June 2011

  • More Evidence that American Higher Education is Pricing Itself out of Reach

    Barry Lenson

    More Evidence that American Higher Education is Pricing Itself out of Reach “Surging college costs price out middle class,” an article written by Annalyn Censky for CNNMoney.com last week, adds still more evidence that colleges are pricing themselves beyond the reach of average American families and students. We’d urge you to spend some time reading the article. But until you can, here are some highlights of the statistics it reports . . . Tuition and fees at public universities have surged almost 130% over the last 20 years, according to The College Board. In that same period, incomes have stagnated for middle class Americans . Families and students are taking on much higher debt loads to close that gap. The amo ...

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  • Pick Your College Major with Minimum Risk by Taking Online College Courses

    Barry Lenson

    Pick Your College Major with Minimum Risk by Taking Online College Courses Some students arrive at college already knowing what their majors will be. For others, picking a major is a hit-or-miss process. They take an introduction to psychology course to help them decide whether or not to major in psych. Next they take a sociology course, an English literature course, a history course, and so on. Finally, they arrive at a better idea of what their majors will be. But with the costs of college courses edging higher every year, the cost of all that “shopping around” can add up fast. There’s a better way. It is simply to take college courses online to get a sense of what your major might be. The risks are minimized – if ...

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  • Unusual Ways to Pay for College Tactic #3 . . . File a FAFSA, No Matter What!

    Barry Lenson

    Unusual Ways to Pay for College Tactic #3 . . . File a FAFSA, No Matter What! With this post, the StraighterLine Blog continues its series of posts that offer straightforward tactics for reducing college costs. Today’s tactic is . . . Go ahead and file a FAFSA – even if your family has too many assets to qualify for Federal assistance. Many middle-class families make a serious mistake when planning to pay for college. They go to the FAFSA website, take a look and say, “There’s no point in wasting an afternoon filling out the FAFSA.  With our home, savings and other assets, there is no way we are going to qualify for any assistance from the government.” That’s muddleheaded thinking, because lots of colleges use the FAF ...

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  • Test Your Smarts on the First Ever StraighterLine College Misconceptions Quiz

    Barry Lenson

    Test Your Smarts on the First Ever StraighterLine College Misconceptions Quiz There are certain times in life when everybody thinks they know better than you. You’re getting married? You’re having a baby? Suddenly you are hearing all kinds of advice. And if you’re planning to go to college, get ready. You’re going to hear a ton of “common knowledge” advice about how to do it. So let’s test your knowledge about whether the information you’re hearing is correct or not. Piece of advice #1: You can’t get into college without taking the SAT and the ACT. This is FALSE. In fact, a growing number of colleges and universities are now test-optional. For a list of them, CLICK HERE. Piece of advice #2: It’s too late ...

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  • Three Highly Effective - and Unusual - Ways to Pay for College

    Barry Lenson

    Three Highly Effective – and Unusual – Ways to Pay for College There are many places in life where thinking just a little differently from everybody else results in a giant step forward. Look at the forward pass. According to an article on Wikipedia, nobody ever threw a forward pass until 1906. Before that, teams tried to move the ball down the field by running full-speed into each other, like Neanderthals. Then some genius thought, “Hey, we could throw the ball and gain a lot of yards a lot faster.” So the forward pass was approved in 1906, and the game was transformed. Henry Ford was also a guy who thought up new rules. Instead of having a bunch of assemblers build one car at a time, he invented the assembly line. Steve Job ...

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