MONEY College

Ducks vs. Buckeyes: Bettors Favor Oregon, Employers Prefer Ohio State

Jalin Marshall #17, Corey Smith #84 and Michael Thomas #3 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during Media Day for the College Football Playoff National Championship at Dallas Convention Center on January 10, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.
Ronald Martinez—Getty Images Jalin Marshall #17, Corey Smith #84 and Michael Thomas #3 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during Media Day for the College Football Playoff National Championship at Dallas Convention Center on January 10, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

Sports fans think Oregon has the better football team, but Ohio state students are more likely to graduate and earn higher salaries.

Bettors are predicting the University of Oregon Ducks will win tonight’s first-ever college football championship against the Ohio State Buckeyes. But according to our research, Buckeyes are more likely to have an edge in life.

A MONEY analysis of the performance of the two colleges indicates that Ohio State students are more likely to graduate, and more likely to find higher-paying jobs, than University of Oregon undergrads:

School MONEY ranking MONEY value-added grade Graduation rate Payscale.com earnings within 5 years
University of Oregon 429 B- 67% $41,000
Ohio State University 144 B+ 83% $46,200

Of course, there are tradeoffs: Buckeyes have to spend their winters in Columbus, Ohio, where the average high temperature in January is just 36 degrees, and they can expect almost 10 inches of rain or snow.

To compare how your favorite teams match up academically, see MONEY’s full Best Colleges list, which ranked the nation’s 665 top schools on educational quality, affordability, and future earnings potential.

More from MONEY’s Best Colleges:
The 25 Best Colleges You Can Actually Get Into
The 20 Best Colleges for Merit Aid
Best 100 Best Colleges If You Need a Student Loan

 

MONEY College

5 Ways to Get Free College Education Even If (When?) Obama’s Plan Dies

Congress probably won't approve the free community college plan, but there are lots of ways you can get free or affordable college courses.

Almost as soon as President Obama floated his proposal for free community college on Thursday night, experts began explaining the political, economic, and practical reasons it was unlikely ever to become a reality.

Chances are slim, it was pointed out, that he can persuade a Republican-controlled Congress to approve and fund the expensive plan

And community college leaders worried about their ability to handle a big influx of students attracted by free courses, some noting that insufficient revenues and high demand have forced some community colleges to turn away students in recent years.

But don’t despair: Many other programs are already making college free for thousands of students. And there are other proposals to eliminate up-front tuition that could open the college gates to more students in the future.

Here are five ways you can find free or very affordable college courses right now:

1) Some states and cities already have free or low-cost community college tuition. The Tennessee Promise, which is the model for President Obama’s plan, waives tuition not covered by other aid programs for students who file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), donate eight hours of community service each semester, and earn a C grade point average. Similar programs are being debated in Oregon, Texas, Mississippi, and Chicago. Community colleges in California, the most affordable in the country, charge less than $1,500 a year in tuition and fees.

2) Financial aid and tax benefits already cover most community college tuition. The average community college charges about $3,350 a year in tuition and fees. By taking advantage of the $2,500 federal tuition tax credits, as well as financial aid such as the federal Pell Grant, the average community college student gets enough aid to cover tuition and the approximately $1,000 book bill, according to research by the College Board.

3) Alternative free college proposals. Several states are considering “Pay It Forward” proposals that would allow students to attend college without paying any tuition right away and instead repaying a percentage of their income over time. And other “free college” plans have also gained traction.

4) Established free college programs: The military, work colleges, and many generous colleges offer ways to get free college educations.

5) Free online courses: There are hundreds of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Many, for a nominal fee, will award you college credits.

TIME Education

New Liberal Rallying Cry: ‘Free Higher Ed For Everyone!’

college homework
Getty Images

President Obama announced Thursday a new proposal to cover the cost of two years of community college tuition for any and all American students who maintain good grades.

While the plan seemed radical to some—and others wondered how the U.S. government would pay for it—the idea of providing access to free higher education has gradually become a mainstream talking point among liberal and progressive intelligentsia in the last few years. Now that healthcare is off the table, the next big liberal agenda item appears to be universal higher ed.

