41 Most Expensive Public Colleges for Low-Income Students

hands holding pennies with note saying college fund representing most expensive public colleges for low income students

Most low income students shouldn’t count on financial aid to pay completely for college. The number of colleges in the country that meet 100% of financial need is less than 100. Out of over 1,500 four-year institutions with 500 or more full-time undergraduates, only around 5% will meet 100% of financial need. And these are… Continue reading


What is the Common Data Set?

2 little kids researching 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

college student holding money representing 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


Who Decides What are the Best and Most Interesting Colleges?

students researching best 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


Why Your College Search Should Start with Your State University

picture of college graduates representing why you should compare collegesShould Start with Your State University

The college search process and figuring out how to pay for it can be confusing and intimidating so it’s not surprising that many families don’t even know where to start. For most people, the obvious place to start is with their state public universities. The logic is simple, private schools are going to be more… Continue reading