10 Things That Many High School Counselors Don't Know

I am sure that I ticked off a fair number of high school counselors yesterday when I wrote this post:

Why High School Counselors Don’t Know Much About College

I wanted to follow up with a list of things that the typical high school counselors doesn’t know. This list could have been much longer, but since people are impatient on the web, I’m only going to include 10 things. Here goes:

1. The federally mandated net price calculators, which must be installed on college and university websites by next fall are going to be revolutionary.  These calculators will be as big a game changer as college rankings.

2. There are roughly four dozen colleges and universities in the country that are no-loan schools, which means that they meet a student’s financial aid need with grants that don’t have to be repaid. If you’re a low-income or middle-class kid, gaining entry into one of these elite schools is like winning it big in a lottery.

3. Private scholarships are inferior to scholarships that colleges award themselves yet it’s the private scholarships that counselors often urge students to find.

4. Many counselors don’t understand the differences between the FAFSA and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

5. Zinch and Cappex are helping to transform the way that colleges and teenagers find each other.

6. Graduation rates are abysmal at the vast majority of colleges and universities. Fewer than 60% of college students graduate in six years.

7. Because of low graduation rates at the typical public university, private colleges can be cheaper than public one for some students. Eighty five percent of  students attending private schools have received a college scholarship or grant from their institutions.

8. Not all state universities are alike in educating students, but successful ones tend to share certain characteristics.

9. Minority students don’t always have to be as talented to gain entry into the most elite colleges and universities, but Asian high school students are penalized.

10. Many out-of-state public universities will offer cheaper tuition to promising students through reciprocal agreements and other arrangements.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also blogs about college for CBSMoneyWatch.

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