Practical help for a crucial and daunting part of the college application process.


Fast Tracking the FAFSA The Missing How-To Book for Financial Aid


A handbook for students applying for college financial aid that includes a step-by-step guide to the sometimes-confusing Free Application for Federal Student Aid application forms.

The all-important FAFSA application can give students access to federal grants, loans and work-study programs, as well as state and individual college programs. This useful guide gets into the nitty-gritty of FAFSA, and Baumel answers even the most basic questions, beginning with the definition of “financial aid.” Two full chapters show applicants how to file online or by mail; the lengthy chapter on online filing provides page-by-page directions, and includes detailed instructions for obtaining electronic signatures, if needed. “Frequently asked questions” sections include answers to such elementary questions as “What is Selective Service?,” while clear headings and subheadings allow knowledgeable students to skip to more relevant material. “After the FAFSA” urges students to carefully review Student Aid Reports that they receive from colleges after applying, and there’s a full chapter about correcting any mistakes. The writer also briefly discusses and debunks common misconceptions about college financial aid programs, such as “I won’t qualify for financial aid if my family owns a house,” as well as how to retain financial aid in the future. In “Money-Saving Tips,” the author notes that private colleges can generally offer more aid than public schools and gives advice on meal plans and buying textbooks. However, the book’s sections on finding scholarships and the particulars about 529 college savings plans are less detailed and seem like add-ons given its core FAFSA focus.

Practical help for a crucial and daunting part of the college application process.

Pub Date: April 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1480069220

Page Count: 156

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2013

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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