The argument is essentially economic: there is a gaping chasm between the level of education the American workforce has versus the level it needs to qualify for the jobs of today, and of the future. That’s largely because hundreds of millions of working class Americans, who were raised in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and even ’90s, didn’t grow up with computers and didn’t get an advanced degree. Instead, they got manufacturing and factory jobs when they graduated from high school. But fast-forward to today and those manufacturing and factory jobs simply don’t exist anymore. The vast majority of jobs available in the current economy require at least associate’s degrees, and more often bachelor’s degrees—not to mention competency online.

It’s that economic reality that has lead people like Robert Shapiro, a former economic advisor for both Clinton and Obama, to suggest that community colleges should offer free, voluntary and regular Internet and information technology classes at night “to any adult in America” who wants it.

“There is a social responsibility and and a large aggregate economic benefit to upgrade all those skills,” Shapiro told TIME in an interview late last year. “And these are not skills for a particular profession; they are general purpose skills. And you could do it easily for under a billion dollars a year because the investment is already there. You’ve already got the computer labs, you’ve already got the computers. This a a traditional mission of the community colleges.”

William Galston, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former domestic policy advisor to Bill Clinton, has suggested that the U.S. government should come right out and create a nationwide online public university—the National Online University, he calls it—where anyone could get a degree, in their own time, for free.

Even conservative economists such as Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who served as John McCain’s chief economic policy adviser in 2008 and is now the head of the right-leaning think tank, American Action Forum, have argued that access to higher education (although not free) and reformed skills-trainings to Americans would be a boon for the economy.

The problems, he says, are twofold. One, who’s going to pay for all this free education? And two, how do you explain to lawmakers and taxpayers today that they’re not going to see the immediate effects of this investment?

“The big disconnect between the politics and the policy is the time scale,” he told TIME last year. “You go and talk to [policy] people and they say, ‘We gotta fix the K-12 education system, the higher education system…we have to create lifelong learning and genuine retraining programs.’ And that’s all true. But it won’t affect this core troubling economic phenomenon today.” Programs that provide 20-year-olds the skills they need to compete in the global marketplace are important, he said, “but you’re not going to see the effects of that until 2036.”

Obama’s announcement Thursday fell under immediate criticism from Congressional Republicans. Speaker of the House John Boehner’s spokesman dismissed it as “more like a talking point than a plan,” while Sen. Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Senate committee on education, decried creating a “new federal program.” Alexander suggested instead streamlining existing state programs.

“[I]nstead of creating a new federal program, the federal government can help in two ways. First, reduce federal paperwork for the ridiculous 108-question student aid application form which discourages 2 million Americans from applying for federal Pell grants that are already available to help pay community college tuition,” Alexander wrote in a statement. And second, pay for the millions of new Pell grants that will be awarded if states are able to “reduce federal paperwork” and therefore allow “students to use Pell grants year-round.”

On Thursday, the White House statement said its new plan would save the average community-college student $3,800 annually and benefit 9 million if fully realized.

TIME

Morning Must Reads: January 9

Capitol
Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Paris Terror Suspects Cornered

The prime suspects in Wednesday’s attack at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo fired shots at French police as the massive dragnet closed on them in a factory northeast of Paris, close to Charles de Gaulle Airport, with at least one hostage. They have told negotiators they want to die as martyrs

See If You’re Likely to Get the Flu

It’s not enough to know if your state is a flu hot zone. Now you can find out if the street you live on is teeming with flu cases, with these apps and websites

Obama’s Community College Plan

The President announced a proposal Thursday to provide two years of free community college tuition to students who maintain good grades

Game of Thrones Returns April 12

HBO announced Thursday that the fifth season of Game of Thrones will premiere on Sunday, April 12 at 9 p.m. E.T. Veep and Silicon Valley will both return that day as well, providing some much-needed comic relief after the bloody show

Signals Detected From AirAsia Black Boxes

Indonesia says it has detected signals from the black-box recorders of downed AirAsia Flight 8501 and is racing to recover them. “A ship detected the pings. The divers are trying to reach it,” S.B. Supriyadi, search-operations director, told media

Apple App Store Has Its Biggest Day Ever

Apple revealed that over the first week of January, customers spent nearly $500 million on iOS apps, a new record for the company. Apple said app sales rose 50 percent year-over-year and the company paid out $10 billion to developers in 2014

Keystone Pipeline Is Overrated by Both Sides

For the past several years, Republicans and Democrats have used the Keystone XL pipeline to prove their economic or environmental bona fides. The debate burns so brightly that it distracts from more illuminating subjects, like how much it really matters

