Paying for College

Financial Aid Foibles

Dealing with college financial aid offices can be tricky. Sure, they lay out the welcome mat before you apply: "We meet full demonstrated need!" "Merit scholarships available!" And so forth. The trick for wide-eyed rookie applicants and their parents is knowing how to read between the lines and interpret what isn't written on that welcome mat.

In cruising the college-info-related Web the other day, I came across a very interesting article that speaks to this very situation. Although a year old, its message still rings true: Beware what financial aid officers don't say. That's where reading between the lines comes in. As I've said many times here, the higher-education deck is always stacked in favor of the colleges. That's where your poker playing skills can come in handy.

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