About the Book
Better Off After College is a step-by-step guide for families who want to enjoy all of the benefits of a college degree - with less anxiety and without taking too much debt. Written by two higher education experts, Sabrina Manville and Nick Ducoff, the book provides clear explanations and insider tips for how families can make smart savings decisions, maximize their financial and merit aid, and avoid over-borrowing.
About the Authors
Sabrina and Nick are parents and former university administrators committed to helping families be better off after college. Sabrina was previously AVP at Southern New Hampshire University where she led marketing for their College for America program. Nick was previously VP at Northeastern University where he founded one of the first university bootcamp programs.
In 2017 they co-founded Edmit, which provides award-winning tools and advice to families about paying for college, and has been covered in the Wall Street Journal.
Q&A with Sabrina and Nick
What motivated you to write this book?
S: We started Edmit because we saw how hard it was for families to get good financial advice about college - whether it was about saving, looking for generous merit or financial aid, or how to actually pay the bills without taking too much debt.
Edmit’s software lets families see personalized estimates and compare colleges along various dimensions - for example cost, financial aid, or earnings outcomes. But as we worked with families we realized how important our articles and guides were for our customers as well. The process is complicated; there is a lot of jargon, and it can be overwhelming to know where to find the information. So we decided to write an easy-to-follow, practical guide to getting more aid and taking on less debt when paying for college. With Better Off After College, our goal was to take the most important, relevant advice out there and simplify it in one place. And if readers want more, they can visit our site to learn more about any topic or to follow the process of college research that we recommend.
Who is this book for?
N: Better Off After College covers the whole college planning journey, from pre-high school through senior year. This book is for families with children in high school, or soon to be, who are saving or planning for the cost of college, researching schools, or applying and deciding.
This book would also benefit those who work with families on their college finances, including financial institutions, financial advisors, or college counselors.
What surprised you in writing this book?
S: Through our research for the book, we found that the college cost and debt crisis has led to some unfortunate outcomes: the poorest families often avoid going to college, while wealthier families are increasingly finding ways to “game” the system to lower their costs.
We were surprised to see that some families are resorting to more and more extraordinary means to reduce their costs - some legal, some questionable, and some outright illegal. We were so interested in this topic that we wrote a report exploring the most common offenses, in the hopes of helping colleges close loopholes that make the process more unfair.
What’s next for the book?
N: We’ll be incorporating more of the book into Edmit’s software for Edmit Plus users - you’ll be able to download discussion guides and worksheets in addition to using Edmit to follow the process we recommend year to year. We’re also exploring developing an online version of the book that is more like a course, and in turning it into videos, podcasts or audio, or other formats.
Better Off After College is now available in paperback for $12.99 or on Kindle for $6.99.