NEWSLETTER – Edition 20


This week, I completed a Financial Aid certification course offered by The Scoir College Network. Through my work at Scout, I want to make sure that every family understands these key concepts:

Cost of Attendance
Net Price Calculator
Financial Aid – Merit vs. Need-Based; and why college endowments matter
Loans – Federal (subsized vs. unsubsidized) vs. Private
Fee Waivers
FAFSA, CSS Profile and IDOCS
Tools – FAFSA4caster and College Navigator
How to Evaluate Financial Aid Packages
Scholarships – renewable, stackable, tied to GPA and/or major
529 Plans

In my role as a college admissions consultant, I know the financial piece of college exploration is critical. Understanding these key concepts and exploring them early in the college admissions process leads to better decisions along the way. As with all aspects of the admissions process, no two students are alike. And my approach to college admissions reflects that. I am definitely here to help you learn about all of these key financial concepts! And that is just one of the reasons I am committed to sharing with you each week through my newsletter. Here you’ll find the latest news from colleges, the biggest resource you may have missed, and a glimpse at what I’m doing at SCOUT to help students find and fund their ideal college experiences. Thanks for joining me! 

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: I would love the opportunity to speak to students and their families about these financial concepts. If your school needs a resource for a general presentation on the ins and outs of college costs, please let me know. I would be happy to share my knowledge and answer any general questions about the financial piece of college admissions. Please contact me by email or by calling 405-906-7044.


One key concept you need to know as you begin the college admissions process is Cost of Attendance (COA). This is the average amount it will cost a student to go to school. Most colleges calculate their COA to show the total cost for the school year (fall and spring semesters combined).

Typically, the COA is the estimate of tuition and fees, cost of room and board (or living expenses), cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses. Please keep in mind that costs can vary widely depending on whether you are evaluating a state college or a private college. Also – The cost of attendance represents an average cost, and many students ultimately pay less.

Federal law defines the expenses that colleges must include in calculating the cost of attendance. Most colleges publish those costs on their websites, which makes it relatively easy for families to compare schools side by side.

The easiest way to find any college’s COA is to use your favorite internet search function, like this:


My peer network at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) is filled with valuable resources. One such resource has been created by Jennie Kent and Jeff Levy at Big J Educational Consulting. The spreadsheet shows the need-based and merit aid distributed by hundreds of colleges in the United States. Categories in the spreadsheet include:

Total cost of attendance – for in-state and out-of-state students
Number of full-time undergraduates
Average % of need met
Percentage of non-need students receiving merit aid
Average merit $$ awarded to non-need students

Check it out to see how your favorite schools fare. Find the resource HERE.


ADMISSIONS ROUNDTABLE: College Admissions representatives are already recruiting for the Class of 2022. I had the opportunity to sit-in on several recruitment calls this past week. Check out these interesting tidbits:

Indiana University
• Jacobs School of Music is one of the largest in the country and has graduated numerous distinguished performers in the worlds of opera, jazz, classical music, and dance.

• It has one of the country’s top recreational sports programs – including quidditch, dodgeball, basketball, and water volleyball among many others. 

The Ohio State University
• Nationally ranked 1st year experience; resulting in 95% of freshman returning for sophomore year.
• Morrill Scholarship – full tuition for out-of-state students.
• National Buckeye Award – merit-based money specifically for out-of-state students

University of Alabama
• First year accepting the Common App
• The robotics team just took the Grand Prize in NASA’s mining competition for the 5th year in a row
• Merit-based scholarships are designed specifically to entice out-of-state students

University of Maryland
• 26 different factors considered in admissions
• Proximity to Washington, DC enables its criminal justice programs to thrive
• Features limited enrollment programs for the most competitive majors

University of South Carolina
• #1 undergraduate program for international business for 20+ years
• #1 sports management program in the nation

If you would like help exploring these or any of the other 4000+ college options in the United States, give me a call at 405-906-7044.

SOPHOMORES & JUNIORS: FInding affordable college options should be high on your list of priorities. Let me help! As always, my goal is to help you find and fund the ideal college experience! My approach is individualized for your student and designed to keep all of you focused on the aspects that matter to your specific situation. Use the button below to connect with me and let’s get started today!   

8TH AND 9TH GRADERS: As with every part of the college admissions process, financial planning starts early. Let’s explore how some key financial concepts should influence your college search. And then, let’s build academic, personal development, and extracurricular strategies that will help you achieve college and life goals. Getting started now allows us to identify scholarships, internships, and summer programs. My goal is to help you plan for a variety of aspects so that your student is positioned to make the most of high school opportunities and then poised to find and fund his/her ideal college experience. If you want to learn more about the Road Map Session, use the button below to set-up a no-cost / no-obligation call with me.

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Since I am writing about the financial aspects of college admissions this week, I thought I would return to an old favorite for the featured book. The tenth edition of 1001 Ways to Pay for College: Strategies to Maximize Financial Aid, Scholarships and Grants by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe is due to be released today! Beware: 1001 tips can be a little overwhelming. However, the details and resources provided on a wide range of financial topics are incredible. And beyond the basics, there are truly creative ideas for funding your college education. Be sure to check it out!

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