What is the Common Data Set?
What does it mean? The Common Data Set refers to data collected by a group of publishers including US News Best College Rankings, The College Board, Petersons, and Wintergreen Orchard. The data includes information that is not part of government data including percentage of students receiving merit aid and the percentage of students that have… Continue reading
The Very Short List of Colleges that Meet 100% of Need
As families start to encounter sticker prices during their college search, they are often revived from their state of shock by soothing voices whispering, “it’s ok, it doesn’t include financial aid.” Students and their parents learn the conventional wisdom that hardly anyone pays full price at private colleges. While true, unfortunately this is when too… Continue reading
What is financial aid gapping?
What does it mean? When students submit their financial aid application, they receive a number they are expected to pay called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). When you subtract the EFC from the total cost of attendance for a specific college, the amount left over is considered the student’s financial need. If a college’s financial… Continue reading
Who Decides What are the Best and Most Interesting Colleges?
I was recently working on a custom list of colleges and the client was “confused” as to why two colleges were on the list, McDaniel College and Valparaiso University. She couldn’t find them listed in her Fiske Guide and so had no idea why we had selected the colleges. My problem isn’t with the client… Continue reading
What is merit aid?
What does it mean? Merit aid is a type of college financial aid. Colleges provide merit aid as an incentive for select students to attend their institution. Generally, these students have academic qualifications that would contribute to raising the college’s academic profile. Often students do not even have to apply for institutional merit scholarships.… Continue reading