Reviewed - Financial Aid Books


by Dr. Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder

This interesting book takes a different approach than the others. Instead of the focus being only on financial aid and how to get the most of it, the author also examines the financial side of choosing the correct school and choosing a major that will lead to a career that makes college worth the cost.

The book is divided into three main parts. The first deals with how to make college work for you. This segment looks at topics such as what a college degree is worth in today's job market, how to get the most out of college visits and campus interviews and how to begin planning for your life after college.

The second part of the book serves as an analysis of how to pay for college without incurring too much debt. It provides tips and strategies for getting the most out of financial aid and how best to minimize your own financial investment.

The final segment of the book examines how to turn your degree into a job. Here the focus is strategies for finding a career that corresponds to your major and to all the new knowledge you have crammed into your head.

This book might not be the best place to turn if you are looking to justify your decision to pursue a liberal arts degree. It is a no-nonsense look at the challenging questions facing all potential college students and their parents. However, with the economy continuing to struggle and the employment scenario continuing to look bleak, this book may just provide you with the bracing analysis you need to avoid entering the job market with a huge pile of student debt and a degree that won’t get you the job you need or want.


by Marvis Burns

The first thing that strikes one on opening this book is the font. Outside of books for the visually impaired, I've never seen font this big. In other words, this is more like a pamphlet dressed up in the binding of a book. That being said, the thing is not without its strengths.

The book focuses on scholarships and how to win them. It looks at all aspects of the scholarship process including the application, the essay, the interview and more. If you are planning on paying for college (in whole or in part) with scholarships, then this is a book you need to read.

The author has experience that is germane to the search and that any student can benefit from. Common myths and misconceptions are explored, explained and debunked; successful strategies for identifying funding sources and winning scholarships are examined.  You also get links to online videos and scholarship information. The back of the book claims that he author received nearly $500,000 in college scholarship money. Unlock his secrets and perhaps some of that largesse will come your way.



by Students Helping Students

This book has much to recommend it, not least of which is its brevity, its conciseness. It is a book written by students for students and as such it wastes no time or space with the superfluous. Students after all are busy and have enough to read, thank you very much.

Also, priced at $8.95 it's affordable and will not leave you feeling that you've spent more than was warranted by the amount of info contained. You should easily be able to get your money out of this book.

The topics covered here include all aspects of money as it related to your college experience. These include how to save and spend wisely, how to find money and how to work for money, how to stay out of debt or at least avoid a crushing burden of debt and more.

There is a Helpful Resources section at the back that offers web addresses, phone numbers and other contact information for the resources you're likely to need. You may also want to investigate the other Students Helping Students titles covering a wide range of collegiate and academic topics.


by Kaplan Publishing

Paying for College is brought to you by Kaplan – the test prep and admissions people. For the most part it adheres to Kaplan's high standards and attempts to provide both students and parents with the information and strategies needed to plan, save and pay for a college education.

The topics explored in the book include how to identify the cost of college, getting the most from student aid, completing the FAFSA and other relevant forms, and looking for private scholarships and much more.

The info contained is relevant and well-written and the subject matter aims at being comprehensive. This is a good, thorough guide for parents and students through all aspects of college education financing.

One complaint is that the index of the book appears to be for a different edition of this very book. This means that a few of the listings are correct but most are not. As an example, go to the index and look up Scholarship checklist and the index reveals this can be found on page 159. Actually, the checklist is on page 163. A small difference but one that makes it difficult to find anything. Other than this surprising bit of sloppiness, the book remains a good place to start exploring the dizzying world of financing a college education.