I’m not usually the Matt Lauer type, but this video about The Princeton Review‘s “Best Value” Colleges makes two good points:

  1. You have to apply for aid. No excuses. I don’t care how big the trust fun is. If you have friends who don’t apply for aid, slap them and then tell them that you’ll fill out the forms in exchange for 20% of the proceeds. (You can’t really do that. It’s just to prove a point. But, I guess you already slapped your friend, which might prove the point also. Maybe we’re over-proving here. I don’t know.) The FAFSA is also important to getting work-study, which you’ll want no matter how much you can afford to make it rain.
  2. Look for “good value” colleges, not “cheap” ones. Transferring to a cheaper school won’t solve your budgetary woes! What’s The Princeton Review mean by “good value”? It means that more expensive schools can actually cost you less than “cheap” ones. Spendy colleges tend to re-distribute tuition from rich people into the Financial Aid office — and do other such friendly acts for its less-fortunate students. It’s kind of messed up, but that’s how it goes.

See the full list of the top 10 value public colleges and the top 10 value private colleges.