Advisors & Guest Experts

Don Betterton, Financial Aid and College Admissions

With respect to college planning and financial aid, there are few people with more experience and knowledge than Don Betterton.  Don served as the director of financial aid at Princeton University for 30 years where he was the architect of Princeton’s innovative no-loan program and gained recognition a national leader in his profession. During Don’s time at Princeton, undergraduate financial aid/scholarship awards increased from an aggregate $3.4 million in 1973-74 to $65 million in 2005-06. 

Don’s career in college planning and financial aid has been distinguished with multiple achievements.  He is the author of two books (and numerous articles) on financial aid and has given many in-person presentations to groups both large and small. Don served as a trustee of the College Board, chaired the policy committee for an association of the country's most selective colleges, and was recently named to the College Scholarship Service Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the aid profession.  As an expert on enrollment management (the interplay of admissions and financial aid), Don has been a consultant to more than 30 colleges. He also served on Princeton's admission committee and is familiar with college admissions from policy level discussions to the evaluation of student credentials. For his leadership of the financial aid office, as well as his service to the Princeton University as a whole, Don has received the Alumni Council Award for Service and the Bressler Award for outstanding support of Princeton athletics. He is also an honorary member of the Classes of 1960 and 2005.

Actively involved in Princeton soccer for many years, Don was head coach of the men’s freshman and junior varsity teams, started the women’s program, and for the last 18 years has been an assistant coach of the men’s varsity squad.

Don is a magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, where he was a regional All-American in soccer. He received a M.A. from Rutgers in 1974. Before arriving at Princeton, he served on active duty as a Naval Aviator, eventually retiring with the rank of Captain.

Don is currently a Certified College Planner.  For more information on his private consulting services, you can visit

Fred Hargadon, College Admissions

Fred served as Dean of Admission at Swarthmore College for five years (1964-1969), at Stanford University for fifteen years (1969-1984), and most recently at Princeton University for fifteen years (1988-2003).

Fred is widely known for the personal attention he gave each and every application during his thirty-five years in admissions.

Seamus Malin, College Planning

Seamus Malin counts over 40 years of achievement in college planning, admissions, and the administration at Harvard University. He began his career at Harvard as a half-time Assistant Director of Financial Aid and a half-time Resident Advisor in one of the College’s freshman dorms.  In 1969, he became the Director of Financial Aid, a position which included work in admissions as well.  In 1977, he crossed over more formally and became the College’s Assistant Dean of Admissions, focusing on international candidates along with specific regions within the United States. In 1987, he left admissions to become the Director of the University’s International Office. In that administrative role, he was responsible for overseeing roughly 5,000 university-wide international students and research scholars. From 2002 to 2005, Seamus served as the Director of Admissions at the Harvard Graduate School of Divinity. During those years, however, he stayed keenly connected to undergraduate admissions, organizing various orientation programs for incoming freshman.

Prior to Harvard, Seamus began his career at the Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island.  In addition to teaching English and French at the prestigious high school, he coached soccer and tennis and served as a boarding master.  

He was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Before enrolling at University College Dublin in 1958, his father accepted a job offer at the Boston Globe and moved the entire family of six to the United States.  Seamus was “lucky” to get a last minute offer to enroll at Harvard College, the undergraduate component of Harvard University. Majoring in both English and American Literature, he graduated in 1962.

Over the years, Seamus has been involved in both regional and national aspects of organizations like NAFSA, NASFAA, NACAC, The College Board. In fact, he served as the Chairman of The College Board's International Advisory Committee for many years.

Seamus is currently an independent college counselor who focuses his time and energy on serving students and their families in the Northeast (Boston, Conn, NYC), as well as several overseas areas (including Nigeria, Germany and the UK).

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