Episode Nine of 'The Search': Scholarship Dollars and Sense

Dartmouth's Lee Coffin talks about the college admissions process.

Getting into the college of your dreams is one thing. Paying for it is another. But too often, families don't think and talk together about the full price of higher education—tuition, room and board, books, transportation—until much too late in their search. And the real cost of attendance depends on the availability of financial aid, which can seem like a maze of eligibility requirements.

In this episode, Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, with his Dartmouth colleague, Financial Aid Director Dino Koff, demystify the process of applying for financial aid. They define terms, including "need-based" and "merit-based" support. They explain how to use the "net price calculator," which allows families to enter income data to estimate how much assistance they may qualify for. And, in these uncertain times, they offer assurance that going to college is a sound financial decision.

Coffin knows that firsthand.

"I'm the oldest of five," he says. "And I watched as my dad traded down the family station wagon every year so he could use the equity in that car to pay his portion of the tuition bill that was coming due. I worked during the summers at McDonald's. I drove a parts truck. I had a campus job serving food in the dining hall. My loans, my job—I thought of those as the mortgage I was taking on my future. And it was the best investment I've ever made in myself."

"The Search" is now available on SoundCloud and the Department of Admissions website, and will also be available on Spotify, Apple Music, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, Pandora, RadioPublic, iHeart Radio, and Google Podcast.

For the latest information on Dartmouth's response to the pandemic visit the COVID-19 website.