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The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford Paperback – May 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Career Press; Original edition (May 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601631669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601631664
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol Stack is the former Director of Admissions at Macalester College and Augsburg College. For the past 15 years, Stack has worked as a principal at Hardwick-Day, an enrollment consulting firm that works with the admissions and financial aid offices of private colleges and universities. Through Hardwick-Day, she has consulted on financial aid policy at dozens of colleges, including Whittier, Grinnell, Mills, Randolph-Macon, and Xavier University.



Ruth Vedvik has held the position of Director of Admissions at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Ball State University, and Agnes Scott College. For the past 9 years, Vedvik has worked as a principal at Hardwick-Day, an enrollment consulting firm that works with the admissions and financial aid offices of private colleges and universities. Through Hardwick-Day, she has consulted on financial aid policy at dozens of colleges, including Whittier, Grinnell, Mills, Randolph-Macon, and Xavier University.

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Customer Reviews

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I'd highly recommend it for high school juniors and their parents.
cletrac
To help with that task the book provides numerous worksheets and gives specific information about resources available online.
S Howden
Great information-I have read a few books on the subject and this was the best by far!
Robert L. Berger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S Howden on October 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is essential to any high school student planning on attending college, and for whom paying for college is a concern, and for any parent of a such a student. The authors of the book, Carol Stack and Ruth Vendik, lay out very clearly how colleges determine the amount of financial aid a student will be offered based upon what the colleges consider to be a desirable student. Tools and resources are given for determining how desirable specific students will be to specific colleges and what financial aid could reasonably be expected. An important point made in the book is that computations of "need-based" financial aid can result in significantly lower awards than many families expect and can lead to painful choices between declining offers from first-choice schools or taking on massive amounts of debt. For those tempted by the latter choice, the book lays out in stark detail how this can later severely crimp lifestyle after graduation and limit career choices. Proactive advice is given on how to avoid this situation. The book describes how to find colleges which are a good fit for the interests of a particular student, provide a great education, and are likely to make a good financial aid award. To help with that task the book provides numerous worksheets and gives specific information about resources available online. I highly recommend this book, and I have given a copy of it to the college counselor at my local high school.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Valuegal on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought I was pretty up on this subject, but this book was written up in my newspaper and talked about some things new to me. I was please to learn a lot. Not happy with the facts I learned about the "business" of universities and how they operate; but it is better to know the truth. Help your kids, and help yourself by arming yourself with the information as you explore colleges.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By cletrac on January 4, 2012
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I am a volunteer mentor for high school students and advise them on selecting and paying for college.

This book greatly enhanced my knowledge on these topics. In addition it really is readable.

I'd highly recommend it for high school juniors and their parents.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Debbie on September 25, 2013
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The way this book works (and boy did it work well) is that parents AND the student are to read the book and form a team. The adults explore their resources and the student explores college costs. Then the team determines what "affordable" means to the family and also what a "reasonable" amount to borrow for college costs BEFORE the student gets their heart broken when their top 6 college choices are out of financial reach unless a 6 figure loan is taken out. The authors believe that debt over $20,000 total for undergraduates is neither reasonable nor necessary for a student to find a good school that is an excellent fit.

The book is well organized, separated into logical chapters, and neither patronizes nor overwhelms the reader, be they parent or student. It's matter of fact, but not dry; all 3 of us wound up chuckling occasionally.

My spouse, student and I read the book and teamed up to follow the advice suggested by the authors. My student was confident in their research,as were we. Rather than narrow the search, my student found an overwhelming number of colleges that were affordable for our middle class family. They were able to narrow their list to a dozen viable choices. After several phone interviews and college visits, our student asked to apply to 8 schools. They were accepted by 6 colleges, all within our means. Three of them offered substantial financial aid packages.

Our student is happily settled in their first year of one of the 3 colleges. My STUDENT suggested they take a work-study job to reduce the amount of their student loan. They got that wisdom from the book!

I gave a copy to my student's college counselor; he read it, loved it as well and is recommending it to parents. I strongly recommend it to you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teacher P on June 15, 2013
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This book is great. It is not expensive and goes into great detail about the importance of not incurring too much debt from going to college. It redefines a "reach school" as one that reaches for the student: if you are in the top 10% of the students a school accepts (GPA and ACT/SAT) then the school is much more likely to want to give you money to attend. Gives a formula of sorts to help you determine the maximum you would want to borrow depending on your anticipated career/income. My first child is going to college next year; this book informed me about lots of things I had no idea about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Prilla on April 27, 2012
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This book gives insight into the financial aid web for middle class families that don't have an extra 200k saved. These days it's important that students not only look for an academic and social fit, but a financial fit as well. These authors explain how to find colleges that will "fund" your child more than others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Jo Parrish-Hanifan on January 23, 2014
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Easy reading and language you can understand! Also, valuable website information provided to explore many avenues of financing higher education. Just shared this with all of my Facebook friends and hope they purchase this awesome treasure!
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