Angelina Jolie Meets Pope Francis

Angelina Jolie, who was in Rome this week for a screening of her film Unbroken, met privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday. The actress met other high-profile figures last year, including Queen Elizabeth, who named her an honorary dame

Ohio Switches Up Lethal-Injection Drugs

Ohio announced on Thursday it would drop a controversial two-drug combination used last year in the prolonged execution of Dennis McGuire. The state said it will revert back to a previously used drug, but it’s unclear how the state will obtain it

Ka-Boom! 2 Black Holes Get Ready to Collide

For cosmic drama, nothing should beat a supermassive black hole. It turns out that something does beat a giant black hole: two giant black holes, especially ones circling each other like wary Sumo wrestlers getting ready to grapple

NFL Didn’t See Ray Rice Tape Before Its Release

An investigation led by former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III found no evidence that the NFL received the video of Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice striking his then fiancée in a casino elevator before it was released in September

Andrae Crouch, Legendary Gospel Figure, Dies at 72

Andrae Crouch, a legendary gospel performer, songwriter and choir director, has died. Crouch died on Thursday at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where he had been admitted on Saturday after suffering a heart attack

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MONEY Ask the Expert

Why You Might Want to Take Student Loans Before Using Up College Savings

Ask the Expert - Family Finance illustration
Robert A. Di Ieso, Jr.

Q: “My daughter will be starting college this fall. I’m estimating the tuition will be about $25,000 each year. I’ve got about $45,000 put aside in a 529 for her. When should I tap that money?” —Henry Winkler, Colorado

A: The first thing you and your daughter should do is fill out a FAFSA, the federal financial aid application. Even if you think your household income will be too great to qualify for aid, it’s worth applying just to be certain, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Edvisors.com, a website that helps people plan and pay for college. “I have seen many cases where families assume they won’t receive any aid, but actually do qualify based on the number of children they have currently attending college or because the high costs of the tuition resulted in a lower than expected family contribution amount.”

Don’t worry that the savings you currently have in your 529 will hurt her chances for aid either. Federal aid will be reduced by no more than 5.64% of the value of the account and account distributions are not considered income, Kantrowitz says.

Next, she should apply for the most available in federal direct student loans. In her first year, she can borrow $5,500. In her second year, $6,500, and any of the years following up to $7,500. Because you only get to borrow a certain amount in these direct federal student loans—which have much lower interest rates than Parent PLUS loans or private loans—it’s worth borrowing the max each year and accruing that interest rather than waiting and trying to borrow the full cost of college her third or fourth year, says Kantrowitz.

If you have other savings accounts you can draw from, Kantrowitz recommends setting aside $4,000 a year from such an account for your daughter’s college education so that you can take advantage of the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

With this credit, you get 100% of the first $2,000 you spend on tuition, fees and course materials paid during the year, plus 25% of the next $2,000. The credit is worth $2,500 off your tax bill. Also, 40% of the credit (up to $1,000) is refundable, which means you can get it even if you owe no tax.

The caveat: You will need to have a modified adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples, a year to get the full benefit. If you earn more than $90,000 or $180,000 for joint filers, you cannot claim the credit.

You cannot use any of the funds from your 529 to qualify for the tax credit since that plan is already a form of tax-free educational assistance. If you do not have an additional $4,000 a year to put toward her education, you can also qualify for the credit by using the student loan amount she received—but just know that you may not be also able to claim the student loan deduction on that amount since you’ve already received a tax break on it, says Kantrowitz. (Right now you can claim both, but Kantrowitz says that could change in the future.)

After deducting any grant aid, her student loan sum, and the $4,000 from another savings account, pay the remaining education expenses with funds from the 529 plan.

“Under this plan it is likely your 529 will be exhausted after her third year of college, or sooner if you don’t put aside that additional $4,000 for the tax credit each year,” says Kantrowitz.

To make up the difference you’ll need to secure another loan. If you own a home, consider home equity financing before PLUS loans, since the latter currently carry a 7.21% interest rate and come with an “origination” fee of about 4.3% of the principal amount you borrow.

