10. Bowdoin College Is in Maine, So Why Is It Named After a Governor of Massachusetts? I'm not going to tell you the answer to this question because, if I did, I'd just have to come up with a new question. You see, I usually use this question as part of my introductory comments during my live presentations, where my first goal is to get my audience members to think outside their regional boxes. We Americans can be too focused on our own regions to the point that we disregard the great opportunities that are frequently available in the other regions of our nation. So, I begin most of my presentations with a map of the United States, then I talk about getting lost on a college hunting trip in the wilds of deepest darkest Rhode Island, and then I have fun with college names that my audience members probably can't pronounce. Which brings me to Bowdoin College where I have fun with the pronunciation of its name, I talk about Gettysburg hero and former Bowdoin president Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and I mention that Bowdoin's a fine school with very generous financial aid. But I finish off by offering a $5 Starbucks gift card to the first student who can tell me why a college in Maine is named after a governor of Massachusetts. So, I'm sorry, but I just can't give away the answer.
NOTE TO SENIORS IN THE CLASS OF '17 AND YOUR PARENTS: Decision Day is Monday, May 1, and you have some important research to do on every college where you were accepted. Now's the time for the detail work. Now's the time to nail down everything you think you know about every one of your potential colleges, and the Tripwires page I added last year will give you some good ideas. Remember that the Consumer Protection Revolution of our last century had almost no impact on American colleges, and you need to be alert "higher education consumers" who are eager to do all of your own consumer research yourselves. So, don't take anything you've been told by any school for granted, confirm every detail, and don't trip a Tripwire!
College Alert! This is my fifth year of doing annual updates for the 125 colleges I analyze, and I'm used to the shape and contents of their expected aid packages. So, I call their financial aid offices if anything looks amiss. As examples, while doing my annual updates last year, I found two colleges where apparent programming errors had reduced the amount of their expected grant aid by about fifty percent each, and I called the schools immediately. I have now completed my 2017/2018 research, and I found programming errors in the Net Price Calculator results in two of the 128 colleges I analyzed. I each case the grant aid was reduced by significant margins, in one case by 40% and in another by 97%. Obviously, programming glitches can happen to anyone, but this is an especially bad time of the year for that to happen at all. So, I recommend that all colleges retest the accuracy of their NPC's every week on so - from the user's side, not the programmer's side - to reconfirm the accuracy of their NPC's.