Thursday, October 28, 2010


Full article:

Law schools are manufacturing more lawyers than America needs, and law students aren't happy about it. By Annie Lowrey Posted Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, at 4:14 PM ET

Excerpt: Between 2007 and 2009, the number of LSAT takers climbed 20.5 percent. Law school applications increased in turn... But now a number of recent or current law students are saying—or screaming—that they made a mistake. They went to law school, they say, and now they're underemployed or jobless, in debt, and three years older. And statistics show that the evidence is more than anecdotal.... One popular medium is the "scam blog," where indebted, unemployed attorneys accuse law schools of being little better than tuition-sucking diploma mills. (Sample blog title: Shilling Me Softly.) The author of one popular, if histrionic, such blog describes his law school as a Ponzi scheme.

Friday, October 22, 2010

U Wash and OSU: Cheap Public State Unversity Vs Posh Private

Before you give up on posh private schools like Villanova, Santa Clara University, Worcester Polytechnic, Seattle University or Stevens Institute of Technology, some of these schools (I won't say exactly who or how much)  charge about the same or not much more than in-state residents with dorms, even if you make far above a working class income. (we're talking $15-25,000/ yr) You never know until you get an offer back. Some of the schools were more generous than what the federal "FAFSA" says they think you should pay. If you feel like sharing what YOUR kid got as an offer, go ahead and leave comments.

The very top schools like Harvard, Stanford, Princeton or MIT will give you a free ride if your parents pull in $60-$70,000 or less, which is what a top engineering graduate might expect to make with a stay-at-home mom after a few years. Or they will charge a percentage up to 10 percent up to $100,000. The trick is getting in when these schools have lottery odds with less than 10 percent of students admitted. But the second-strings schools mentioned above have 45-70 percent admit rates and offer basically similar programs and quality for a less valued nameplate, and it seems they offer a viable alternative for not much more or close to what a state university would cost if you plan to live on campus.

The financial aid flier from Oregon State University in Corvallis OR (we live near Seattle) is about the same deal as what we're paying for a great private university with financial aid,. I know some parents that make much more than us who aren't paying too much more than that for similar 2nd tier schools like Stevens Institute of Technology. Lesson - don't automatically assume the state university for a resident will always be much cheaper than a big sticker-price private university.

Estimated costs 2010-2011:
Oregon resident tuition: $7,218 (not so bad)
Nonresident $20,442
Other expenses $13,505 (room board and everything else)

total resident: $20,723
nonresident $33.947

The University of Washington in Seattle is similar, $22,000 with dorm, $15,000 for commuter (but parents still need to pay for car, insurance, bus pass, food etc) $45,000 full price isn't much different that posh private schools (but Univerity of Washington is more famous than a bunch of posh private schools with higher test scores but without awesome football teams)

2010-2011 Student Budget Nine-Month Living Expenses
Budget Items

Lives with Parents Undergrad Traditional Undergrad Non-Traditional Undergrad

Books $1,035 $1,035 $1,035
Room/Board $3,189 $9,399 $13,578
Personal $2,265 $2,265 $2,265
Transportation $642 $642 $1,524

Resident Tuition $8,701 $8,701 $8,701
Resident Total Costs $15,832 $22,042 $27,103

Non-Resident Tuition $25,329 $25,329 $25,329
Non-Resident Total Costs $32,460 $38,670 $43,731

Non-Traditional: Undergraduates who have children; married undergraduates whose spouses are not also enrolled.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Princeton Shows Typical Financial Aid 2010


Here's a table of what different income levels will get IF they can get into Princeton, followed by article on how they've decided to expand the size of incoming classes, and move to a no-loan system.  If your family makes $60,000 (about what a graduate of Princeton engineering school might make, or maybe two liberal arts grads of an average college might start out with) you will get in for essentially free. Even if you pull in $200,000, if you have two kids going to college, you'll still get a discount the size of a new Honda civic.


The University’s comprehensive financial aid plan helps moderate-, middle- and upper-middle-income families afford the cost of a Princeton education. The figures below show the average grant, by yearly income, for students at various family income levels in the freshman class of 2014.
Tuition, room and board is $48,580 for 2010-11.

