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How Much Does College Really Cost?

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 10:15 PM

It’s not surprising that college these days can be fairly expensive. Educational costs are rising, particularly as universities strive to remain competitive. Fortunately, with scholarships, grants, and loan options, college is perhaps more affordable than ever. But what is the final cost of those four years? Though you may have a general idea of tuition amounts and the living expenses you’ll be responsible for, how much does college really cost?  

The Basics: Tuition, Fees,  Room & Board

In a recent College Board survey, reports showed that an average budget for an in-state public college was just over $23,000 per year. At a private college, a moderate budget amounted to approximately $46,000. These estimates include all of the basic, upfront items like tuition, fees, room & board, books, supplies, and other miscellaneous costs. Tuition and fees alone might be roughly ½ to ⅓ of that overall estimated budget and will vary greatly depending on your university and, at public colleges, your status as an in-state or out-of-state student. Fees are typically included within the tuition rate, and help offset the cost of student services such as library access, athletic facilities, and on-campus transportation. 

Room & board comprises your housing and dining options. This is a cost which can change dramatically based on many factors. Will you live in an on-campus dorm? An off-campus apartment? Will you have a meal plan and eat entirely at your school’s dining hall? Or will you cook the majority of your meals in your residence? These elements will determine whether you need to consider extra costs up front (such as signing up for a meal plan).

Books & Supplies

First-year students and their parents are often shocked by the cost of books and supplies when they begin their college education. If you’re in a science or mathematics major, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars each semester for your books. Other majors, such as fine arts, may have fewer books, but have hefty costs for supplies. It’s important to prepare yourself for these costs when heading to college for the first time. 

Other Costs

When estimating your cost of attendance, colleges typically include expenses that you won’t find on your bill, such as transportation, personal items, and clothing. Because these estimates will vary from student to student, it’s important to know your own budget for certain expenses. A student whose parents live far away from the university will probably incur larger transportation expenses when visiting home during breaks than a student whose parents live in the next town. Such miscellaneous expenses could amount to several thousand dollars per academic year.

Paying for College

Despite what may seem high costs, there are many ways of financing your college education. If you’re fortunate enough to receive scholarships or grants, this is money you do not have to repay. This will drop your costs significantly. Taking out federal or private loans is also an option, which a vast majority of parents and students choose to take advantage of. Remember, however, that all loans will need to be repaid, and these amounts gather interest. If you take out a substantial loan, you may end up paying a great deal more money than the original amount of the loan itself over the length of your repayment period.

No matter what, you should not let costs dissuade you from the incomparable benefit of receiving a university education. For more information on affording college, please contact us directly at College Planning ABC. 

Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, college consulting, college planning, college applications, money for college, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions, attending college, Paying for college

Understanding Loans Before You Borrow

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 @ 3:39 PM

Loan Photo WEB

While a college education can be expensive, it is an invaluable resource, helping you excel in your chosen career field and contributing to your all-around personal development. Fortunately, students these days have options for financing their higher education plans. Alongside scholarships, grants, and family contributions, students can choose to take out federal and private loans to help pay for their educational costs. Taking out a loan is a serious consideration, and it is important that you fully understand the facts and obligations associated with loans before borrowing.

Borrowing from the Government

If you plan to take out loans for your college education, federal loans are the way to go. Your university will determine your possible loans in line with information gathered from your FAFSA. With a fixed interest rate on federal loans, you’ll better know how much interest you’ll be paying over the life of the loan. Conversely, private loans have variable interest rates, which can present a financial challenge should the rates rise. As well, federal loans offer repayment options and programs for those who are experiencing financial hardship.

The most common type of federal loan is the Stafford Loan. These loans have yearly and overall borrowing limits, which differ based on what year you are in college, and whether or not you are financially dependent on your parents. Stafford Loans are divided into two types: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans, contingent on financial need, do not accrue interest while you are still enrolled in school part-time or greater. Unsubsidized loans do accumulate interest, beginning when the loan is distributed. Unsubsidized loans also have a higher interest rate.

