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Educational Consultants
1001 Ogden Ave.
Suite 203
Downers Grove, IL

Financial Consultants
1717 North Naper Blvd
Suite 200
Naperville, IL

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New Tax Bill Brings Good News

New Tax Bill Brings Good News

Most of the news coming out on how the new tax bill affects families and colleges has been fragmented and tainted with political bias. This an attempt to provide a bottom line and more objective look at how the final bill will affect college families and colleges. EFFECT ON COLLEGE FAMILIES On balance, the lobbying efforts from colleges, universities, graduate students, and families has resulted in a tax bill that is mostly good news for most college families. Keeps the…

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Analyze Your Award Letter Before You Accept It!

Analyze Your Award Letter Before You Accept It!

Some colleges and universities are already sending out financial aid award letters for 2018/2019. That’s great news! After all, you’ve worked hard, and it’s time you reap the rewards of that hard work. But before you sign and return that award letter, it’s essential to look at it with a critical eye.   As we wrote in a previous blog, analyzing your award letters can be a complicated process, but it’s well worth your time. Is your offer clear and easy to…

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46% Of IL Families Didn’t Fill Out The FAFSA!

46% of IL Families Didn’t Fill Out the FAFSA!

There’s a lot of paperwork to be completed in preparation for the college application and admission process, so who could blame anyone for overlooking one form or another. But not filling out the FAFSA could cost your family thousands of dollars in free money for school. Does This Sound Familiar? Families often state many reasons why they don’t complete a FAFSA: “We earn too much income to qualify for aid.” “A FAFSA is only for government grants and loans.” “It’s…

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A Gap Year Can Save You A Boatload

A Gap Year Can Save You A Boatload

As the number of kids who graduate high school and go on to college increases, the number of kids who choose to complete a gap year increases, too. Gap years have been common overseas for years. Their popularity, which has been relatively low here in the U.S. is changing, and quickly. The most recent high-profile student taking a gap year was President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia. She’s beginning her freshman year at Harvard University after spending a year interning. What…

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Don’t Count On Public Universities To Fill Need-Based Aid!

Don’t Count on Public Universities to Fill Need-Based Aid!

Once upon a time, a student in need of financial aid who applied to colleges and universities could be reasonably confident that a need-based aid package would be offered. He or she would receive an amount that would bridge the gap between tuition fees and family finances. Not any longer, unfortunately. These days, students can no longer count on having their documented financial needs met by public colleges and universities. It’s Not Just One State Before anyone thinks that this…

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How Uncle Sam Handles Defaulted Student Loans

How Uncle Sam Handles Defaulted Student Loans

Student loans are big business. Collecting defaulted student loan money is becoming an even bigger business. An Overview The federal government works with student loan servicing companies to collect on outstanding student loans. It’s these companies that deal with students once the student loan papers are signed and payments finally come due. When borrowers default, the U.S. Department of Education’s debt collectors come knocking. The federal government has given these debt collectors immense power, unlike anything an ordinary debt collector can…

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Are Student Loans Funding College Or Social Life?

Are Student Loans Funding College or Social Life?

Students loans are a saving grace for many families that otherwise wouldn’t be able to send their children to college. But that dream come true has turned into a nightmare for many parents as they learn those loans might be covering more than just tuition and a dorm room. In a recent study from LendEDU, more than 30% of survey respondents admitted they’d be using some of their loan money to get some spring break r&r. If you’ve ever wondered how non-working college…

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Is This The Beginning Of The End For Scholarship Displacement?

Is This the Beginning of the End for Scholarship Displacement?

In an unprecedented move, Maryland has just ended a policy which has rattled scholarship recipients for years. It became the first state to banish scholarship displacement practices, and other states may soon follow. After a two-year battle against the practice, executives Jan Wagner and Michelle Waxman Johnson of the non-profit Central Scholarship welcomed the new law that took effect on July 1 and prevents public universities from lowering a student’s need-based financial aid package based on awarded scholarships. And while scholarship foundations…

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PSLF: Tips For Students With Large Government Loans

PSLF: Tips for Students with Large Government Loans

There has been a lot of uncertainty regarding the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program recently. That being said, we think it is likely to remain in place, although perhaps in a modified form.  Accordingly, it is important for borrowers entering public service employment to be prepared. Knowing what to do is especially important when student borrowers run into problems with their loan servicing company. As with any problem, the more you know, the sooner you can take action…

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College Illinois 529 Plans On The Brink

College Illinois 529 Plans on The Brink

As Illinois colleges come closer to the breaking point from the state’s fiscal crisis, it has just been reported that the College Illinois pre-paid 529 plan is also going broke. Illinois Universities Bond Ratings Downgraded Again MCPT believes the recent downgrade on Illinois’ Bond rating will result in even less students applying for admission at in-state universities in 2018.  This will likely result in lower financial aid offers at other Midwest universities because of the lower demand for Illinois students.…

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