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June 29, 2016

The average college family spends about $900 a year on furnishings for their student’s dorm room. But a lot of that expense is unnecessary or wasted. Here’s our list of the 12 things you definitely should not waste money on when dorm shopping. And our friends at the Grown & Flown blog have compiled a really useful guide to saving money on dorm furnishings.

Best wishes,

Money-Saving Advice for College Parents and Students

Get the most out of a college tour
Are you visiting colleges this summer or fall? Here’s our advice on what questions to ask your guide for the real lowdown. MONEY

Don’t refinance your federal student loans
Harold Pollack, who famously wrote everything you need to know about personal finance on an index card, has some advice for anyone considering refinancing their student loans. But if you have private student loans, it can pay to refinance. Here’s a list of options you might want to explore. MONEY

Supreme Court lets “holistic” admissions policies stand
In a long-awaited ruling released last week, the Supreme Court said it’s okay for colleges to consider a student’s race as a part of “holistic” admissions evaluations but warned schools they have “ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding admis­sions policies.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Speaking of holistic admissions: Rich people get an admissions advantage at some schools
Haverford just announced it will start giving an admissions edge to some applicants who can afford to pay the school’s full sticker price of more than $64,000. It’s not alone. Many prestigious schools say they give preferences to at least some students who don’t need financial aid (a policy the schools call being “need-blind”). But overall, it’s a mixed bag for the wealthy. A few schools, such as Hamilton College, have recently announced they’ve stopped using a student’s wealth as an admissions advantage. Here’s a roundup of recent changes to wealth-targeted admissions policies. University Business

One upside of the Brexit: British study-abroad programs likely to get cheaper. Diverse Issues in Higher Education

This Week's Deadlines and Scholarships

Featured Scholarship
You have exactly 24 hours to record yourself riding a bike and enter this $1,000 scholarship contest. Deadline June 30. More info

Important upcoming deadlines
Summertime is blessedly free of hard deadlines for high schoolers and undergraduates. But there are more than a dozen tasks incoming freshmen, for example, have to get done this summer before they show up for orientation. Here’s our summer to-do list. MONEY

ABOUT KIM: Kim Clark, a senior writer for MONEY, paid for classes at four colleges—and degrees from two of them—with jobs, loans, scholarships, and lots of generous financial help from her parents and grandparents. She’s been covering the ins and outs of paying for college for almost 10 years.

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