Posts Tagged ‘academic scholarships’

Finding A Financial Safety School

Monday, August 15th, 2011

I have always felt that the most important school is your safety school. In my mind a safety school isn’t just a school where you know that you will be accepted, since there are over 2,400 colleges in the US everyone will get in to at least one, but it is a school where you know you will be accepted and you will be happy if you have to go there. However, with the current state of the economy, it isn’t enough just to get accepted to a college, you have to be able to pay for it as well. That is where the financial safety comes in. For many students, that has become a state college in their home state or a community college in their home state. Yet, there are still many more options. Many states participate in regional states programs, where you can get reduced tuition at a state school in another state, if the major isn’t offered in your home state. Here is a link to a previous article we had written about regional states programs.

In addition, you can use to help you locate private colleges where you are eligible for merit scholarships that might bring the actual cost of the college below your home state school. We have added features to allow you to search by four of the five factors that we think are critical in making a good college match (the fifth is quality of life, and you need to determine that on your own by visiting and other resources). Here are the other four:

· Academic Profile:  Can I get in to the school? How competitive is the admissions process? In our advanced search, you can sort by the level of competition of admission. You can choose more than one category, or all of them if you would like.

· Academic Program: Does the school have the major I want? Remember, most students end up changing their major, so does the school have enough majors that I am interested in? Again, you can sort by area of study in our advanced search.

· Size: If I don’t need to go to class, will I still go? Do I want to be more than a number? Do I need more opportunities in case I change my mind? Do I need more individual attention? How do I learn best?

· Geography: Where in the country do I want to study? Do I want to be in a city, suburb, or rural area?

The final sort you can run is to choose to only see schools where you are eligible for money, or all schools that meet your academic criteria. The best way to find your financial safety is to show the schools where you are eligible for money. In minutes you can easily locate your financial safeties. We do charge a $24 fee for a one-year premium membership, however, we give you a free one-day trial so that you can see the value before you decide to pay. We also have a number of other resources that we will highlight in future blog posts.

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3 Ways Private Colleges Offer More Tuition Discounts than Public Colleges

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

College is the hope of all young people who want to get ahead in life and obtain a better job with higher pay in the future. A mix of today’s economy and rising tuition prices make it hard for everyone who wants to go to college to be able to attend. But it is not impossible. Public colleges generally have lower tuition than private schools, but often lack the prestige of their private counterparts. However, one of the advantages of attending a private college is that they generally offer more tuition discounts than public schools.

Income-based discounts

First of all, most private and public colleges offer some type of needs-based financial assistance. However, because public colleges often have lower tuition to begin with, they tend to offer less dollar amounts than private colleges. One of the reasons public schools can offer lower tuition is that they are subsidized by taxpayers. Private schools, on the other hand, don’t rely on taxes for support. Rather they generate income through alumni, donors, and the prestige of their faculty, as well as the tuition of students. So, in general, private college tuition is higher, but those colleges are more likely to offer large amounts of financial assistance to promising students who otherwise might not be able to afford the cost. For example, Ivy League colleges, like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, offer needs-based tuition assistance to smart, yet underprivileged, students.

Religious and group affiliation

Private colleges can also offer more tuition discounts because they are able to offer discounts based on religious or group affiliation. Public institutions cannot offer tuition discounts for religious or group affiliation, but because private intuitions are not funded by public money, they have much greater discretion in offering tuition discounts. For example, Brigham Young University offers discounted tuition to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many other religious-based and bible colleges offer discounts to students who are members of a certain faith. Private colleges can also offer discounts to members of certain professional or social organizations.

Special incentives

Lastly, private colleges are much more likely to offer tuition discounts as special incentives to specific students. Public institutions often have policies regarding tuition discounts that outline specific requirements that they cannot deviate from and still receive tax funding. On the other hand, private institutions can offer tuition discounts to any student they feel is valuable, desirable, or brings certain skills or prestige to the school. For example, if a student has been accepted to multiple colleges and universities, a private college may offer a tuition discount as an incentive to that student, if they feel the student would be a valuable asset to their school. These types of tuition discounts are offered on an individual basis and are not generally offered to large groups of students.

If you are contemplating going to college but are worried about the cost, it might be worth it to check out the extra assistance that private colleges may be able to offer you.

Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and online classes.

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A Financial Aid Checklist for High School Juniors and Seniors

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
The University of New Haven is a Liberal Arts college with an emphasis on Career Preparation.