Other federal loans include Perkins Loans and PLUS Loans. Perkins Loans, with an interest rate of 5%, can assist students with up to $5,500 each year. If you’re a dependent student, your parents may qualify to take out a PLUS Loan. This loan is repaid by your parents and also has a fixed interest rate, making it a better alternative to a private loan. While you are enrolled in school, your parents do not need to make payments. A PLUS loan amount cannot exceed the total cost of educational expenses minus a student’s existing financial aid.

Things to Know

While private loans are an option, their variable interest rates and lack of structured repayment should make them your last resort. No matter the loan, it’s important to know that loans taken out in a student’s name are the responsibility of the student. Once you’ve graduated, you will be responsible for repaying your accumulated educational debt.

Fortunately, most federal loans have a grace period. Immediately following graduation, this grace period typically lasts 6 months. During this time, you won’t need to begin making repayments, but on unsubsidized Stafford loans, interest will still accrue. Many students take advantage of this grace period to commit to the job search in earnest. If you don’t find suitable employment or are experiencing financial hardship, there are options for repayment that can take into account your current income. This can temporarily lower your payments so that you can still continue to make them on time. In some circumstances, there are also options for forbearance and deferment, subject to the discretion of your loan servicer. Depending on your career interests, it may be worth investigating loan forgiveness programs, which can result in some reduction in your overall loan amounts.

 For further information on student loans, check out the following resources:

Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, college planning, college applications, cost of attending college, money for college, Manuel Fabriquer, attending college, Paying for college, cost of college, student loans

When It’s Time to Make a Decision: Your Final College Choice

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 @ 11:03 PM

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Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to several different colleges and universities, and now it all comes down to choosing one. Where will you attend? Selecting your future alma mater can feel like one of the biggest decisions of your life. While choosing a college is a major decision, it isn’t one that should cause undue stress and worry. Here are a few considerations to help you narrow it down and pick your school, feeling happy and peaceful in the process. 


When it comes down to it, choosing the school that gives you the best deal financially may end up being the best option. There are always trade-offs for every factor, but if you have two schools which are comparable in size, offerings, and reputation, it may be best to stick with the one that will leave you with the smallest bill. 


Location can play a large part in helping you make your final college choice. Consider what a location can offer you. Were you initially seeking a large school in an urban setting? If you aren’t accepted to a big-city school, you may want to go with one set in a medium-sized city, as opposed to selecting a small town college where your options may feel more limited.

Program Offerings

Location is a less important factor to some students, who are seeking institutions with certain majors or programs. If this is you, you will want to carefully weigh your options between schools. Look closely at the courses you’ll be able to take, but also take note of the internship possibilities, future industry connections, and potential for related extracurricular activities. Remember your experience at a “big name” school may be less personalized than a smaller school with a great program. If you’re looking for more one-on-one attention and opportunities to be “a big fish in a small pond” the latter option may be ideal for you.

Take Your Place 

When making your final college choice, don’t simply consider the schools, consider yourself. Pretend you’re a friend: which school might you recommend for yourself? You can also ask for the wise opinions of others such as your parents or guidance counselor, but ultimately, the college decision is yours to make. Looking at a college, think about how you will fit into the environment? Is this a place you’ll feel comfortable? Do you think this is a place where you can grow? What will you contribute to the school’s community? Pondering such questions can help you look at the bigger picture.

Make the Journey Your Own

Ultimately, your college experience is what you make of it. This may be a cliche statement, but nonetheless, it is true. Knowing this, however, can make the decision process so much easier. Wherever you choose to attend, the important element in the experience is not the college, it is YOU. So take a breath, take the pressure off, and go ahead and send in that deposit. Your adventure awaits!

Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, college planning, college applications, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions, attending college

Unique Scholarship Options You May Not Have Considered

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 9:25 AM
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Let’s face it: college can be expensive. But with the thousands of scholarship options out there, it doesn’t have to be. Although there are countless students just like you applying for these awards, if you work hard and choose the right scholarships for you, you can greatly increase your chances of winning.

