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College Solution, The: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price

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College Solution, The: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price

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  • Copyright 2008
  • Dimensions: 6 X 9
  • Pages: 256
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-135947-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-135947-5

This is the eBook version of the printed book. If the print book includes a CD-ROM, this content is not included within the eBook version.

The College Solution helps readers look beyond over-hyped admission rankings to discover schools that offer a quality education at affordable prices. Taking the guesswork out of saving and finding money for college, this is a practical and insightful must-have guide for every parent!”

—Jaye J. Fenderson, Seventeen’s College Columnist and Author, Seventeen’s Guide to Getting into College

“This book is a must read in an era of rising tuition and falling admission rates. O’Shaughnessy offers good advice with blessed clarity and brevity.”

—Jay Mathews, Washington Post Education Writer and Columnist

“I would recommend any parent of a college-bound student read The College Solution.”

—Kal Chany, Author, The Princeton Review’s Paying for College Without Going Broke

The College Solution goes beyond other guidebooks in providing an abundance of information about how to afford college, in addition to how to approach the selection process by putting the student first.”

—Martha “Marty” O’Connell, Executive Director, Colleges That Change Lives

“Lynn O’Shaughnessy always focuses on what’s in the consumer’s best interest, telling families how to save money and avoid making costly mistakes.”

—Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher, FinAid.org and Author, FastWeb College Gold

“An antidote to the hype and hysteria about getting in and paying for college! O’Shaughnessy has produced an excellent overview that demystifies the college planning process for students and families.”

—Barmak Nassirian, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

For millions of families, the college planning experience has become extremely stressful. And, unless your child is an elite student in the academic top 1%, most books on the subject won’t help you.

Now, however, there’s a college guide for everyone. In The College Solution, top personal finance journalist Lynn O’Shaughnessy presents an easy-to-use roadmap to finding the right college program (not just the most hyped) and dramatically reducing the cost of college, too.

Forget the rankings! Discover what really matters: the quality and value of the programs your child wants and deserves.

O’Shaughnessy uncovers “industry secrets” on how colleges actually parcel out financial aid—and how even “average” students can maximize their share. Learn how to send your kids to expensive private schools for virtually the cost of an in-state public college...and how promising students can pay significantly less than the “sticker price” even at the best state universities.

No other book offers this much practical guidance on choosing a college...and no other book will save you as much money!

•  Secrets your school’s guidance counselor doesn’t know yet

The surprising ways colleges have changed how they do business

•  Get every dime of financial aid that’s out there for you

Be a “fly on the wall” inside the college financial aid office

•  U.S. News & World Report: clueless about your child

Beyond one-size-fits-all rankings: finding the right program for your teenager

• The best bargains in higher education

Overlooked academic choices that just might be perfect for you

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Introduction xix

PART I: Capturing Financial Aid 1

Chapter 1: Where Is the $$$? 2

Chapter 2: Looking for Cash in the Right Places 5

Chapter 3: Using Financial Aid Tools 9

Chapter 4: Financial Aid in the Real World 13

Chapter 5: A Peek Inside a Financial Aid Office 17

Chapter 6: Winning the Financial Aid Lottery 20

Chapter 7: Maximizing Financial Aid 25

Chapter 8: Maximizing Financial Aid, Part II 30

Chapter 9: Appealing the Verdict 34

PART II: Capturing Tuition Discounts 39

Chapter 10: The Race for Cash 40

Chapter 11: The Inside Scoop on Merit Money 44

Chapter 12: Academic Freebies 49

Chapter 13: Creating a Buzz 53

Chapter 14: Playing the Gender Card 59

PART III: Finding Great Academic Fits 63

Chapter 15: The Hidden Truth 64

Chapter 16: The Knock Against U S News & World Report 67

Chapter 17: The Rankings Antidote 71

Chapter 18: Research Made Easy 77

Chapter 19: Grading Academic Departments 83

Chapter 20: Grading Academic Departments, Part II 91

Chapter 21: The Value of Undergraduate Research 97

Chapter 22: Grading Professors 101

PART IV: Overlooked Academic Choices 105

Chapter 23: Stop Hyperventilating 106

Chapter 24: The Allure of Liberal Arts Colleges 109

Chapter 25: What Makes Public Liberal Arts

Colleges Special 114

Chapter 26: Teaching Versus Research 118

Chapter 27: Learning in a Crowd 121

PART V: Exploring Community Colleges 127

Chapter 28: Considering a Community College 128

Chapter 29: Why Community Colleges Are Popular 130

Chapter 30: Is Your Local Community College Any Good? 134

Chapter 31: Getting Credit for Your Work 139

PART VI: College Admissions Nuts & Bolts 143

Chapter 32: Knowing When to Do What 144

Chapter 33: Grading College Counselors 150

Chapter 34: Ditching the SAT 156

Chapter 35: Writing Your Way into College 162

Chapter 36: Visiting Campuses 167

Chapter 37: Acing the College Interview 170

Chapter 38: Getting In at the Last Minute 173

PART VII: College Diversity 175

Chapter 39: Diversity Blueprint 176

PART VIII: Economizing for College 183

Chapter 40: Shrinking the College Tab 184

Chapter 41: Shrinking the College Tab, Part II 188

Chapter 42: Freebies and Best Buys 191

Chapter 43: Capturing Private Scholarships 196

PART IX: Navigating the Student Loan Maze 201

Chapter 44: The Student Loan Fiasco 202

Chapter 45: Student Loan Primer 206

Chapter 46: Disappearing Discounts 211

Chapter 47: Private Loan Perils 213

Chapter 48: Default Debacles 218

PART X: Maximizing College Accounts 221

Chapter 49: A 529 Primer 222

Chapter 50: College Investing Cheat Sheet 228

Chapter 51: The Perils of Cashing Out College

Accounts 233

Chapter 52: Grading Financial Advisers 237

PART XI: The Folks Back Home 243

Chapter 53: Parents Behaving Badly 244

Chapter 54: Getting Grandma to Help 250

Appendix: The College Solution Cheat Sheet 253

Resource Guide 259

Index 267


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