Planning for College

Attending college requires careful planning in order to ensure you enroll properly, and have your tuition payments in order. These articles will help explain everything from the admission process to financial aid.

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Before you can even begin to tackle all the challenges college has in store, you first have to figure out how to pay for it. That's where financial aid can come in handy. But what's the difference between loans and grants, and which is right for you?

By Jennifer Sellers

There are people out there who don't fear dental work. They're called dentists, and all of those practicing in the United States took the Dental Admission Exam, or DAT. What does the DAT test?

By Julia Layton

A four-year degree at an Ivy League school runs a couple hundred grand, give or take. Fortunately, the Ivies have some great financial aid programs for low-income students -- you might even be surprised by what "low-income" means these days.

By Julia Layton


As it gets increasingly difficult for students to pay for college, it helps to know every possible option for financial aid. If your need is exceptional, you can consider a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, which helps out with expenses not covered by other grants or loans.

By Christine Venzon

If you'd like to link your interest in law with your interest in the environment, you might consider a joint degree. But you'll need to jump through some hoops to finance it.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Private grants are a great way to help you finance your education, but how do you find them? Is there anything special you have to do to qualify for these unusual financial gifts?

By Josh Briggs

Of the many ways to get financial aid while paying for school, work-study programs offer more than just a dollar amount. They can also give students real work experience alongside an hourly wage that can go toward tuition.

By Martha Barksdale


You've taken the LSAT, sent off your college transcripts and filled out the required forms. You're almost done with your law school applications, but now it's time to think about your essay.

By Linda C. Brinson

Are standardized tests the stuff of your nightmares? Find out how you can sleep easy again with these 10 tips for making the GRE less daunting.

By Laurie L. Dove & Patrick Murray

Applying for postdoctoral positions isn't like other college admissions processes. What kinds of places can you apply to, and what information will you need to submit?

By Tristin Hopper

Paying for college can be stressful for many students. Even getting loans can be hard, since you'll have to pay them back with interest. Direct loans, however, are low-interest loans funded by the U.S. government.

By Meghan E. Smith


As the first federal student loan, Perkins Loans help those with financial need afford college. How does this loan compare with others, and how did the Russian space program prompt its creation?

By Lance Looper

Federal and local governments offer a number of grants to help college students pay for their education. Are public grants easier to get than private grants? What do you need to do to qualify and apply?

By Jonathan Strickland

As confidence in the economy wavers, many people are looking for a way to become more marketable to employers. Business school degree is a logical step, but an MBA can come with a steep price tag. What financial aid opportunities are available for business graduate students?

By Lawrence Schumacher

For decades now, U.S. college admissions counselors have used race as a factor when accepting applicants. The rules are constantly changing, though, as students, educators and leaders question whether race should still be a determining factor.

By Thorin Klosowski


If you've been rejected from your dream school, you may be able to reverse the decision by submitting an appeal letter. What information should you include, and what else should you send with the letter?

By Tristin Hopper

Dental school isn't cheap. On top of tuition, books and other educational expenses, many students must pay for their own instruments. How do dental school students find financial aid to help them out?

By Jonathan Strickland

Incomes in the six figures help most lawyers chuckle through bad law jokes no problem. But actually paying for law school is no laughing matter. If you're determined to become a lawyer, how do you do it?

By Jessika Toothman

Members of AmeriCorps, a federally funded service program, have a chance to use financial aid toward higher education. How can you use the award once you've finished your term?

By Cherise Threewitt


Just when you thought you'd beaten the odds and gained acceptance to the college of your choice, the numbers game begins anew as you start to figure out how to pay for school. Luckily for you, your SAT score might be your ace in the hole.

By Marie Willsey

The ACT is one of two major standardized tests given to high school students across the United States every year. Although it tends to take a back seat to the better known SAT, more and more would-be college students are taking the ACT.

By Ed Grabianowski

For single parents, going back to school can seem practically impossible. What types of "free" scholarships and grants exist for single parents, and how can you find them?

By Julia Layton

During the admissions process, many colleges use a standardized test, such as the SAT or ACT, to measure how well students will perform academically. What are your options, and how can you prepare if you opt to take a test?

By Susan Sherwood, Ph.D.


Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a person's life -- too bad it costs a fortune. How can scholarships and grants help you explore other countries, cultures and people all while studying for college credit?

By Julia Layton

Packing for college can be stressful, especially if you're moving into the dorms for the first time. Chances are you're away from home for the first time, and you'll be taking care of yourself. What are the essentials for the college living experience?

By Christine Venzon