There are many generic scholarships out there awarding big money prizes. Those are the ones that will see thousands of qualified applicants, and it may be more difficult to snag those. But what about specialized scholarships in your field of study? Local scholarships for students in your area? Prizes geared towards your specific talent? Scholarships that award students for an unusual trait? All of these unique and quirky scholarships exist. Why not consider applying for some of these scholarships? If you meet the criteria and can submit the right materials, you just might find yourself with more money for your college education in hand. 

The Writers of the Future Contest

Are you great in English class? Fancy yourself a writer? If you’ve got the linguistic chops, you may want to consider L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest. Stories of up to 17,000 words in the science fiction or fantasy genre could win you prizes of up to $5,000. This is a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles and try for some serious cash. The current contest ends March 31st, so get writing!

Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest

If you can get yourself to Kansas (and have a serious talent for duck calls) the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest could be the scholarship for you. This competition, held each Thanksgiving week, is open to high school seniors and awards prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places. This scholarship has been around for 38 years and has awarded more than $60,000 to students in that time. Better get practicing!

The Miss America Organization

Pageants may have lost popularity in recent years, but the Miss America Organization remains the leading provider of scholarship monies for young women, awarding millions of dollars each year to competitors on the national, state, and local levels. Competitions take place in each state and are open to young women ages 17-24. Participants are judged in several categories, with the greatest weight given to the Interview and Talent portions. If you have a love of performing, your dancing, singing, violin playing, and more could earn you big bucks for your education.

Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest

Do you have an interest in fashion? Or do you simply fancy yourself creative with duct tape? The Duck Tape Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest runs in 2015 from March 15th until June 1st, and offers two $10,000 scholarships to a high school couple who attends prom wearing inventive outfits made entirely of duct tape. This highly unusual scholarship offers major money, and also donates $5,000 to the winners’ high school. Check out the website to view last year’s winners and get some inspiration for your own incredible entries.

These are only a few of the incredible unique scholarship options out there. For more options, check out 45 of the Weirdest College Scholarships. With a little searching, you may find the perfect contest for you, and win yourself some much needed funds for your higher education. 


Tags: scholarships, strategies for college, financial aid award, college planning abc, college consulting, college planning, college applications, College Planning News, money for college, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions, attending college, college scholarships

So You’ve Been Rejected: Now What?

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 @ 10:53 PM

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As admission letters start rolling in this spring, if you’re like the vast majority of high school students, it’s likely you will receive both exciting acceptances and some disappointing rejections. But take heart. What matters more in the grand scheme of things is your overall college experience, not the name or even the reputation of the institution you ultimately attend. You still have a very bright future ahead of you!

If you’ve been rejected from your top choice college or university, you join the ranks of thousands of students just like you. These days, it’s more of a numbers game, as top-tier institutions regularly admit to rejecting academically capable students, simply because of the overwhelming quantity of applicants. Being rejected from your number one school isn’t fun, but there are several steps you can take to soften the blow and begin to look forward towards your next chapter with optimism.

Take some time to grieve.

Being rejected from your favorite college can be rough. After getting your hopes up and falling in love with a school, a rejection can almost feel like a romantic breakup! Make sure you take some time to feel and work through your emotions. Share your thoughts and feelings with family and friends, and lean on them for support. You’ll also find encouragement and advice in your school guidance counselor. Then put away the ice cream, and get to work!

Appreciate your acceptances. 

Take a closer look at the schools that have accepted you. Chances are, there are some great choices in the mix. Re-investigate their programs and offerings. Get excited about a new opportunity. If your university has an accepted students day, be sure to attend. Here, you’ll get a taste of the college experience, meet some potential future classmates, and maybe even make some new friends. You might even find your second-choice school has unique courses or extracurriculars you wouldn’t have had at your number one school. Attending an accepted students day is a great way to move forward on your higher education path and start to boost your enthusiasm for what’s to come. 

