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By egstark
September 29, 2015
Click the image to print the checklist

How to Pick a
Best-Value College

Money’s annual Best Colleges list ranks schools based on educational quality, affordability, and the career outcomes of their graduates. You can use similar criteria to identify the schools that will provide the best value for your particular student and financial situation. Use this checklist as a guide.

Download Money‘s checklist for a best-value college.


How to Get the Most Financial Aid for College

Click the image to print the checklist

Don’t panic about those crazy high costs of attendance you see posted on college websites. Less than half of students actually pay those sticker prices, because grants and scholarships cut their real costs by thousands of dollars. To make sure your family gets its fair share of financial aid, follow these nine key steps. Examples include: tackle the CSS and price your degree.

Download Money‘s checklist for maximizing your chance of financial aid.

Smart Ways to Borrow for College

Seven in 10 undergraduate students today borrow to finance their education. Their average debt upon graduation is more than $30,000, but some families unwisely borrow more than they should. This checklist will walk you through splitting up borrowing between students and their parents. It can also help you find the best loans and not take on more than you can afford.

Download Money‘s checklist for smart ways to borrow for college.


How to Manage Your College Costs

College often involves additional expenses that go beyond a school’s published cost of attendance—from pizza to plane tickets. This checklist can help you avoid budget-busting surprises and keep those extras under control. Examples include: budgeting for studying abroad, how to decorate a dorm on the cheap and joining a fraternity or sorority.

Download Money‘s checklist on how to manage your college costs.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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