Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Financial Aid for College (Second Edition)
You don’t have to be a complete idiot to need a little guidance in matters of finding and securing money for college. But just in case you are, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Financial Aid for College is the perfect roadmap to the financial aid process. (And it works pretty well for the rest of us, too!)
What it is. This book is the second (and newest) edition from David Rye, M.B.A. and a great resource for parents, high school students, or anyone wanting to be sure they have all their college money bases covered. Like most “Idiot” books, the layout is simple, the info relevant, and the value adequate. Even if you’ve been around the college block a time or two, there is probably something new you could take away from this read.
How it reads. Written in language you can understand, the guide starts from scratch with defining college aid and lets you know there is plenty out there – if you qualify. In addition to the basics and not-so-basics of getting college money, there is a super foundation for determining where and how to go to college (as these choices can keep the initial costs down.) Cool little side notes, action plans, and FYI’s make this a candidate for “skimming” for just what you need.
What it covers. There’s more to this book than the FAFSA, and it can sit as a handy shelf-reference long after that first-year application process. Topics include:
- What is financial aid?
- What is the best college for me?
- How do I use a college savings plan?
- What’s a grant? What’s a loan?
- What special minority, ethnic, field-related, and associative funds are available to me?
- What’s a financial aid package?
- Can I negotiate a better offer?
- What are some cost-cutting strategies?
All the extras. In addition to going into detail on the above questions, there is a up-to-date appendix that provides a glossary for terms, current financial aid resources, and a state-by-state listing of aid.
You don’t have to be clueless or just starting out to benefit from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Financial Aid for College. Some valid and unique discussions had me really thinking ahead to plans for my own children’s college funding. If you’re not completely up on junior fellowships, cooperative educations, merit-based scholarship myths, 529 plans, or why more expensive may actually be cheaper, this may be a great read for you or a prospective college student.