How to Make College Cheaper: Part 3 | College Made Simple

How To Go Where the Help Is Greatest

In the final piece of our three-part series, we’ll examine how to get colleges to cough up the most money possible.

You Are In More Control than You Think

Do you know what the average acceptance rate is for most college applicants?


That means, unless you are well-below average… or you are applying to the most elite schools… you are going to have numerous offers.

And with numerous acceptance letters, you have plenty of choices.

That means you can choose the schools that treat you best.

Some schools will pick up 100% of need… while others will pick up 20-30%.

Some schools will give you grants that don’t need to be paid back… while others will give most of their aid as loans which can saddle you with debt for decades.

Find out the truth about each school.

And then, don’t be afraid to ask for a better offer.

Most of the time, schools will be unwilling to move from what they’ve already presented.

But, sometimes, you can work a better deal. If a school is running behind in their acceptances, perhaps – or if your application is especially appealing for some reason – then you may find yourself as the center of a bidding war.

It doesn’t happen to most students, but it does happen every year. It never hurts to ask.

And, should you not be in so fortunate a position – you still should know the rules of every financial aid package presented you. Then, make sure you choose the one most beneficial.

This will take a little homework – schools with less generous aid packages don’t like to advertise that fact – but, to a well-informed applicant, the differences should be obvious.

All else being equal, go where the help is greatest.

Combine that savviness with the steps outlined in Part I: Scholarships and Part II: Strategies, and you should be well on your way to making college a much more affordable proposition.

For more insights and specific techniques on reducing your total out-of-pocket college costs, sign up for College Made Simple/College Planning Network’s free online video workshop.

To your successful college funding and admissions,

Jodi Polster
Education Director,


Related Articles:

A Treasure Chest of Tips to Beat the High Cost of College

How to Get Maximum Money for College

How to Negotiate the Best Deal on a College Education

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.