The College Money Guys - December 2018


Whether you’re planning out a college tour with your high school junior or encouraging your sophomore to research universities, there are many factors to consider. Academics, reputation, location, sports, cost of tuition — these are all important elements in helping you and your student decide where to focus their attention when application season rolls around. However, there are two other factors that frequently don’t make this list, even though they can make or break a decision on where to go to for a higher education.

GPA will often be a critical factor in which aid package they receive. If a student is within the top 10 percent of a school’s freshman GPA, you can bet they’re going to do all they can to sweeten the pot. Conversely, reach schools are happy to charge more and give out less aid to maintain their elite status. Remember that transferring to a higher-ranking school after the first 2–3 years of college is a valid way of saving money and getting a great education! Some parents assume that all schools are created equal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. While most schools will have access to some form of federal assistance for aid packages, that aid is the bare minimum. Many private institutions also have access to vast pools of alumni donations and scholarship funds that they use to supplement the government aid students qualify for. Schools that have a higher sticker price than state universities often give more aid to students. Thus, these colleges can frequently end up costing you less than their public counterparts. Ability to Give Out Aid

Average GPA of Freshmen

While it’s tempting to select “reach” schools with rigorous academic thresholds for acceptance, it’s also important to consider universities with a slightly lower bar for entry. Often, if your student has an above-average GPA, their applications will shine above their peers. This makes them more likely to be accepted and receive a better aid package.

While need will always be the primary factor in determining financial aid, if a school has to choose between students of similar means,



Inspired by Bon Appétit

INGREDIENTS • 2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled • 2–3 sprigs rosemary • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute.

5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.

6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30–45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.

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