Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

Q & A with Don and Seamus: Are You Penalized for Asking for Financial Aid?

Karl Schellscheidt -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comWe continue our question and answer session with expert Don Betterton with a question submitted by Luke:

Let’s say you indicate, on your application, that you will be applying for financial aid. Will this affect your chances of being admitted? I was just wondering.

(more…)

New ePrep Feature: Ask Seamus and Don.

Karl Schellscheidt -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comBetween them, ePrep Guest Experts Seamus Malin and Don Betterton have more than 70 years of administrative experience at Harvard University and Princeton University. Both have graciously agreed to field questions from ePrep visitors who are interested in knowing more about college admissions and (more…)

Work Study Programs; Financial Aid Admissions Penalty?

Don Betterton -

eprep financial aid video

We continue our sit-down with Don Betterton to discuss financial aid issues for high juniors and their parents. In today’s post, Don discusses college work study programs and how they fit into your financial aid package. Additionally, we explore the question of whether indicating you will or “might” need financial aid negatively affects your chances for college admission. Click the “play now” button to enjoy our continued discussions with Don. (more…)

icon for podpress   - 10:52m -   Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

College Financial Aid Award Letters

Don Betterton -

eprep financial aid video

We pick up on our financial aid discussion for junior year and discuss the steps required to ultimately get your financial aid award letter. When and how should you estimate what your family is expected to pay for college? Do all colleges require the same financial aid forms? When will you receive your financial aid award letter, and what can you do if there’s still a major gap between what you’re expected to pay and what you are able to pay? Can you appeal a financial aid award to request more aid? What are the components in a typical financial aid package?

Guest expert Don Betterton discusses what steps you can take in the Spring of your junior year to begin estimating your financial aid profile relative to the colleges on your wish list. (more…)

icon for podpress   - 7:12m -   Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

College and Financial Aid: Junior Year High School Checklist

Don Betterton -

eprep financial aid video

As a junior in high school (or parent of a junior), what should you do to begin analyzing how to pay for college? What college financial aid process should you follow if you’re just now getting started? Earlier in our talks with Don Betteron, director of financial aid at Princeton University for thirty (30) years, ePrep focused on what parents of younger children can do to prepare for college tuition. Today’s prepcast discusses what high school juniors can do to determine their estimated family contribution and seek help from their college financial aid office. Typically, most junior and senior students are so focused on college applications and SAT test that they fail to consider their ability to pay for the colleges on their wish list. Join us as Don talks about now to use an online financial aid estimator at finaid.org and what to do with the information.

For those looking for more in our series on Financial Aid, we encourage you to review our previous ePrep financial aid posts:

The 16 Things You Should Know (or Do) Junior Year in High School
The 15 Questions You Should Ask About a College’s Financial Aid Program
The Price Tag: You Can Always Say “No”
Paying for College: Pre-High School Savings and Financial Aid

(more…)

icon for podpress   - 10:58m -   Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

“Colleges Have Forgotten Poor Students…” -

Seamus Malin -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.com - or so goes the quote in a recent Inside Higher Ed article about merit-based financial aid. The article notes a recent meeting of the American Council on Education in Washington where the “merit” of current merit-based programs was under scrutiny.

“Too many states and institutions have lost balance and are subsidizing students who are already college bound”

College-Savings/529 Plans to Benefit from Bush’s Budget Plan

Don Betterton -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.com Reporter Paul Fain’s article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education discussed how Bush’s proposed budget would affect college-savings plans (also known as 529 plans). The language of the proposed budget would create a small tax credit for low-income families and significantly change the way plan savings factor into federal financial aid calculation. This could be big for savers.

For some general background information on saving for college and 529 plans, see my ePrep video interview.

Proposed Pell Grant Increase: Good News and Bad News

Don Betterton -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.com Reporter Kelly Field of The Chronicle of Higher Education reported today that President Bush’s proposal to increase the maximum Pell Grant is likely to be made possible through cuts in lender subsidies and the elimination of the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants program (SEOG), which augments Pell Grants for low-income students.

This is a follow up to my post dated February 2, 2007. While we still have a long way to go, I am more confident now that most of Bush’s proposals with will be implemented in one form or another.

Proposed Pell Grants Increase

Don Betterton -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.com This has a way to go, but I thought it would be of interest to ePrep visitors.

Pell grants provide the nation’s main financial aid program for low-income college students. Yesterday the Bush administration proposed boosting the annual per student grant by $550 to $4,600, the largest increase in over thirty years.

College Freshman as Leading Indicators

Seamus Malin -

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comInside Higher Ed reviews a new study that profiled a staggering 270,000 incoming freshman at 400 colleges. The article notes that first-year students are increasingly politically minded and more polarized in their political views. Financial aid for college was cited as a major concern by freshman. In fact, among those students admitted to their first choice college that ultimately chose not to attend, the top reason cited for enrolling elsewhere was their inability to pay tuition.

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