Jan 8, 2009

Best Values

The current state of our economy has evidently generated a considerable amount of analysis on which schools provide the best financial value for students. Every ranking uses different criteria for making these kinds of judgments, so be aware of how each list approaches the question of what defines "value." The Kiplinger list:


provides as much information as I have seen to back up its rankings. Students should pay particular attention to the second to last column which gives an indication of how much non need-based aid a particular school might have available or might be providing to students based on merit (academic, community service, athletic, or other scholarships). Also, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the list and click on the link for rankings of best values in public colleges and universities. On this page, you will find breakdowns of schools within individual states.

Another list which was unveiled this morning on the TODAY Show was developed by The Princeton Review in cooperation with USA TODAY:


While there is some overlap between the two rankings, you will see some major differences.

Finally, I thought you might find the following article from Sunday's NEW YORK TIMES interesting:


Seniors, please pay particular attention to the section entitled, "The Early Birds Get the Aid." I know I'm nagging again, but there are many advantages to filing your FAFSA as early as possible in the new year.

Ms. G.

Jan 2, 2009

Merit Aid for Community Service

Happy New Year!

To start your New Year on a positive note, I thought I would forward you a link to an article describing how some colleges are beginning to reward community service with merit scholarships:


I believe this will be a growing trend, and as we have discussed, active community service is an important component for your college "portfolio." Breadth of community service is not nearly as important or impressive as depth. So keep that in mind as you think about programs in which to become involved.

For those of you continuing to seek interesting volunteer opportunities in the immediate community, I recommend starting with the Volunteer Fairfax website:


You may also want to stop by your school college career center or guidance office for additional listings as community organizations frequently seek enterprising high school volunteers.

Ms. G.