American Morning

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November 2nd, 2009
07:26 AM ET

College costs reach record high... But there is hope

Editor's Note: Ben Kaplan is the publisher of and the creator of Scholarship Super Camp. The online camp provides personal guidance from Ben–via a series of video workshops, group Q&A chats, and essay help sessions–that shows you how to maximize financial aid, win college scholarships, and save on student loans.

By Ben Kaplan
Publisher of

These days, many students and parents are asking a simple question: How can college costs continue to rise even when families like ours face lower incomes and less job security?

Unfortunately, the answer isn't an easy one: The combination of state funding declines, plummeting college endowment valuations, and record student enrollments has put upward pressure on tuition prices, even in the midst of economic recession.

The result: According to a recent report by the College Board, tuition and fees at 4-year private colleges rose 4.4% to $26,273 per year, while tuition and fees at 4-year public colleges rose 6% to $7,020 per year (in-state students) and $18,548 (out-of-state students).

In turn, it's no surprise that many more students are applying for need-based financial aid. According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), 9 out of 10 colleges have seen an increase in the number of financial aid applications they received this year-with two-thirds experiencing a dramatic increase of 10 percent or more.

And that's not all: More students than ever are appealing their initial financial aid awards. In fact, nearly two-thirds of colleges have seen the number of "professional judgment" appeals increase by at least 10 percent.

The bottom line is this: Financial aid officers are busier. Budgets are stretched thin. As a result, it's even more important than in past years to get your financial aid forms in early and meet a college's priority financial aid deadlines.


Filed under: Education
November 2nd, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Romans' Numeral

Monday November 2, 2009
Romans' Numeral: 90,000,000
Number of employees whose businesses use CIT cash

Romans' Numeral: $2.3 billion
Amount of bailout money at risk in CIT

Read more: CIT bankruptcy: 5th largest in U.S.


Filed under: Romans' Numeral
November 2nd, 2009
06:33 AM ET

PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter

Editor's Note: is a project of the St. Petersburg Times that aims to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements by members of Congress, the president, etc. They research their statements and then rate the accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter.

Bono claims U.S. gives about half the aid as European countries, percentage-wise

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Bono mixes up foreign aid statistics, according to PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter."]

With all due respect to the musical prowess of Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee, we think this is the first time we've checked a bona fide rock icon with our Truth-O-Meter.

But U2's Bono is no ordinary rock star. He's also a political activist, using his pop status to advocate for African aid and AIDS relief.

Which is how Bono came to be asked by an Associated Press music writer what he thought about President Barack Obama with regard to funding the fight against AIDS in Africa.

"The Obama administration is just getting going," Bono said. "(He) has promised to double aid over the next years, because even though (President George W.) Bush tripled it ... the United States is still about half as what European countries give as a percentage, and I think he knows that's not right."

We decided to check whether Bono was right that "the United States is still about half as what European countries give as a percentage."

This turned into a tricky fact-check because Bono appears to have interchanged two different funding issues in his comment: global HIV/AIDS relief and foreign aid.

The Truth-O-Meter says: HALF TRUE

Half True

Read more: Let's call this the remix version

Filed under: Truth-O-Meter
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