It’s been two months since I last posted anything on my blog. I was feeling increasingly guilty about it. It was the emails that I received inquiring about my absence, however, that prodded me to return now.
Actually, there was a reason for my absence. At the time I disappeared, I was juggling two books deadlines simultaneously. I helped write one book for a bestselling author/securities attorney. I’ll talk more about that one when it’s released this summer. I am most proud of the other book that I wrote, which is tentatively entitled, The College Solution, The Guide for Everybody Looking for the Right School at the Right Price. That book, which is being published by an imprint of Prentice Hall, should be in stores in May or June.
Strangely enough, I was sad when I recently finished writing the college book because it turned into such an intellectually challenging pursuit. I thought I had learned a lot about choosing/paying for college when my daughter was looking for schools, but thanks to the book I learned so much more. What made the writing and research a pleasure is knowing that so few people — outside of academia — really know what’s entailed with evaluating colleges, selecting appropriate academic fits and affording them. Frankly, families that follow conventional wisdom regarding college are often shortchanging themselves. Many families, for instance, assume that their children can only afford a bachelor’s degree from a state school. This is particularly true in a state like California where 84% of freshmen attend instate schools.
What many families overlook when they assume a nearby state school is the best (and it could well be) is what the ultimate cost will be. When students attend state schools, they often can’t finish their degree for five, six or even seven years. San Diego State University’s four-year graduation rate is an appalling 13.9%. UC Berkeley and UCLA’s four-year graduation rates are only 58% and 56% respectively. And that’s also unacceptable when you consider that many of the brightest kids in the state end up at these schools.
The fastest way to look at four, five and six-year graduation rates for any schools, as well as compare them to their peers, is through the Education Trust’s College Results Online.
My book urges people to look at all their options before settling for any particular school. And that is just one piece of advice that you’ll find in the book that’s about 68,000-words long.
FYI, now that the book is finished, I will be holding informal seminars in homes where I hope to reach a few families at a time. Anyone who is interested can contact me through the web site.
That’s it for now. I promise to write soon!