, precipitating the need for a tuition increase. As reported in a December 12 Los Angeles Times article:  Systemwide, UC took a $2.7-billion financial hit between March and October — about 6.5% of its $41.6-billion operating budget, mainly from lost…

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College Tuition Discounts To Continue

Private universities discounted tuition in the form of merit scholarships and grants nearly 50% on average in the 2019-20 school year. Furthermore, tuition discounts for the 2020-21 school are forecasted to be 52.6% for full time, first year students, according to data from National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). And, in the current COVID-induced disruption of higher…

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The Downside of the Academic Meritocracy

The sentiments of a current second-year college student attending a public flagship university in California when reflecting on the perils of the academic meritocracy: Rewarding/punishing requires less effort [by faculty and students] though, making it the easier default [system for measuring academic performance]. Assigning expectations, whether positive or negative, is a low-effort path that leads to lots of power/authority [on…

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“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

So, said Warren Buffet, net worth $86 billion. Tuition can be a measurement of value, as in, “What’s the value of the education for the number of dollars exchanged?” When families question the “affordability” of a particular college, as in, “Do I have enough money to pay for X College?”, they’re in essence determining the value of one college’s education for…

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Can I Change My 650 Word Common Application Essay After Submitting It?

Updated: November 2020 from the original posted in July 2018 The short answer is yes…with an *.  [See Below] But, like any life-impacting decision, the short answer doesn’t account for the complexities of choosing a college.  And, the last three words are what’s most important to keep in mind:  YOU, the applicant, are the one who’s doing the choosing of…

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The 2021-22 FAFSA Is Open

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, which U.S. universities use to determine what, if any, financial assistance for families, opened on October 1, 2020. Parents and students can submit the form online, only requiring some time and patience to complete, what can, on first glance, be reminiscent of a complex tax form. Furthermore,…

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Is Sentiment the Cost Now that Freedom Has Been Lost?

The Modern College, a place where students guided by mentors, supported by peers, experiment with adult responsibilities, free to discover their life’s purpose, only impersonates its Pre-COVID self.  To mitigate health risks of the pandemic, in March and again in Fall 2020, university administrators are restricting students’ freedoms, for which they believe they must, yet, in doing so, their actions…

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