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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Beware of Admissions CON-sultants Hiding in Your Midst

Amidst the rise of the academic meritocracy, as increasing numbers of students qualify for then apply to college, selectivity for admissions annually increases, yet high school counseling staff has been inadequate for the demand, thus many families seek the help of private admissions consultants. But, in the Era of Educational Experts, when qualifications and motivations to help families range widely,…

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Is the College Landscape Experiencing a Tectonic Shift Post Pandemic?

The effects of the COVID-induced disruptions to education have yet to be quantified in the intermediate and long term, thus educators struggling to redefine “normal” learning for years to come, as an entire COVID-affected generation, Pre-K through College, matriculates through the educational system. Additionally, the SAT, an 80 year old admissions requirement, is being summarily dismissed and subsequently, questioned. Students…

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The Summer of the Long Goodbye

Soon-to-be first year college students all over the world are separating from their childhoods—saying, “Goodbye” to friends, leaving their childhood bedrooms, and now emerging as an adult, learning to partner with their parents. They’re establishing their first households outside their family homes, a complicated endeavor often involving new responsibilities.  In readying to move, students are combing through a childhood’s worth…

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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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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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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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A chance for real education reform borne from the struggle with COVID exists today

As millions of students (and their parents) discovered the potential of learning from home during the COVID-induced dispersion of entire schools into an educational diaspora, some lessons learned will endure. As we recall students and teachers onto campuses, attempting to reconnect school communities, an opportunity for real innovation in education dawns, though not without struggle. In response to Ms. Washington’s…

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BEWARE: Adulting May Not Meet Expectations

For many, we longed to be an “adult” from early childhood, seeking freedom from restrictions imposed “for our own good” by well-intentioned adults (namely our parents and teachers). However, perhaps what we’re seeking is simply agency to determine our own life’s course.  But, two years into college, now on the cusp of assuming responsibility for their lives, but somewhat novice…

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