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Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 - Review

Posted on Dec 30, 2012 with No comments

Dec 30, 2012

The "Fiske Guide to Colleges" Is a good place to start when embarking on your journey in finding a good college. Fiske books have a long tradition of putting out comprehensive guides for helping up and coming college students and their parents select  and prepare for college. With over 2,000 colleges to pick from in the U.S. ti's hard to sort through them all. Fiske has solved this problem and narrowed the search down to the 320 most important colleges in the nation.

This comprehensive 848 page book describes 320 colleges in detail with 1,000 to 2,500 word detailed descriptions of each school. You will find an interesting in length discussion of the college campus and list of all the courses and degrees the college specializes in. Background information about acceptance rates, enrollment, and retention rates. A rating system for academics, social scene and quality of life is given. 

I like the "Fiske Guide to Colleges". Each college has a well written easy to read listing with much detail included like SAT score data, religious affiliations, sports, and college specializations. It's organized and clear layout lends itself to scanning quickly or more purposeful reading. 

Organization of information is one of Fiske's strong points. The 320 colleges are listed by state and country, price range, and private-public.

Each college has a complete essay that includes descriptions of academics, campus setting, student body, financial aid, housing, food, social life, and extracurricular activities.

There also is a listing where Fiske organizes each college by its strength in Architecture, business, art, journalism, engineering, dance, television, drama etc.

You'll find both the good and bad about a school. The result is not just a fact filled dry book but through the text you will get the feel of the college your reading about. Picking a college isn't just about the numbers, it is also about the human touch. Fiske specializes in describing the personality of a college.

With so many colleges Fiske takes a lot of criticism for not including more colleges in this book. You will find the shortcoming of just finding a lot of East and West coast colleges with many Midwest colleges missing. 

The "Fiske Guide to Colleges" is not as comprehensive as some other college guides in the number of colleges it covers, but it does cover many things other books don't. Is the Fiske book worth the money? It is if you need a book that gets down into the details and important things any college student needs to know about perspective colleges.

Here are some reviews from Amazon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful in the college search process August 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
The Fiske guide is very helpful in both the information that is given and the organization of each college review. The comments by students give a different perspective than the other guides. Although the Best Value list is helpful, I wish there was a sort function associated with the Fiske Guide. (Perhaps there is an on-line guide that I haven't found yet.) Despite the large number of schools in the guide, it is not complete. Still, it's the best of those college guides I have read.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful August 9, 2012
A friend recommended this book to aid the college search with our son. It is well-organized and packed with information. My son has NOT been interested in the college process, but he actually started paging through this book and got pulled into comparing things like the male/female ratio and quality of life ratings at different schools. It's a start!


4 Simple Ways To Pay Off Student Loan Debt

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 with No comments

Dec 27, 2012

Lots of people think that they need to sacrifice much to pay off college debts. Yes, it’s not easy because it’s not a few hundred dollars debt, but everything is possible if you really want it. It’s absolutely possible to have a normal lifestyle, cover all the necessary expenses and proceed making payments on your loan. To get out of debt it’s necessary to follow just a few simple rules and very soon you’ll notice very positive changes in your financial life.

Be frugal

It seems like you spend a fortune on your little passion. It can be anything, starting from ordinary coffee up to buying old expensive cars. Now when you have a long-term goal and want to pay back you loan, it is senseless to spend money on different items you like but actually do not need. It can be hard to notice, but these small purchases just eat up an important part of your budget. Spend money on your needs only, to become debt-free it’s necessary to cut expenses and focus on the main goal.

Find a way to make more cash

Looking for a new source of money is momentous, so do that as quickly as possible. The sooner you will find a well-paid job, the sooner you will get rid of loans and debts. If you already have a job, think what you can do to make more money – maybe you can do some additional things and work more hours or get a part-time job. Think of some online options: writing articles or tutoring are very good ideas to raise your income.

Make payments in time

It’s extremely important to make payments on loans regularly. It’s not worth to think like in case you will gain sufficient amount of money then you will be able to pay off for all loans all together. That’s a bad idea. Do not hope that miracle will happen, some one rich will knock on your door and give you money just because you are a good person. If you do not make payments within 270 days, the creditors may take away your wages.

