How to compare colleges?

college choice Oct 13, 2023

How to compare colleges? 

A mom asked how to get organized when comparing colleges? 

Literally just use  an Excel/Numbers spreadsheet that is free on your computer.

I list in the first column, the things that are important to our family (location, cost of attendance, does it have the activity my teen wants, whatever else).

The other columns are the names of the schools and then you check the boxes down in each column for each school.

I also used it to add


date my kid applied,

Date of response,

Other things that needed to get sent either by us or but he high school,

Scholarship or financial aid offered


-Once my teen had the list narrowed down to the “few”, the others were deleted from the page.

-Then once the ONE was decided on, that was the only college on the page and

The new columns are added for each semester of that college,

The rows (now instead of location and if they offered the college major) now we’re “amount of money in the college kitty ie bank account”, the actual college cost per semester,

their financial aid or scholarship offer,

Any private scholarships won,

and either the balance owed or the balance in the college bank account at the bottom.

I applied this to each semester going forward, and expecting an increase of 5% each year, and so now I know if and when my kid will run out of money.

And that’s the easy way to compare colleges and make a logical choice. 


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