The University of New Haven is a Liberal Arts college with an emphasis on Career Preparation.

The financial aid application process can be exhausting and complicated. Some students, through preparation or chance, will find the process easy because they have at their disposal everything that they need. However, many are left confused and alone five minutes before their colleges’ financial aid application deadlines. If you read (and use!) the following list, you will be one of the former rather than the latter.


The good news: You can take your time! Set aside 30 minutes each day and begin to browse through scholarships. Apply for all of them that you can find, which won’t be many compared to the number that you’ll find next year.

The bad news: It’s difficult to stay motivated during junior year, and your likelihood of winning multiple scholarships is low. Remember, financial aid is a marathon not a sprint; hang in there!

· Necessary Information:

· Your parents or guardians’ complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of their assets, including home value but excluding tax-exempt, 401K type retirement plans

· Your complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of your assets

Things to-do:

· Start your scholarship search.

· Apply to all of the scholarships for which you are eligible.

· Draft a rough list of the colleges to which you plan to apply, and check their financial aid offerings and requirements.

· Begin to consult with your high school counselor (make him or her your friend).

· Consult with your parents’ financial advisor, their tax preparer, or a family member who knows a lot about finance. Ask questions about the taxability of specific scholarships and financial aid components in order to get a better idea of how much college will cost.


The good news: You are the prime target for most scholarships! Seniors in general are more likely to win scholarships than students in any other grade, and it will be easier for you to start a confidence-snowball.

The bad news: The second semester of senior year is the 11th hour for financial aid. Get ready for late nights and weekends of essay writing. Just remember, many students will be in the same position.

Necessary Information:

· Your parents or guardians’ complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of their assets, including home value but excluding tax-exempt, 401K type retirement plans

· Your complete tax returns and W2 Forms

· A list containing the net value of each of your assets

Things to-do:

· Spend an hour or more each day looking for scholarships.

· Apply to all of them for which you are eligible.

· Finalize your list of colleges and figure out the net cost of each. Carefully read each college’s financial aid application instructions (you’ll submit much of the necessary information when you apply to each school, unless you plan to do so early).

· Consult extensively with your high school counselor about financial aid options, and ask him or her to proofread your applications.

· Pose any last-minute tax related questions to your parents’ financial advisor, their tax preparer, or a family member who has extensive knowledge of personal finance.

The financial aid application process can be taxing and confusing. However, if you use the checklist outlined above, you will have an advantage over many applicants.

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College Treasure Database Update Complete

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

We are exited to announce that after several months of diligent work by our staff of researchers, the database update at is finally complete! The database now contains over 3,300 different scholarship opportunities from over 1,200 different colleges. The average value of a scholarship in our database is $12,353 per year. Most are renewable for all 4 years, which puts the actual value at close to $50,000. As our data set is now much more robust, we are planning on adding other means of searching the data in the near future. We anticipate adding functions to allow you to search for talent based scholarships (art, music, theater), guaranteed scholarships, and minority scholarships. Currently all of those scholarships would be mixed in with your results, but we hope to offer students and parents a means to streamline this process soon.

The charge to access this data base is a nominal $85 annual subscription fee to families. This is approximately the cost of one college application. So, if you apply to one-less school because you know you are not eligible for any scholarships, you have already broken even without even winning one of the scholarships. In We encourage families who are eligible for an SAT fee waiver to contact us directly, if they are interested in searching the database.

Two recent surveys had over 50% of families only allowing their children to apply to in-state state schools. However, a recent article on Yahoo reports that states are cutting their budgets to educational grant programs and this is leaving many students with large gaps of unmet need. Now more than ever it is important to research college-based merit scholarships ahead of time. This is documented by an article this past week in the Wall Street Journal that shows many families are facing a last minute tuition crunch. Many families do not apply to private universities because they fear the sticker price, however, their children may be eligible for a merit scholarship that would bring the cost in line with that of a state university. We spent over a 1,000 hours researching the available scholarship programs, and now in minutes you can locate schools where you are eligible for scholarships. is an attempt to bring clarity to the college financing picture. In addition to the data base we provide articles and tips about the need-based aid process. If you are a college, and would like to have us create a free account for you so that you can update your scholarship information and publicize your scholarships to interested students, email Our goal is to create partnership with the colleges to help publicize their scholarship programs and help potential students avoid the “sticker shock” created by learning about the tuition at their favorite colleges.

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