The College Affordology Process


This project started out as a book, but in the end the internet seemed the more available format for my audience of high schoolers. Feel free to jump around from topic to topic, post to post, as it suits you, but if you want to read through the posts as you would a book, the following outline-format guide may help you in this.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Roots

Section 1: Affordology 101

Chapter 1: Ignorance is Bleak

Commentary: Faces of Devasation: Hurt and Hope Beyond the Statistics

Chapter 2: Affordology to the Rescue

Chapter 3: The Three Rs of Affordology

Commentary: OK, But What Does “Afford” Mean?

Chapter 4: When Purchases (Including Educations) Flunk You

Commentary: Let’s Not Assume

Section 2: Degrees of Success

Chapter 5: A Prioritized Pursuit

Chapter 6: Plotting Resources

Chapter 7: Projecting Payoffs

Chapter 8: Let the Filtration Begin

Section 3: Income

Chapter 9: Prayer

Chapter 10: College Loans

School Loans 101 (And a Little Wisdom Thrown In)

The Particular Dangers of School Loans

Commentary: Getting Stuck- Of SUVs and Bills

Chapter 11: Grants

Grants 101: Truly Easy Money


Avoid Penalties on Your Savings

Chapter 12: Scholarships


Say Hello To Your New Job

On Body Slams and Scholarship Clues

“Guaranteed” Sure Sounds Nice

Shop Local

Find Money for Certain Studies

Trust Me: Give Thanks

Your New Hangout

Chapter 13: Family Resources


Time to Have “The Talk”

Moving Beyond Just Giving Fish To Kids

Establish a 401(Kid)

Hack Your Brain and Save Your Money

Papa’s Got a Brand New Gig

Put Your Taxes Back in Your Pocket

Chapter 14: Military Programs

Military Aid: Three Critical Questions

Military Aid: Understanding the Options

Chapter 15: W-O-R-K

Understanding How Work Works

School Employment

The Traditional Job

Dorm Room Enterprises

Do Your Own Thing

The Best of Both Worlds

Section 4: Outgo

Chapter 16: Exploring the Alternatives

16A: Alternative Schools

The Other Reason to Start at a JuCo

Apply to a Free or Cheap School

Resident, Non-Resident, and In-Between

Cut the Fat and Save: The Extension Campus

Who’s Looking for You?

Come Up Short? Explore the Reverse Transfer

¡Universidad Gratis! (Translation: Free College!)

Mix and Match

16B: Alternatives To School

Test Drive Before You Buy

Certifications for Better Employment

Other Alternatives to School

Chapter 17: Credit Hour Waivers

How To Kill Two Birds with One Stone

A.P. Credits (With or Without the Classes)


Experience Counts

Chapter 18: Efficient Scheduling

Credit Hours and Cost

Compressed & Cheaper Courses

Go Against the Flow

Use School Breaks To Get a Clue


Chapter 19: Non-Tuition Breaks

Addressing Textbook Pain (1 of 3)

Addressing Textbook Pain (2 of 3)

Addressing Textbook Pain (3 of 3)

Affordable Housing

Chowing Down on the Cheap

Section 5: Wrap-Up

Commentary: Because Freedom

Commentary: The Big Ts and College Outcomes

Commentary: The UNC Cheating Scandal and Why it Matters to You

About the Author

Helpful Links

Resources for Further Exploration



The art and science of an affordable education