Yearly income:

Up to $60,000

Average grant: $48,600

What it covers: Full tuition, room and board, and some expenses

Yearly income:

$60,000 to $80,000

Average grant: $45,100

What it covers: Full tuition, 71 percent of room and board

Yearly income:

$80,000 to $100,000

Average grant: $42,250

What it covers: Full tuition, 47 percent of room and board

Yearly income:

$100,000 to $120,000

Average grant: $38,750

What it covers: Full tuition, 18 percent of room and board

Yearly income:

$120,000 to $140,000

Average grant: $34,700

What it covers: 95 percent of tuition

Yearly income:

$140,000 to $160,000

Average grant: $30,400

What it covers: 83 percent of tuition

Yearly income:

$160,000 to $180,000

Average grant: $26,450

What it covers: 72 percent of tuition

Yearly income:

$180,000 to $200,000

Average grant: $22,700

What it covers: 62 percent of tuition

Yearly income:
$200,000 and above*

Average grant: $17,000

What it covers: 46 percent of tuition
*Most who qualify at this income level have two children in college.
Source: Office of Financial Aid

Freshman class reflects commitment to access and affordability

Posted September 20, 2010; 06:00 p.m. share
printby Karin DienstThe Princeton class of 2014, selected from a record number of applicants, reflects continued success in the University's efforts to attract a diverse student body and to make a Princeton education affordable to all students who enroll.

"At Princeton, access and affordability are core values, and we are extraordinarily fortunate to be able to hold firm to our commitment to the strongest possible undergraduate financial aid program in a period of significant fiscal stringency," Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel said in her report on class of 2014 admissions at the Sept. 20 faculty meeting. "As the data ... make plain, we continue to be tremendously successful in attaining our goal of making Princeton affordable for any student regardless of family financial circumstances."

The class of 2014 is Princeton’s largest, in keeping with a planned gradual expansion of the size of the undergraduate student body as the University moves toward reaching its "steady state" of enrolling 5,200 students by the 2012-13 academic year. The incoming 1,313 freshmen were selected from a record 26,247 applicants. The number of applicants increased 19.5 percent from the previous record of 21,963 for the class of 2013. Overall, Princeton offered admission to 2,311 applicants, or 8.8 percent -- the lowest ever -- of those who applied to the class of 2014. This compares to 10.1 percent in 2009-10.

The 11 percent expansion of the undergraduate student body began in 2005; 2014 is the second class to have reached the new norm of roughly 1,300 entering students.

This year, 768 freshmen, or 58 percent of the class, are receiving financial aid, with a total of $27 million in scholarships. The average grant is $35,157. The incoming class includes 208 students from low-income backgrounds, or nearly 16 percent of freshmen.

The class of 2014 is the 13th to matriculate since the University initiated significant policy changes in undergraduate financial aid -- including a pioneering "no-loan" policy -- to make a Princeton education more affordable to a broader range of students. In the class of 2001, the last class to enter before the aid improvements, 38 percent of the students were on financial aid with an average grant of $15,064, and students from low-income backgrounds made up 8 percent of the class.

The class of 2014 includes the largest number of students from minority backgrounds in Princeton’s history, with a total of 490 students from American minorities representing 37.3 percent of the class.

The class of 2014 also includes 141 international students, constituting 10.7 percent of the class. The international students represent 47 countries.

The class of 2014 is the third freshman class to be evenly balanced in terms of gender.

The figures for the incoming freshman class do not include the 20 students admitted to the class of 2014 who are participating in the second year of Princeton’s Bridge Year Program, in which they spend a year abroad on service projects. Those students will enroll with the class of 2015. The figures for the class of 2014 do include the 20 students admitted with the class of 2013 who participated in the Bridge Year Program in 2009-10.

According to the Office of the Registrar, Princeton currently enrolls 5,103 undergraduates. (Official opening enrollment numbers will be available in October.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Don't you hate looking up mailing addresses?

The problem with sending in recommendations by mail is that you have to look up the mailing address, but it's always a different place on each website, and sometimes it's not even on the website.

So here are some of the college addresses I had to look up:

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Harvard College
86 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Boston University Admissions
121 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215

Tufts University
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Santa Clara University
Admissions office
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara 95053

Stanford University
Office of Undergraduate Admission.
Montag Hall,
355 Galvez Street
Stanford, California 94305-6106

Office of Admissions
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Room 3-108
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307