If you must take the PLUS, you might be tempted to try to lock in current interest rates by borrowing to cover the first two years’ worth of expenses. But you’d end up having to borrow more since she’ll be getting less federal loan money those first two years, and you’d have to pay two more year’s worth of interest. Even with possible rate increases, you’re still better off taking the PLUS loans in her last two years.

RELATED:

MONEY consumer psychology

7 Reasons to Pretend You Make Less Money

Trick your brain and your wallet will follow.

We all know you can get in financial trouble by pretending to have more money than you actually do — and most of us know that you can’t make an educated guess at someone’s salary by checking out the car they drive. So you can appear to be wealthy even if you’re not. But can you get ahead by telling yourself (and intimating to others) that your paycheck is smaller than it actually is? There are some pretty compelling reasons to do it, and you could find yourself in a far better position than if your paycheck just barely covers expenses.

Here are some reasons to consider pretending your paycheck is just a bit smaller than it really is.

1. Sock Away Money in an Emergency Fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund (or even if you do), you can pretty much count on having an emergency. Car transmissions break, you need to travel unexpectedly or someone in your family ends up needing help. Experts recommend six to 12 months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund. If you don’t yet have that, you may want to make sure you have access to credit. (You can check your free credit report summary on Credit.com to get an idea of how you would be judged by potential lenders.) But having the money saved is a better alternative.

2. Pay Down Debt Faster

If you pretend you make, say, 10% less than you actually do, you can probably cut expenses to accommodate the reduced pay. But the money you will save isn’t pretend — and you can send it to your creditors, reducing or eliminating debt much more quickly. This little fib helps keep your spending in check, which will free you to direct the money someplace else, making some other dream a reality more quickly. You can even figure out a timeline for getting out of credit card debt with this nifty calculator.

3. Save for a Down Payment or Your Kid’s College

Whether you’re looking to buy a house, educate a child or take a trip around the world, your dream is likely to require a significant chunk of change. And one way to get that is to pretend that earmarked money does not even exist. You can have it transferred into a designated account the same day you get paid so that you are not tempted to use it for the heavily discounted camping equipment that you know about because the advertisement for it popped up in your inbox. (Another money-saving hint: Most of us will spend less if we unsubscribe.)

4. Put More Money in Retirement Savings

Retirement seems a long way off when you are in your 20s, and it is. But most people’s expenses grow with time (particularly if you choose to raise children). It is not going to suddenly become easier to save more, at least not until you have far less time to do it, and the money has less time to grow. How many people have you heard complaining that they wished they hadn’t saved so much for retirement?

5. Friends Won’t Pressure You to Splurge

We’re not suggesting you do away with little luxuries altogether. You and a friend want to go get manicures? Go for it (sometimes). But think about whether all of your get-togethers need to involve a meal out, shopping or manicures. Maybe they made a resolution to move more. Walks can do double duty to help get your body and finances in better shape. And if your friends know you are on a beer budget, chances are they won’t assume you have a champagne salary.

6. Friends & Family Won’t Consider You a Human ATM

Do you often or always pick up the tab for groups because you can afford it? If you say, “my treat” too often, it’s possible you’re sending a signal that because you have more, you have an obligation to share it with your friends and family. You may feel that way as well, and if you do, you would be especially wise to pretend you have a little less money than you actually do. If you do choose to give or lend money to friends and relatives, make sure everyone is clear on what is a gift and what is a loan. Money misunderstandings have the potential to damage relationships.

7. Your Income Could Drop

It’s easy — and tempting — to think your salary will be on an upward trajectory from your first day of work until your last. (Don’t the retirement calculators assume that?) And who plans for a furlough or the loss of a big client? During hard times, it’s not unheard-of for companies to levy across-the-board salary cuts. And if you’re acting as if you make every dime that you actually do, it will be harder to adjust than if you’ve been acting as if you made less.

More from Credit.com

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

MONEY identity theft

18 College Students Arrested in Tax Identity Theft Ring

Vice President Joe Biden, center, speaks during a graduation ceremony at the Miami Dade College in Miami, Saturday, May 3,2014.
Javier Galeano—AP

Students in Florida allegedly stole tax refunds.

In November, the U.S. District Attorney of Southern Florida charged 18 Miami Dade College students for allegedly using stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns and receive the refunds on their student bank accounts, but investigators think there are more people who have carried out the scheme, the Miami Herald reports.

