The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (July 16th, 2014) Reply

Some interesting articles regarding standardized testing, admissions, tuition, and student life. 

  • Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing. Read
  • Acing The College Application Essay. Read
  • Most Expensive College By State Map. Read
  • The 10 Colleges with the Best Career Services. Read
  • Want a Higher GPA in College? Join a Gym. Read

For an introduction to back-gateways and a plan-B admissions option, be sure to check out my book.

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (July 15th, 2014) Reply

Be sure to check out these helpful articles for the upcoming admissions season.

  • 5 Must-Do Tasks for the Summer Before College. Read
  • 3 Reasons To Get Help During The Financial Aid Process. Read
  • Companies That Offer Help With Student Loans Are Often Predatory, Officials Say. Read
  • The Best Advice College Students Never Hear. Read
  • Is Competency-Based Education Finally Becoming Mainstream?. Read

For an introduction to back-gateways and a plan-B admissions option, be sure to check out my book.

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (July 3, 2014) Reply

Happy 4th of July weekend! Here are some tips for recent graduates.

  • How to Handle Your First Summer with Student Loans. Read
  • The 2014 Internship Report Infographic. Read
  • Resume For Job Seeker With No Experience. Read
  • I’ve Graduated.. But Don’t Have a Job. Now What? Read
  • What Is Your College Degree Really Worth? Workers Weigh In. Read

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (July 2, 2014) Reply

Some interesting rankings based on tuition, degrees, and online learning. 

  • The Best and Worst States for Online Learning. Read
  • 10 Grad School Degrees Worth the Debt. Read
  • What are the Nation’s Most Expensive Colleges? Read
  • Education Department Updates its Rankings of the Most Costly Colleges. Read
  • The Top Undergrad Biz Feeder Schools. Read

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (July 1, 2014) Reply

Some tips and advice on how best to prepare for the upcoming admissions season.

  • Boost College Applications With a Positive Online Presence. Read
  • These 30 Colleges are Reversing the Rise in Tuition. Read
  • The One Book to Read Before College. Read
  • 5 Pieces of Good News From a College Admissions Application Essay Counselor. Read
  • Didn’t Get a College Acceptance Letter? What to Do Now. Read

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (June 30, 2014) Reply

Here are some tools, tips, and interesting reads to get your week started!

  • 4-year community college degree – good or bad? Read

  • Top 10 mobile applications for students. Read

  • 5 valuable soft skills preferred by college admissions boards. Read

  • Confessions of a grade inflating professor. Read

  • Americans think we have the best colleges. We don’t. Read

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (June 27, 2014) Reply

Advice and news to keep in mind for the upcoming admissions season.

  • Discover Scholarships for Nontraditional Students. Read
  • Hofstra Makes SAT, ACT Optional Starting 2015. Read
  • Summer College Tours: Take This Important Tool With You. Read
  • 5 Classes Every College Student Should Take. Read
  • The Future of Universities: The Digital Degree. Read

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (June 26, 2014) Reply

Some worthwhile articles regarding loans and student debt.

  • Q. and A. About Student Debt. Read
  • The Single Most Important Piece Of Advice For Anyone Who Takes Out a Student Loan. Read
  • 9 Things People Get Wrong About Student Debt. Read
  • The Solution to the Student-Loan ‘Crisis’? Depends on How You Define It. Read
  • New Senate Proposal Allows Bankruptcy Option For Some Student Loans. Read

The Top 5 Stories You Should Read Today (June 25, 2014) Reply

Admissions essay advice, an interesting Swedish survey, and the results of a recent federal study.

  • 18 Tips for Writing the College Admissions Essay. Read
  • Going to College is Still Worthwhile Financially, Study Says. Read
  • Higher Education Leads to Longer Life: Swedish Survey. Read
  • College Education is Worth the Debt of Admission, says New York Fed Study. Read
  • Fed Confirms: Even A Couple Years Of College Is Better Than Nothing. Read



The Dilemma: Debt-Freedom or an Elite Education? Reply

2014 was groundbreaking in a number of fashions. On one hand, American universities witnessed a record number of applicants — accompanied by reports of the lowest acceptance rates in history from schools such as Harvard and Yale. On the other, the class of 2014 is reported to be the most indebted group of graduates ever, a disheartening admission in the face of the ever-rising interest rates of both federal and private loans.

The trend that emerges is an unsettling one. A degree is becoming more and more necessary to be competitive in today’s job market, a necessity increasingly hogtied by rising tuitions, higher loan interest rates, and intensifying competition for spots at elite institutions. As a result, more and more students are facing a particularly difficult decision: pursue a top-notch, debt-laden, and financially strenuous education, or sacrifice a brand-name school in the name of minimizing debt. Naturally, this dilemma applies less to those that can comfortably bear the brunt of tuition — before or after financial aid — yet thousands of families will be weighing this choice in the upcoming admissions season.

Fortunately, the brand v. debt situation isn’t as black and white as it immediately appears. A surprising number of elite institutions have programs that, while being less traditional, offer significantly lower costs while preserving both brand and networking opportunities. These programs are what I refer to as the backdoor, or plan B, regarding admission to the upper echelon of American universities — providing the opportunity for a discounted, accessible, and less selective world-class education.

It is worth stressing that these opportunities do not constitute a way to cheat the more traditional admissions route; they provide options for those who weren’t raised as ‘perfect students,’ students who don’t mind ‘taking their time’ to earn a degree, families facing difficulties in financing an elite education, adults returning for additional (or first) degrees, and for anyone who values a top 40 education above being a traditional applicant. These opportunities also provide a solution to the debt v. brand dilemma. Students do not have to chose between a less impressive diploma or being up to their necks in debt; these programs have the ability to lift the financial strain from both them and their families while providing the education they deserve.

Even if you or your child are not facing such a dilemma, every student would do well to be fully aware of the opportunities available to them. An introduction to and discussion of these programs can be found in my book, “Open The Gates To The Ivy League,” which is available on Amazon and in a number of libraries around the country.