Transferring is an Option

If you truly had your heart set on a particular university, most schools do offer transfer admission. Take a look at the requirements for acceptance as a transfer student. You may need to take certain courses and maintain a high GPA to strengthen your chances. Transferring could certainly be an option in the next year or two, and in the meantime, you could attend an alternate choice college. You may find you love it enough to stay or decide to transfer when the time comes.

Gap Year Considerations

Though not often the norm in the US, students in other nations frequently take a year off after secondary education, often referred to as a “gap year.” This can be a wonderful opportunity to travel, gain work experience, or even simply to explore your hobbies and career options. A gap year can equip you with a better sense of your self or even give you some “real world” experience--both which can be helpful when applying to college the following year. If none of your accepted schools seem to be a perfect fit, this might be the right option for you. 

It’s What You Make of It

In the end, where you attend college is not the most important factor. Rather, college is what you make of it. You’ll get out of your higher education what you put into it. There are thousands of excellent colleges and universities in the USA and many more outside our borders. Each of these is brimming with opportunities for students. So no matter where you choose to attend, if you give it your all, you are sure to have an amazing and transformative experience. 


Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, college planning, college applications, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions, attending college

How to Make Sense of College and Financial Aid Award Letters

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Tue, May 28, 2013 @ 6:00 AM



describe the imageSo, now your student has written and submitted their essays, taken the SAT’s, and sent in their applications.  In comes the acceptance letters and financial aid offers.  As is often the case, several of these letters will describe various aid packages that available- each being unique.  The big question is how to determine which college will provide your student with the biggest return on their investment?

The problem lies in being able to decipher what is actually being presented.  Unfortunately, colleges and universities are not required to utilize a standard format when describing their financial aid packages.  This occurs despite the availability of using the U.S. Department of Education’s financial aid shopping sheet.  Currently, there are approximately 6000 colleges in the U.S., but only 700 are utilizing this format.  You can find a copy of this template by going to:

Where the Pitfalls Exist

When reviewing the various financial aid award letters, it is important that you take into account all the costs associated with attending that particular school.  This will help you compare accurately between each school.  A common pitfall occurs when only tuition and fees are mentioned while other expenses such as transportation, books, and living expenses are omitted.

Another area to be careful of is the practice of colleges noting loans as “financial aid”, and even including the amount of loans that parents will need to take out in that aid.

A third important aspect to consider is how long the grants and scholarships will last.  It is not uncommon for grants and scholarships to be offered only during the freshman year, leaving the remaining years wide open.

It is equally important to consider that the average college has increased tuition and fees at private, nonprofit colleges by 13% since the 2007-2008 academic year.  At public four-year schools, the increase has been 27% for the same period.  Therefore, costs for these schools should be calculated over four and five years as many students are now taking more than four years to graduate. 

The Value of College Planning and Counseling

College planning is a lot more than just getting a student into the best college.  College planning must involve a series of other variables including:  graduation rates, job placement, net price after aid, and other costs that will ensure a good return on your investment.

As a college planner, I make sure to remove the emotional factors and completely analyze the facts that really matter.  This helps my clients' find the best fit, avoid costly mistakes, and maximize their return on investment. 

Get more information about current trends and strategies at my next Free College Planning Workshop.  Register today!

Tags: college consulting, college planning, College Planning News, cost of attending college, Manuel Fabriquer, cost of college

Why Getting a College Degree is Not Enough To Find a Good Job

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 @ 3:00 AM

As many have seen or read in the media, there are a lot of recent graduates who have Interview resized 600obtained their degree from a prestigious university, but feel they have no better chance in the workplace than someone who barely graduated from a less quality school. 

There are many questions regarding why this has happened including:

  • Was it the school?
  • Was it the major?
  • Is it the bad economy?

In this brief article we will address these questions and provide you with one key strategy that will help put your student in the very best position when they graduate to attract potential employers.

