College Bait and Switch

By Aisha A. RSS Tue, December 16, 2014

While searching for financial aid advice to pass on to students I recently stumbled across an extremely interesting article titled "Beware of the College Bait and Switch” by Lynn O'Shaughnessy on her blog, The College Solution. We all know the old bait and switch: an amazing product is advertised at an unbelievable price, and once the consumer is hooked an inferior product is delivered much to the consumer’s surprise and chagrin. In her short piece, O'Shaughnessy identifies a trap that many college bound students and their families unknowingly fall into -- the "college bait and switch" involves a school offering a very generous financial aid package to an incoming freshman, then dramatically decreasing financial support for the following years of enrollment.

As a College Prep Specialist I know that tuition and financial aid packages are often the deciding factors for students in choosing where to matriculate. In the upcoming months as students begin to receive acceptance letters and financial aid packages I will actively advise my students to be aware of this possibly disparity in financial aid by year, as well as make sure they fully understand the conditions of any scholarships and awards they receive. For example, many scholarships require that students reapply each year, maintain high GPA, or register for a certain number of credits to continue receiving the award. It is nuances like these that eager college bound freshman may be temped to overlook but can make or break a college career further down the line.

Read the full article here:

Dorian Onifer
College Prep Specialist - Strawberry Mansion High School

For more information, please contact:

Free Library of Philadelphia
The Office of Public Service Support (TOPSS)
College Prep Program

1901 Vine Street, Room 5A
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Office: 215-567-2162
Fax: 215-686-5374
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I am a Junior in High school and will be entering into my Senior year next Fall. I am interested in getting to know more about college. What my options are what I need to do as far as studying for my SATs and ACTs. I would like to know what requirements I need to meet financial AID and scholarships I may be eligible for.
Anyee - south Philadelphia
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hello Anyee! Check out our College Prep Workshops, Passport To College, which features a series of FREE workshops that will be offered in hosting library branches and partnering locations throughout the 2015-16 academic year. These workshops were designed to guide high school youth through the entire post-secondary application process. When youth complete their first workshop, they will receive a 'College Passport' to be stamped. If youth attend all 12 workshops they will receive a FLP prize, as well as be on track to successfully attend college in fall 2016 and beyond! Workshops include ACT, College Application Completion, College Fair, College Fit, College Opportunity Costs, Essay Writing, Financial Aid Completion, Financial Literacy, Internships, Externships, and Work Study, PSAT, SAT, and Scholarships and Grants! We have also included a Parent Engagement workshop. Registration is very easy! Simply go to and search 'Free Library of Philadelphia College Prep Program.' Also, here information regarding our Passport to College Fall SAT Prep Workshops! We encourage all high school youth to register immediately, especially juniors and seniors. Please register here - Thank you for your interest!!
Aisha - Philadelphia
Friday, October 2, 2015