Higher One accounts allow students to receive their financial aid or student loan refunds directly to a bank account, usually with an associated debit card, rather than wait for the school to cut a check. Many students use their loan refund (the amount left over after the school has taken what it requires for tuition and fees) to handle their education-related expenses like housing, textbooks, food and extracurricular activities.

The investigation identified more than 1,000 student accounts at Miami Dade College, most of which were Higher One accounts, that were used in a tax-fraud scheme, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. Identity theft is a common crime in Florida — it has the most fraud complaints per capita of any state, according to the Federal Trade Commission, and tax-related identity theft is the most common kind of fraud reported.

It’s unclear how this crime seems to have become a pastime for college students, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it was something students see as an easy way to make money: One of the Miami Dade College cases includes a student who allegedly received $53,272 of fraudulent tax refunds to his Higher One account.

That’s a significant sum to most people, let alone a college student, but identity theft and tax fraud are serious crimes, not just for the perpetrators, but also for the victims. First of all, it makes tax season that much more complicated for people whose personal information has been stolen and used to file fake tax returns, and they’ll almost certainly see a delay in receiving their legitimate refund. Some people really count on that money, making the crime a financial burden for victims.

Then there’s the lifelong stress of knowing your personal information has been stolen. You have no idea who has your Social Security number and if it’s being used fraudulently. You can minimize the negative impact of some types of identity theft by monitoring your credit, because any unexpected changes could be an indicator of fraud, but you often can’t detect anything until damage has already been done. Still, keep a close eye on your credit by getting your free credit report summary every 30 days on Credit.com.

The investigation revealed some student accounts were used for more than just tax fraud — they seemed to have stolen Social Security benefits, as well. If convicted, the students involved in the fraud could face federal prison time.

Some students’ alleged involvement was limited to allowing their accounts to be used to launder the stolen money in exchange for a few hundred dollars, the Miami Herald reports, and U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said he believes this issue isn’t limited to Miami Dade College.

“We applaud the announcement by the authorities in connection with tax refund fraud at Miami Dade College,” wrote Lauren Perry, spokeswoman for Higher One, in a statement emailed to Credit.com. “We have been working with the authorities on these types of cases in southern Florida for some time now. … We will continue to be vigilant in safeguarding our customers’ personal and financial information and will work with our bank partners to report these illegal activities to authorities.”

More from Credit.com

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

MONEY financial aid

7 Legal Ways to Squeeze More College Aid From the FAFSA

vice squeezing dollar bill
Steven Puetzer—Getty Images

Smart timing, cash management and college application strategies can mean thousands of dollars in extra financial aid.

Correction appended: January 8

Filling out the 10 eye-crossing pages of the 2015-16 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the most important application for need-based college financial aid, may not seem like a fun adventure in Super Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom. But hidden among its 103 questions are hints that, if followed correctly, can dramatically increase your need-based aid and possibly rescue your dreams of an affordable college education.

Before you spend a lot of time on this, though, use a few college Net Price Calculators, the federal government’s FAFSA Forecaster, or the College Board’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculator to see whether you’re likely to receive any need-based aid. If you’re planning to attend an in-state public college, and your family has an Expected Family Contribution (or EFC) above about $25,000 (which general means the family income is above $125,000) the odds of getting need-based grants are very low, says Paula Bishop, an independent financial aid counselor in Bellevue, Wash. For students planning on private colleges, the need-based aid EFC cutoff is generally about $65,000, she says (which typically means the family has an income greater than $200,000).

If you’re above those cutoffs, it still pays to fill out the FAFSA to qualify yourself for low-cost student loans, and merit programs that require the form, but your focus should be on maximizing merit aid – which is money awarded based on the student’s grades or other accomplishments without regard to family income.

If you’re below those cutoffs, use this “not-cheating” (since all these strategies are legal) FAFSA cheat sheet:

1. Go online. You can print out a PDF and fill out the FAFSA on paper. But the online version uses skip logic, which makes it easier and faster. Also, for later filers, the online version will import your tax information, which speeds things up even more.

2. Time it right. Fill out the 2015-16 form right now if you live in one of the nine states with “first-come, first-served” financial aid programs: Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington. These states often run out of money quickly, so act fast, even if you don’t have your 2014 tax information. You can fill out the 2015-16 form using estimates based on your 2013 tax forms. Then, when you do your taxes, you can go back into your FAFSA and make any updates or corrections.

