Financial Resources


Savings/Investment Programs

529 Plans - Highlights:
  • Investments grow tax deferred
  • Withdraws are tax free when used for higher education expenses at any accredited college or university worldwide.
  • Tax code changes (2018) allow plans to be used to pay for private K-12 private education 
  • Many States provide some form of income tax benefit   

Converting UTMA/UGMA to 529: Learn more about whether you should convert a UTMA to 529

Financial Aid
Understand your Expected Family Contribution (EFC):
  • Federal method vs. Institutional method
  • College Board has a free estimator
  • Your EFC is the amount for One Year of College for your student

Video: How to Create a FSA ID - need this to do the application, both parent and student!

College Costs
Understand the actual cost of college for your student and use a Net Price Calculator (NPC) to determine your bottom-line amount for individual schools. Every school is to provide a calculator on their website - be cautious on their accuracy.

College Data - # of students who receive merit scholarships per school

US Dept of Education Database (IPEDS) - provides trends and stats on costs    

Student Loans  

Scholarships & Grants - Find Scholarships
National Association of College and University Business Officers - provides studies, including institution grant recipient numbers)  

Unigo - Find Scholarships

Fastweb - Find Scholarships

Fatomei - Crazy list of scholarships   

SallieMae - Find Scholarships
US Dept of LaborFind Scholarships

Cappex  - provides data on institutional scholarships

For school specific Scholarship & Grants go to their site and search

Athletics - see below

Financial Aid/Award Letters
How to interpret: 

TuitionFit- compare tool for like students and same colleges

Mapping What Matters - Your Student and Desired Outcomes

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes:   

College Completion (Chronicles of Higher Education):   

Gladwell NYT Story on U.S. News' College rankings:   

Purdue/Gallup Study: Measuring What Matters: Gallup - future happiness is less dependent on school attended   

Job Intelligence (great for Major/State/School average salary):    

Graduation Rates & Earnings Data 

College Results: - Lots of all around good data here too   

Payscale ROI:   

Educate to Career:   

Dept of Ed - Fields of Study data/schools:  

List Building

Trends in Cost of Colleges: 

College Transitions Data: Great Resource Many Topics  

College Navigator: -  Good database for a lot of schools

Colleges That Change Lives: Colleges That Change Lives – Changing Lives. One Student At A Time. (

National Survey of Student Engagement: Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education: Indiana University   

College Confidential (Opinions & Forums): Admissions | College Search | College Confidential   

College Professor Ratings/Opinions:   

College Communities Rankings/Opinions:  

Testing & Resume Building

Compass: Resource Center - Compass Education Group ( - Great document on Standardized Testing    

SAT (College Board): College Board - SAT, AP, College Search and Admission Tools   

PSAT: The PSAT/NMSQT – SAT Suite | College Board   

AP, Advanced Placement Program: Get Ahead with AP – AP Students | College Board   

ACT, American College Testing: The ACT Test for Students | ACT   


Online Testing Resources
Kahn Academy: Khan Academy | Free Online Courses, Lessons & Practice   

Find Standardized Scores
SAT and ACT Policies and Score Ranges for Popular Colleges and Universities - Compass Education Group (   

College Board - SAT, AP, College Search and Admission Tools > Type school name, click on applying link/profile       

Resume Building, Recommendation Letters, and Essay Writing   
Student Resume Templates:   Develop a resumé and update it frequently. Your student's list of extracurricular activities, awards, accomplishments, and work experience will be available when completing college applications.

Article on Big Future -  How to get a great letter of recommendation (give them your resume)   

Journal Daily

John Hopkins Essays That Worked - 

Applications & Admissions

Scholarship Application Dates:   

Common Application: Apply to college with Common App | Your future starts here   

Finding Colleges Late: National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC): National Association for College Admission Counseling- College Openings Update (  

Other Resources

Liberal Arts Colleges Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges: Members – COPLAC   

US News Rankings: 2022 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges | US News Rankings   

Regional Universities List: Best Regional Universities in America | US News Best Colleges   

Honors Colleges
Best Honors Programs and Honors Programs (   
Top Honors Colleges (     

Study Abroad
Study Abroad Volunteer Abroad, Intern Abroad Teach Abroad Degrees Abroad
Discover Meaningful Programs Abroad | Read Reviews, Go Overseas     


College Consultants 


The resource list is not comprehensive and in no way do we endorse or guarantee the information or results from anything listed above.