Don Betterton

Betterton College Planning, LLC
President & Founder
Pennington, NJ

“Don Betterton served on the Admission Committee and directed the Office of Financial Aid at Princeton with great distinction over a period of 30 years. He is ideally qualified to provide wise advice to students preparing for college.”

Shirley Tilghman, President, Princeton University 

Upon retiring from Princeton in 2006, Don decided to put his extensive knowledge to good use by starting a one-person business – Betterton College Planning – that guides families through the perplexing, yet crucially important college-going process.

In his six years as an independent counselor, Don has worked with over 150 students. Although his clients span a wide range of ability and college aspirations, he most often deals with above average students seeking to enroll at a selective college.

Don served on Princeton’s admission committee for three decades and is familiar with college admissions from policy level discussions to the evaluation of student credentials. He has done hundreds of individual and group counseling sessions on how a student should prepare both inside and outside the classroom for admission to a competitive college.

As an independent college counselor, he developed the BCP Evaluator™ system, the preeminent method for organizing a college list that realistically projects a student’s admission chances.

In his role as director of financial aid, Don was the architect of Princeton’s innovative “no loan” program and gained recognition as a national leader in his profession. His range of knowledge is extensive, including all aspects of both need-based and merit aid.

Don has been a trustee of the College Board and was honored by being named to the College Scholarship Service Hall of Fame. He chaired the policy committee of the Consortium of Higher Education and served on the policy committee of the Council of Ivy Group Presidents.  He is a member of the NACAC and IECA college counseling associations.

He serves on the advisory boards of GetCollegeFunding, SimpleTuition, ePrep, and the Princeton ROTC Association. Don is also the author of three books including Alma Mater – Unusual stories and little known facts from America’s college campuses.

In recognition of his service to Princeton, Don received the Alumni Council Service Award, the Bressler Award for contributions to Princeton athletics, and was named an honorary member of the classes of 1960 and 2005.

Don, a former regional soccer All-American, has had a long-time involvement with Princeton soccer. Up until 2007 he was an assistant coach of the men’s varsity squad, and before his work with the men’s team, he founded the women’s program in 1977.

Don is a magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth and has an M.A. from Rutgers. Prior to coming to Princeton, Don served on active duty as a U.S. Naval Aviator, eventually retiring with the rank of Captain. While on active duty, he was an assistant professor of Naval Science at Princeton.