Everybody else has more time—but not a lot. Those who file the FAFSA by March 30 receive, on average, twice the grant money as later filers, calculates Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of the financial aid website Edvisors.com. Many colleges and states have early deadlines for state aid: The deadline for filing for state financial aid in Connecticut is Feb. 15; Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia cut off their state aid after March 1. California’s deadline is March 2. You can check your state’s aid deadline here, but you’ll have to call, or check the websites of, the colleges you’re applying to for their aid deadlines.

Don’t despair if you still haven’t filled out last year’s FAFSA. You can still qualify for federal aid for the 2014-15 academic year by filling out last year’s FAFSA, even as late as June 30 of this year

3. Clarify your relationships. Questions 16 and 59 ask about the students’ and parents’ marital status as of the day you file the form, to see if both parents’ income should be counted as financial resources for the student. Rules adopted in 2014 eliminated a loophole that allowed parents who were cohabiting but didn’t happen to be married to report only one parent’s income (which usually increased the student’s eligibility for need-based aid). Divorced or separated parents may report one parent’s income (the parent with whom the student spends the most time) only if the other parent does not live in the same house. In other words, if you’re in the process of getting divorced or separated anyway, one spouse should move out before you finish the FAFSA.

4. Parents: Don’t brag. Some states and colleges offer extra aid to children of parents who haven’t earned college degrees. Questions 24 and 25 ask about the highest level of education your parents completed. So if one or both of your parents, attended community college, or even are just one credit away from a bachelor’s degree, make sure to fill in the dot only for “high school,” Bishop advises.

5. Pay your bills first. Questions 41 and 90 ask about how much cash students and parents have in savings and checking accounts at the moment you are filling out the FAFSA. But notice that there are no questions on the FAFSA about your debts or bills. So if you’ve got a sufficient emergency cash reserve, use any extra cash to pay down credit card, car loan, or other bills before you finish filling out the form, and report the newly lower cash amount on the FAFSA.

6. Shield your investments. Questions 42, 43, 91 and 92 ask about the student’s and the parents’ investments. But many filers don’t realize that the value of any retirement accounts, as well as the home you live in, should not be included in these boxes. So if you’ve got a lot of money in non-retirement accounts, prepay your mortgage or plow some into Roth IRAs. One big advantage of Roth IRAs: You can take out your contributions (but not any earnings) tax-free to pay college bills.

7. Strategize your college list. A growing number of colleges are analyzing the order in which students list colleges on FAFSA question #103 to determine how likely the student is to attend. Colleges assume that students list colleges in their order of preference, and some will award more aid to those who list their college second or third, say, in an effort to woo students away from their first choice. So make sure the top three colleges in your list are schools you really want to attend, and, if possible, are schools that compete with one another, in the hopes of encouraging them to raise your aid offer.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the scenario in tip No. 6. The time to take these steps is when you have a lot of money in non-retirement accounts.

Read next: Best Colleges You Can Still Apply To For Fall 2015

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MONEY College

Best Colleges You Can Still Apply To For Fall 2015

Webb Institute
Webb Institute Webb Institute

Don't worry if you slacked off in 2014 ... there are still plenty of colleges accepting applications for the fall.

For many high school seniors and their parents, New Year’s marked the end of the college application season. Quite a few prestigious universities do indeed set a January 1 deadline for admission to their fall 2015 class.

But by no means are you out of luck if you still hope to apply to more schools. In fact, many of the top 250 schools in our recent MONEY’s Best Colleges list have set relatively late application deadlines. A complete list of them, by date, is below.

This article is a great tool for continuing your college search, but make sure to check with the individual school websites for up-to-date information. Many schools that offer rolling admissions have priority deadlines for financial aid, and some schools offer different deadlines for specific academic programs.

If you come across this list after most of the deadlines below have passed, know that each May the National Association for College Admission Counseling releases its College Openings Update, which lets you peruse schools that have not met their enrollment goals by the national May 1 response deadline.

Good luck!

