It's a gray April evening, and two men have driven from Easton, Pa., to Manhattan. The men are administrators at Lafayette College. They're wearing solid black suits with Lafayette pins on their lapels.
They're here to see 12 students — high school seniors who have been admitted to Lafayette and are trying to decide where to go to college.
The men have come to make the students "feel that Lafayette is in their future and make them think that they'll ruin their lives if they go elsewhere," says Greg MacDonald, Lafayette's dean of admissions.
As high school seniors wrestle with big decisions before Tuesday's deadline about which college they want to go to, some of the nation's top liberal arts colleges are dealing with big decisions of their own. Many of the most elite private schools are trying to figure out how they may have to adapt at a time when they're seen as a more expensive — and less direct — path to landing a job.
Now that your child has gotten into college, have you figured out how much it's actually going to cost — and who's going to pay for it?
These questions are hitting college-bound students and their parents right about now, along with the other million questions that nobody seems to have straight answers for. Paying for college can be complicated, if not mind-boggling.
Roughly 7 out of 10 students borrow money to pay for college, and for many, the process might as well be a mystery wrapped in a riddle.
There are college rankings and there are college rankings: the nation's top colleges, the best basketball teams, the top party schools. Here's another: a list of 20 institutions and the money they received in 2011.
Stanford topped the list, raising more money from private donors that anyone else in 2011 ($709.42 million). Harvard and Yale rounded off the top three with $639.15 million and $$580.33 million, respectively. The survey was released Wednesday by the Council for Aid to Education.