First, I would be naive to tell you that economy is not a factor in young graduates finding employment.  The fact is as a nation we are experiencing one of the worst unemployment environments in the last 50 years.   

Therefore, as companies and industries struggle there is a lot of competition for entry level positions.   It is very common for many companies to prefer to hire someone who has the experience and the degree. 

By seeking candidates who poses experience these companies feel they save on the time it would take to have these new employees begin to produce.  Since time is money, investing in a newbie is a real concern.

How do I get experience when nobody wants to give me a chance?

The most common outcry from frustrated graduates is, “how do I get the experience when nobody is willing to give me a chance?” 

This is where the value of an internship or co-op training is vital to any college student.   Colleges and universities that have these programs in place are able to connect their students with employers in their chosen field in order to give them real world experience.    The employers have established agreements with the schools whereby the employer agrees to provide students with an opportunity to be part of the company and apply some of their newly learned skills in a working environment.

Some internship programs even provide a small stipend for the student, but more often than not the student will work without compensation.  However, the experience, contacts, and letters of recommendation are extremely valuable when seeking a job after graduation.  In some cases these internship positions may even end up offering the student a job after graduation.

What if the school doesn’t have an internship or Co-op program?

When the college or university doesn’t offer an internship placement program students should begin to contact employers in their chosen field on their own.

 One thing to remember is that It doesn’t matter if the student does their internship in one location and then after graduation moves to another location.  The important thing is that they received some training outside of the academic arena. 

Of course, if the internship is located in a different city than where they are attending school, the student may be limited to doing an internship during the summer months, or take off a semester to gain this viable training.  As you can see, having a school with employer contacts makes this process a lot easier and convenient.

 What we have discussed here is just one of the many aspects that I look at with the students that work with me. 

It is no longer just a matter of getting into a good university.  Rather it is taking into account all the various variables involved and developing a comprehensive plan that will get you and your student their intended goal. 

One way to get up to date on all the changes in college planning is to attend one of my Free College Planning Workshops.   You are cordially welcome to attend our next workshop by clicking hereClick me

Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, college planning, college internships, college Co-ops

How to Find Value in a College Education

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

Balance resized 600As we begin the New Year recent consumer sentiment reports clearly show that Americans are clearly concern with getting value for their hard earned money. 

The last thing anyone wants is to pay for a product or in our case, an education, and not get value.

In my previous articles I have discussed and explored whether a college education is still viable.


The overwhelming evidence shows clearly the upside benefits both in personal growth and income potential for those individuals who possess a college degree. 

However, that being said, not all college degrees have the same market value.  Depending on market demands some college graduates will find perspective employers seeking specialized training, or simply avoiding certain degrees. Yes, that is right; there are certain majors that employers outright dismiss.

We can simply look at graduates who had majors that have the highest unemployment rates as a way of ascertain what the employment market doesn’t want.

Here is a brief list of the majors in 2012 with the highest unemployment rates:

  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Fine arts
  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Physical fitness and Parks Recreation

What about the Liberal Arts major?

The liberal arts degree is one of the darlings of many colleges and universities.  This concentration can actually be traced back to ancient Greece where liberal arts were the subjects that men free from work were at leisure to pursue. Today, many of the subjects included in this major don't really prepare students for a particular job.

So, this major is a mix bag.  On its face, the liberal arts degree has been experiencing high unemployment (although not as high as the ones listed above).  The problem is simply the fact there are not many employment positions advertising for a person with this type of degree. 

That being said, graduates who fully understand the needs of prospective employers, and can translate their liberal arts education to meet those needs, are faring a lot better.  The degree does develop a student’s critical thinking and innovated skills.  Nevertheless, it will then be up to the student to show a perspective employer how those skills are a benefit to their business.

Beware of the school telling you what employers are looking for.

