Here's a cheery bit of information to end the week . Dean Sklaris has been a college administrator, has taught, consulted with the ACT and now has his own business advising families on college matters.
He mentions that 100 colleges now cost more than $50,000 a year; that admissions and financial aid are not separate activities but entwined, and that it is easier to get in if parents can pay the full bill; that those who get financial aid are the kids the schools really want -- star athletes, brilliant students or those with special talents.
Sklaris' advice is to consider the financial issues early, and discuss them as a family. "If parents want to pay less, they need to understand which colleges want their child most and why. They must consider cost early in the process, and be realistic in considering schools that are not among the top brands. There are hundreds of 'hidden gems' across the country, and families who approach the process strategically stand a better chance of finding them."