The Princeton Review Has Released 2021 Edition of Its Annually Updated Guide, "Paying for College"

—Includes New Section on COVID-19 College Funding Issues and Line-by-Line Guidance on Completing Financial Aid Applications for 2021–22 Academic Year

NEW YORK, September 22, 2020 /—The Princeton Review®, known for its many services and resources that help students research and gain admission to college, today released the 29th edition of its annually updated popular guide to college financial aid and funding.

Paying for College: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College (Penguin Random House, 2021 Edition, September 22, 2020, $22.99) is authored by Kalman A. Chany, one of the nation's leading experts on college funding, with Geoff Martz.  

As college costs have skyrocketed (figures reported by the College Board are here), so have students' and parents' concerns about how they will pay for college. Among 12,800 college applicants and parents of applicants The Princeton Review surveyed this March for its annual College Hopes & Worries Survey, 87% said financial aid would be "very" or "extremely" necessary to pay for college. In many families, these concerns are acute due to the economic uncertainty resulting from COVID-19.

As crucial as aid has become, in recent years many aid-eligible applicants have sadly failed to apply for it. About 39% of the 2019 high school grads failed to complete the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), a form that all aid applicants must submit. This has been a pattern for several years.

A survey cited in 2018 by NCES (the National Center for Education Statistics) that polled students and parents about why they failed to complete the FAFSA reported that 23% said they didn't have information about how to complete it. The FAFSA has stymied a good many people including college grads for years. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan once said of the form (which numbers more than 100 questions): "You basically need a Ph.D. to figure that thing out."

Since 1992, Paying for College has provided specific, detailed, line-by-line guidance on completing—to one's best advantage—both the FAFSA and the College Board’s CSS Profile™, an even more complex form that hundreds of selective schools require in addition to the FAFSA. For 29 years, this book has been the only annually updated guide to financial aid that offers such detailed information, coupled with advice on how the financial aid process works and insights into how aid offers are determined. The book also gives readers guidance on saving for college and exploring various loan options as well as education tax benefits.

Chany's advice applies the strategic planning techniques traditionally used by tax accountants to the world of financial aid. His recommendations—all legal—take into account year-to-year changes in both the aid application forms and the formulas used to determine aid offers.

In addition to its detailed strategies for completing the 2021–22 FAFSA and the CSS Profile, the 2021 edition of Paying for College provides:

  • Guidance on COVID-19 college funding issues. Chany explains how to inform aid officers of major changes in family income when FAFSA data no longer accurately reflects the family's current financial circumstances. He also discusses the potential benefit of tuition insurance and aid implications for students weighing whether to take the SAT® or ACT® (often used for merit award decisions) as well as whether to take a gap year, and whether to live in a dorm or off campus.
  • Worksheets to calculate the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Using this resource, readers can get an advance estimate on what colleges will expect the family to ante up. Chany describes specific, legal ways to lower that figure and boost aid eligibility.
  • A sample copy of the FAFSA .

Chany also offers guidance on:

  • What parents and students should—and shouldn’t—do to get the most aid.
  • What single, separated, or divorced parents need to know about aid eligibility.
  • How to appeal for more aid if the college’s initial offer isn’t enough.
  • How to find the best education loans and handle repayment issues. 

Paying for College has been recommended by many reviewers and reporters over the years. Gail MarksJarvis, Personal Finance Columnist, once urged her Chicago Tribune readers to "Get this book, and don't just read it—study it." She added, "The steps Chany suggests…truly do work." 

Paying for College is one of more than 150 books developed by The Princeton Review and published by Penguin Random House. Others in the line include: The Best 386 Colleges, The Best Value Colleges, and guides to the SAT and ACT as well as guides to other standardized tests. New books for fall 2020 include College Admissions During COVID (on sale October 27) by Rob Franek, Editor-in-Chief, The Princeton Review, and a four-book Learn at Home series (on sale November 10) for parents to help their children in elementary school master math and reading skills. The titles are 1st Grade at Home, 2nd Grade at Home, 3rd Grade at Home, and 4th Grade at Home.

About Kalman A. Chany

Kalman A. Chany is the founder and president of Campus Consultants Inc., a Manhattan-based firm that has guided thousands of parents and students through the financial aid process since 1984. Over his 36-year career, Kal has helped his many clients and readers who follow the successful steps in his book cut tens of thousands of dollars off the cost of their child's college education. He has discussed college funding and financial aid advice on ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight, CBS’s Evening News, NBC’s Nightly News, and NPR's Talk of the Nation. He has also been sourced in publications from Money to The Wall Street Journal.

About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school–bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The company’s brand is one of the largest online tutoring services in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 19 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit and the company's Media Center. Follow the company on Twitter (@ThePrincetonRev) and Instagram (@theprincetonreview).

SAT® is a trademark registered and owned by the College Board, and CSS Profileis a trademark owned by the College Board which is not affiliated with and does not endorse this product. FAFSA® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Education. ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc.

Paying for College : Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College
by Kalman A. Chany with Geoff Martz
Penguin Random House • 2021 Edition On Sale Date Sept. 22, 2020

$22.99 (Canada $29.99) • 368 pages • ISBN 978-0-525-57009-7
Contact: Jeanne Krier, Publicist for The Princeton Review,, 212-539-1350.