As could be expected, today there are many liberal arts colleges who have begun to shift their programs to meet the perceived demands of parents and students alike.  As I stated in previous blogs, we must remember that providing a college education is a business first and foremost.  That means that colleges will modify to the perceived demands of their consumers first, and to the job market second.  Therefore, they will play off your thoughts of what a good major is rather than what employers are looking for.

A common strategy used by many smaller schools today is to focus on getting  students in the door by offering what they do want, namely sports and extracurricular opportunities that might elude them at bigger schools. 

Next, these colleges will offer vocational subjects like business, criminal justice and exercise science that students and parents think will lead to better jobs. Then, once your student is enrolled, the school will look for other ways to add the liberal arts magic these colleges still believe in.

This is not something that happens at every college and university, but it is something that parents and students need to be aware of when considering a specific school.

Attending college and choosing the right major has become more complicated these days and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.  That is why you need now, to have the most up to date information, in order to make the best decision for your student, and get the complete value for all your efforts.

Do yourself a favor and accept my invitation to attend my next FREE college planning workshop.  You can’t afford to miss these timely presentations where I will share with you the critical information you need to get the best value from a college education.  Sign up now!

Click me

Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, college planning, college majors

Games Colleges Play and How Not To Be a Victim

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 @ 5:58 AM

Games Colleges play

Going through the college admission process is hard enough given the amount of competition that exists out there. 

Even worse are the games that clever marketing executives at these colleges and universities bestow on unsuspecting students.

In this article we will take a look at some of the common tactics  a lot of colleges are using on unsuspecting students.

The Junk Mail Dance
Many schools have been mailing high school seniors across the country last-minute admission pitches.  In some cases, these students are getting bombarded by college literature that can appear to be overwhelming and at times misleading.  For example, in one case a student who had already been denied admissions continued to receive letters stating that the school felt he was a good fit for their college.

The VIP priority applications
Some colleges and universities send out what they term either VIP or priority applications.  These invitations show up in emails as well as in print form and come prefilled out with much of the student's information.

At times the fees for applying are waived making these offers very enticing to a student who is receiving it.  However, these applications are not for the benefit of the student, but for the school as we will see next.

Why these schools would be sending out these letters?
It comes down to marketing and the need to position the school as a preferred choice in the mind of consumers.  If a college or university can get more students to apply, they can also reject more applicants.More rejections make the institution appear more selective.

The point is that many schools send marketing materials to many students that they have no intention of accepting.   Therefore the key take away here is  your student should never apply to a school simply because a college appears interested. Instead, stick with schools that represent solid academic and financial matches.

The dreaded waiting List
Another tactic that is growing in popularity is the use of a waiting list by colleges and universities.  A recent poll of 369 universities showed that 45% of those sampled are now using waiting lists.

According to the NACAC, schools admit less than a third of applicants on their wait lists.  Furthermore, many of these students on the wait list are strung along long past their actual cut off with little chance of actually getting in. 

For example, according to College Board statistics, Princeton University, offered 1,248 applicants positions on its wait list and ultimately accepted only 19.  Georgetown University offered wait list invitations to 2,170 applicants, but admitting only two applicants.

Why do schools do this?
This strategy is used by the schools to protect their admission yields. If a school accepts fewer students in the first round and then move more applicants to a wait list, they can preserve their exclusivity.

Furthermore, some schools also use the wait list for students of alumni and VIPs rather than reject them outright, and thereby not hurt the feelings of some of their contributors.

As we have reviewed here college is a big business and it is being marketed to maximize market share. Parents and students need to be aware of what is real and what is designed simply to be for the benefit of the college.

At College Planning ABC our students avoid wasting their time with these distractions because we know what is real from what is just a marketing stunt. 

Now, more than ever you need our expertise to navigate clearly and easily through the admission game.  You are cordially invited to call our office and get the facts you need.
Click me

Tags: college planning abc, college planning, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions

The Importance of Graduation Rates in College Planning

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 @ 3:00 AM

One aspect of college planning that is very important for ever family to consider is the institution's ability to graduate your student.  Graduation resized 600

Today, with the cost of a college education being so high it is no longer financially responsible to just hope or expect that your student will graduate within four years.  