January 5 deadlines

University of Chicago (#101)

Johns Hopkins University (#107)

January 7

Bentley University (#28)

Santa Clara University (#92)

January 10

Georgetown University (#37)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#40)

Georgia Institute of Technology – Main Campus (#42)

Wheaton College (#101)

January 12

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (#8)

January 14

Florida State University (#223)

January 15

Colgate University (#27)

Lafayette College (#28)

University of Washington – Bothell Campus (#37)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (#42)

Bucknell University (#45)

James Madison University (#53)

University of Georgia (#62)

University of Delaware (#66)

North Carolina State University at Raleigh (#79)

Carleton College (#79)

Kenyon College (#94)

Wellesley College (#95)

College of the Holy Cross (#101)

George Mason University (#101)

University of Illinois at Chicago (#101)

Stony Brook University (#107)

Providence College (#114)

Villanova University (#114)

University of Connecticut (#120)

University of Richmond (#120)

Haverford College (#122)

University of Southern California (#129)

Loyola University Maryland (#138)

Gettysburg College (#138)

Centre College (#138)

Grinnell College (#144)

Fairfield University (#147)

SUNY at Binghamton (#162)

Denison University (#162)

Union College (#166)

Case Western Reserve University (#183)

Auburn University (#183)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (#208)

George Washington University (#214)

Macalester College (#214)

Whitman College (#214)

Salisbury University (#223)

Rhodes College (#231)

University of Massachusetts Amherst (#235)

Clark University (#235)

Colorado College (#235)

Towson University (#235)

Franklin and Marshall College (#248)

Smith College (#248)

January 20

University of Maryland – College Park (#68)

January 31

Washington State University (#138)

Western Washington University (#223)

February 1

Virginia Military Institute (#18)

University of Michigan (#22)

Stevens Institute of Technology (#58)

Grove City College (#58)

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College (#70)

Purdue University (#76)

Presbyterian College (#84)

University of Mary Washington (#107)

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (#114)

DePauw University (#134)

Wofford College (#134)

Miami University – Oxford (#144)

Ohio State University (#144)

University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (#147)

University of Wisconsin – Platteville (#156)

Indiana University (#169)

Saint Joseph’s University (#169)

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (#173)

Gonzaga University (#177)

CUNY Brooklyn College (#189)

CUNY Queens College (#194)

University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (#202)

Alfred University (#231)

Dickinson College (#235)

Colorado State University – Fort Collins (#248)

Radford University (#248)

February 2

Bryant University (#86)

University of Wisconsin – Madison (#99)

February 15

Webb Institute (#2)

College of the Ozarks (#62)

Washington University in St. Louis (#62)

John Carroll University (#95)

Mount St. Mary’s College (#122)

Earlham College (#129)

Ursuline College (#173)

Wagner College (#208)

Iona College (#214)

Lake Forest College (#214)

Muhlenberg College (#223)

Merrimack College (#235)

March 1

Texas Tech University (#154)

Hampden-Sydney College (#156)

University of Dayton (#223)

New Jersey Institute of Technology (#223)

Jackson State University (#231)

Seton Hall University (#248)

March 15

Wabash College (#214)

April 1

Utah State University (#107)

University of Oklahoma Norman Campus (#122)

University of Utah (#122)

Colorado School of Mines (#134)

University of Iowa (#156)

Illinois State University (#177)

University of New Hampshire – Manchester (#231)

North Carolina A & T State University (#246)

April 15

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College (#95)

New College of Florida (#134)

April 30

Berea College (#57)

May 1

University of Arizona (#99)

Clemson University (#138)

William Jewell College (#156)

Clarkson University (#198)

University of Nebraska (#223)

June 1

University of Massachusetts – Lowell (#235)

July 1

Missouri University of Science and Technology (#86)

The University of Texas – Dallas (#198)

August 1

Illinois Institute of Technology (#92)

Tennessee Technological University (#114)

North Dakota State University (#198)

University of Arkansas (#248)

September 1

Louisiana Tech University (#154)

Oregon State University (#214)

September 7

Oregon Institute of Technology (#76)

Rolling Admissions: These schools accept applications throughout the year. However, make sure you check with the individual admissions departments — most have priority deadlines that can dramatically boost your chances of acceptance and financial aid.

