4. Financial Aid in the Real World

As you get toward the deadline of admitting your class, admissions offices panic. They just start throwing money at kids.

—Michael J. Rizzo, senior economist, American Institute of Economic Research

Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, a single mom who makes her living waiting tables is having to schlep more dishes because of an elite East Coast school’s false promises. The mother will have to work even harder to help pay back an obscene amount of loans that she must obtain to cover her talented daughter’s college education that will cost close to $200,000.

The college in New York State had once seemed like a perfect fit. The school’s lacrosse coach was excited about his West Coast recruit, and the girl, after ...

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