Years ago the reason that some students took so long to graduate had more to do with the student than the university.  These days, more often than not it has more to do with the particular school than with the student.  

The reasons vary from school to school and by major.  In other words, not all majors will suffer the same graduation problems at the same school. For example, although many of Ivy League schools have very good graduation rates for undergraduate programs, it may not be the same for graduate students attending the same school.  

Recently I had the opportunity to review the microsite, The Chronicle of Higher Education and see what colleges had the worst graduation rates in the country.  Although, this site only looked at 3800 schools, it did provide a pretty decent overview of the situation.  Also, note that a good graduation rate is defined as a student graduating within six years according to this site.

Here are the top 25 private colleges and university with the best graduation rates.

1.    Harvard University, 97.4 percent
2.    Yale University, 96.3 percent
3.    University of Notre Dame 96 percent
4.    Princeton University, 95.7 percent
5.    Brown University, 95.6 percent
6.    University of Pennsylvania, 95.5 percent
7.    Dartmouth College, 95.4 percent
8.    Williams College, 95.1 percent
9.    Stanford University, 94.7 percent
10.    Wesleyan University, 94.4 percent
11.    Northwestern University, 94.4 percent
12.    Duke University, 94.3 percent
13.    Washington University - St. Louis, 94 percent
14.    College of the Holy Cross, 93.3 percent
15.    Vassar College, 93.3 percent
16.    University of Chicago, 92.9 percent
17.    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 92.9 percent
18.    Cornell University, 92.8 percent
19.    Georgetown University, 92.5 percent
20.    Columbia University, 92.5 percent
21.    Bucknell University, 92.3 percent
22.    Rice University, 91.6 percent
23.    Tufts University, 91.1 percent
24.    Boston College, 91 percent
25.    Middlebury College, 91 percent

Here is the list of the 25 Private colleges and universities with the worst graduation rates.

1.    Western Governors University, 6.5 percent
2.    Long Island University - Brooklyn, 17 percent
3.    Benedict College, 27.5 percent
4.    College of New Rochelle 30.1 percent
5.    Xavier University of Louisiana, 34 percent
6.    Barry University, 35.4 percent
7.    Florida Memorial University, 36.2 percent
8.    Bethune-Cookman University, 36.7 percent
9.    Hawaii Pacific University, 38.9 percent
10.    Columbia College Chicago, 40.5 percent
11.    Lynn University, 42.6 percent
12.    Clark Atlanta University, 43.1 percent
13.    Oklahoma Christian University, 43.9 percent
14.    Long Island University C.W. Post,  44.1 percent
15.    Lindenwood University, 44.9 percent
16.    Tuskegee University, 46.4 percent
17.    Curry College, 47.4 percent
18.    Campbell University, 47.8 percent
19.    Lee University, 48 percent
20.    Widener University, 48.1 percent
21.    New York Institute of Technology - Old Westbury, 48.2 percent
22.    Liberty University, 48.2 percent
23.    Franklin Pierce University, 49.1 percent
24.    University of Indianapolis, 49.8 percent
25.    Florida Southern College, 51.5 percent

When it comes to college planning it is so important that parents and students know the real facts about the schools they are contemplating.  Many times what we all perceive to be a good college or university may in fact be a bad choice for your student given their intended major and the graduation rates at that school.

The last thing any family or student wants to deal with is feeling stuck unable to graduate because classes are not available to meet the final requirements.  This is something that is not publicized, and many times a student finds out only when it is too late.

This is why you need to attend one of my FREE College Planning Workshops and get the real facts behind all the fancy websites and beautiful brochures.

I make it my responsibility to know as much as possible about the various colleges and universities so that you have the information you need to make the best informed decision.   All this helps you save time and money.  

So, please accept this personal invitation to attend my next FREE College Planning Workshop and get the real facts you need.
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Tags: graduation rates, college planning, College Planning News