Do not take out any loans

Debt elimination is a difficult process, you should be very savvy and say no to yourself when you want something. You may think that you are tired and there’s nothing bad in taking out a small short-term loan like installment loan online for bad credit customer, but remember about your goal. It’s not just about becoming debt free, you should change your attitude to money and learn how to live within your means. It’s not that easy, but be goal-oriented, organized and do not forget that the success depends on you only.


Consider these Strategies to Prevent a College Loan Debt

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 with No comments

Dec 19, 2012

Choosing either a state college or an expensive private college is always a hard thing to do not only for those entering tertiary education, but also for their parents. As it is, entering college is always seen as a financial obligation, especially for parents who work hard just to send their teenage sons and daughters to school. The tricky part in completing their children’s college course, is, of course, when they undergoing some debt issues.

As it is, college loans are helpful throughout the teen’s college life, but it would be hard if the family is downed by debt before or during the duration of the teenager’s stay in a college or university. It would be then safe to say that he or she would be well off in a state college rather than taking on the private one.

To help prevent any inconveniences when under a college loan, here are some of the strategies that would certainly help the family:
  • Save, save, save. It helps if the family saves money before the child enters college. This is especially good if they live in a state where income-tax break for contributions is given to 529 plan holders, which the state sponsors. What is good about here is that withdrawing money from 529 accounts is tax-free. That way, paying college expenses are not reduced. 
  • Choose a marketable major to take in college. This is for the sons and daughters who are about to take on college. It would be practical for them to take a major that is marketable and would guarantee an immediate job offer. Such majors such as accounting, business administration, engineering, and computer-related studies are some of them. Any course will do, so long as the industry is a marketable one. 
  • Obtain money smartly. Such loans as Stafford loans for students and PLUS loans for parents are two of the best programs to go if the family has to borrow money to pay bills. Expensive private loans don’t always work, so availing either or both of these two is much more practical. 
  • Parents should talk with their teenagers about their college plans. This is the first thing to do before letting the latter start their search for the university or college and the major they want to take. That way, they’ll know if these fit the family’s budget. They’ll also know the amount of money they need to contribute for their education. 


How Much Does a Bachelor Degree Cost Around the World? - Infographic

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 with No comments

Dec 18, 2012

Here is a great infographic depicting the cost of a bachelor degrees around the world. It’s interesting to see the costs in some countries. Also what you chose as your major will impact for the rest of your career what your income will be. Many parents do not realize the education their children are getting, for an insane cost, will lead to a poor paying job

Courtesy of  Job Requirements and Designed by Infographics 

Got further questions? Catch me on twitter and DM me @529SavingsPlans or e-mail me at 529CollegePlans at Gmail.comWant to be heard? Leave a reader comment below.

How to Save and Finance Your College Education

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 with No comments

Dec 17, 2012

Finance is a major factor that influences the decision to go for a college degree. It is an investment in your future that you need to take very seriously. Here is how one can gather a good amount of financial aid way before you even get the admission for a bachelor’s degree course.

Be an Early bird

Build a college fund for yourself. From the weekly allowances you get, the odd summer jobs that you take up and the garage sales that you have, you could put aside a good bit in a college fund. The trick is, the earlier you start the smaller the amount you will need to put aside each month.

Get Financial Aid

In addition to the systematic savings plan you might need to apply for financial aid to get into your college of choice and fulfill the education requirements for your career.. Your first shot should be to try for a grant or scholarships. They need not be repaid. Alternately, you could also apply for education loans that come with low interest rates and can be repaid after you finish your course and secure a job. You could also look for colleges which offer work-study programs. These let the students work during summer time or take up part-time jobs during non-study hours of the day. This way they can repay a sizable amount of the loan during the college term itself.

Got further questions? Catch me on twitter and DM me @529SavingsPlans or e-mail me at 529CollegePlans at Gmail.comWant to be heard? Leave a reader comment below.

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