The Cost of College

Hard Truth Alert: For most middle class or wealthier families, college will cost a fortune and tuition will increase faster than the yearly rate of inflation. A decent college option for your child costs a minimum of $25,000 per year, before any merit or financial aid. Since schools only keep 6 year graduation rates, we follow their assumption that it will take 6 years to matriculate. The cost is $150,000 for those 6 years. Your investment, however, is not for the 6 years but also for the additional 40 years of work your child most likely will put in. The math will tell you that the investment for those 46 years works out to be approximately $9.00 per... Read More »

How to Research A College Online

Lots of students and parents are bemused by the beautiful and complex websites that colleges and universities offer. Many college websites are plagued by information and image overload, perhaps as a specific marketing strategy aimed at capturing a viewer's attention immediately. American colleges spend beaucoup dollars researching the behavior of website visitors and focus much of their marketing muscle on creating an image of prestige and abundance with pictures of impressive facilities, student success stories, and faculty achievements.  However, all of this information and imagery does not tell one about what actually happens to real students at this particular college or university.  Fortunately, your friends at NACAC,  the National Association for College Admission Counseling, have shared some insights about how to get to the most relevant and unofficial information about... Read More »

Openings at Texas Colleges and Universities for Fall 2014 as of May 6, 2014

If you are still seeking a place to go to college this fall, do not fret; some options still exist.  Please see the attached PDF for openings available to freshman and transfer applicants for Fall 2014 at Texas colleges and universities as of May 6, 2014. Some schools still have financial aid available, including Baylor University. SpaceAvailability at TX Colleges for Spring... Read More »

Understanding Acceptance Rates (Hint, They are Almost Meaningless)

An important wisdom from a  high school senior who applied to college this year from a recent NY Times article.  Acceptance percentages are meaningless and are not interchangeable with college selectiveness.  Acceptance rates give an applicant no indication of their chances for acceptance. Further, colleges with higher rates of acceptance may not be easier to get into than those with lower rates.  Why is this so? First, acceptance rates are not scientifically or independently verified, so we have no idea if they are even accurate.  Second, your likelihood of acceptance can only be judged in terms of where you fit in the school's applicant pool.  As every college separates their pools by type: athletes, performing arts superstars, international students, diversity... Read More »

Make No Mistake, 10th Grade Counts!

While Most High Schools and Families Emphasize 11th and 12th Grade Performance, College Admission Staff Insist That 10th Grade is Just as Important

Somewhere along the way, a false notion became conventional wisdom with local schools and families. The lingering incorrect idea is that the first two years of high school are less consequential in the college admission process than the final two. In fact, there are some who falsely believe that 9th and 10th grade do not matter at all. Well, this notion is flat out wrong. In fact, the college admissions staff that we talk to (at SMU, UT-Austin, USC, Vanderbilt, Trinity, and Texas A&M to name a few), advise that 4 semesters make or break a... Read More »

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