Maine Maritime Academy (#12)

Principia College (#32)

Manhattan College (#40)

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (#50)

Robert Morris University Illinois (#53)

Doane College – Crete (#61)

Montana Tech of the University of Montana (#66)

Holy Family University (#68)

Molloy College (#72)

Saint Vincent College (#82)

Michigan Technological University (#82)

Bradley University (#86)

University of Wyoming (#107)

College of Our Lady of the Elms (#107)

Citadel Military College of South Carolina (#114)

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (#122)

Michigan State University (#122)

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (#129)

Messiah College (#147)

Westminster College (#150)

Elmhurst College (#166)

La Salle University (#166)

University of Toledo (#173)

Pennsylvania State (#177)

Rockhurst University (#177)

Art Center College of Design (#177)

University at Buffalo (#177)

CUNY College of Staten Island (#183)

Neumann University (#189)

University of Tulsa (#194)

Mississippi State University (#194)

Oklahoma State University (#194)

Central Washington University (#202)

Creighton University (#202)

LeTourneau University (#202)

Gwynedd Mercy College (#208)

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (#208)

Xavier University (#208)

Arizona State University (#214)

Valparaiso University (#214)

Indiana Wesleyan University (#223)

Mississippi College (#235)

Hope College (#235)

South Dakota State University (#235)

Augustana College (#248)

University of Kansas (#248)

Check out the complete MONEY’S Best Colleges list

A previous version of this article misstated Clark University’s application deadline. The deadline is Jan. 15, not Feb. 15.

MONEY best of 2014

The 3 Best New Breaks for College Students in 2014

Some good news for students of all ages this year.

Every year, there are innovators who come up with fresh solutions to nagging problems. Companies roll out new products or services, or improve on old ones. Researchers propose better theories to explain the world. Or stuff that’s been flying under the radar finally captivates a wide audience. For MONEY’s annual Best New Ideas list, our writers searched the world of money for the most compelling products, strategies, and insights of 2014. To make the list, these ideas—which cover the world of investing, retirement, health care, tech, college, and more—have to be more than novel. They have to help you save money, make money, or improve the way you spend it, like these three higher-ed innovations.

Best Help For College Grads

More borrowers can now cap their student loan payments, so that the bills eat up no more than 10% to 15% of income. Although these programs first got going a few years ago, they became a lot easier to access in 2014—enrollment doubled to 1.9 million in the 12 months before June 30.

One reason: The StudentLoans.gov site introduced a handy new calculator to quickly compare repayment options, as well as a one-stop application that allows borrowers to choose the plan with the lowest monthly payments.

Best Fast Path to a Degree

If you know the material in, say, Econ 101, should it matter whether you learned it sitting in a lecture, by taking a free online course, or by reading the books? More well-regarded schools are saying it shouldn’t—and that could help bring down the cost of getting a degree. The University of Wisconsin system now makes it possible to earn a bachelor’s by taking tests or submitting portfolios of your work.

The University of Michigan, the University of Texas system, and Purdue are also launching “competency-based” degrees. In the first year of UW’s program, one ambitious student aced enough tests to earn 33 credits in three months, at a cost of only $2,250.

Best New (and Returning) Free Courses

The number and quality of free online courses kept improving in 2014, offering everything from guitar lessons to “no-pay MBAs.” These are three of the most proven of the “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs.

A popular newbie in 2014: If Interstellar inspired you to learn about the cosmos, check out CalTech’s The Science of the Solar System, which has gotten five-star reviews on Coursetalk.com. As you would expect from a CalTech course, it’s challenging, according to the 2014 students. It’s being offered again through Coursera starting March 30, 2015.

Two favorites of the year: As computers become ever more essential to our jobs, programming has become a crucial career skill. But which language should you learn? And how can you learn it quickly and cheaply? MITx’s “Introduction to Computer Science and Programming using Python” teaches what has become the most popular programming language at colleges. Most MOOCs are plagued by high dropout rates. But among all the free courses offered by EdX, the MOOC platform for Harvard, MIT, and many other elite colleges, this three-year-old class is in the top five for number of students who have completed all assignments. The class is being offered again starting Jan. 7, 2015.

Even if you don’t plan to start a business yourself, odds are that you’re working for someone who is trying to be more entrepreneurial. And one of the most popular entrepreneurial gurus of the moment is Steve Blank, a tech entrepreneur who is one of the founders of the “lean startup” movement. Blank’s learn-at-your-own pace “How to Build a Startup” course has been sampled by about a quarter of a million students already, making it one of Udacity’s most popular.

Related:

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