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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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College And The Hidden Cost Of Attendance

College and the Hidden Cost of Attendance

It’s no secret that paying for college is expensive. The high price tags of tuition and housing have become an expected part of higher education. The numerous hidden expenses that go into your cost of attendance that you and your child will need to be prepared for are far less well known. Paying for College Before You’ve Even Chosen Your School By the time you get the first bill from your child’s college, it is entirely possible that you will have already spent…

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Campus Visits On A Tight Budget

Campus Visits on a Tight Budget

The college process is rife with major decisions. Deciding which school your child will attend is easily one of the most important. Conceivably, you have your ideas on where they should go; they likely have their own, and you might even be fortunate enough that both are in line with each other. Either way, it is not a decision to be made lightly, or without as much information on your options as possible. This is what makes campus visits so important. The common deterrent…

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Smart College Planning: Finishing In 4 Years

Smart College Planning: Finishing in 4 Years

The term “4-year degree” has become something of a misnomer. While it is possible to finish college in 4 years (or less), the new average has actually become 6. How did this happen? Is it because college has become exorbitantly more difficult? Is it because students aren’t trying as hard? While there may be some validity to both of those possibilities, on a case by case basis, the much broader reason is far more practical – poor college planning. The longer your student is…

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Federal Student Loans Now Less Expensive

Federal Student Loans Now Less Expensive

Financing a college education can be a daunting prospect. As you do your research it’s easy to become inundated with all the fees, interest rates, and other price tags you’ll be expected to pay. With the cost of college ever rising, it can feel like an endless cavalcade of bad news. If you are familiar with this feeling, I may just have some much needed good news for you. Private vs Federal Student Loans Student loans, though oft maligned, are an integral aspect of…

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The Benefits Of Student Work In College

The Benefits of Student Work in College

One of the most productive things your student can do with all the new found free time that college affords is to find gainful employment. For some students it can be a great way to keep their lives structured, while making some extra money. For others, student work is a necessity to stay in school at all. Student Income and EFC If you have any experience with financial aid, then Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a term you are well acquainted with. For the…

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Budgeting For College

Budgeting for College

  There’s quite a bit more to paying for college than just tuition. It’s the fact that most of the other expenses can vary so wildly that makes budgeting for college so tricky. Will your student live in the dorms? Will they go on a meal plan? As is the case with most other aspects of college, how you budget is largely dictated by your personal circumstances. Be that as it may, there are tips and tricks that just about everyone can use to save…

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Income Sharing Agreements Vs. Student Loans

Income Sharing Agreements vs. Student Loans

The ever growing costs of college are often characterized as “an investment in one's future.” In a cruel twist of fate, the price of that investment remains on the rise, while its security begins to wane. What if we treated students as investments instead of debtors? Imagine that the amount you owe is entirely contingent on what you make. This is a reality at Purdue University and could become a well needed alternative for students all over the country. College is very expensive, so…

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Digital Badges: A Cost Effective Alternative?

Digital Badges: A Cost Effective Alternative?

In order to be considered for higher paying positions, college degrees have seemingly replaced high school diplomas as an ostensible prerequisite. Since everyone thinks they need them to get hired, they have never been more important. This allows colleges to charge more and more in the knowledge that people will pay regardless, as there is no widely accepted alternative. The landscape is ripe for another option. Enter Digital Badges. The Mozilla Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and the Humanities, Arts, Science…

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Why Are College Award Letters So Complicated?

Why Are College Award Letters So Complicated?

By now, you should have received your financial aid award letter. The May 1st deadline is rapidly approaching and the window to make your final decision is steadily closing. You would imagine award letters would be designed to be easy to understand, allowing you to choose the best course of action to suit your situation. However, the reality is that they are often much more complicated than they need to be. What should be a simple matter of addition and subtraction can be bewildering, due…

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Outside Scholarships: Should You Include Them In Your Plan To Pay For College?

Outside Scholarships: Should You Include Them In Your Plan to Pay For College?

Paying for college requires a comprehensive plan. After you review all of the financial strategies available to reduce your out-of-pocket costs, it’s important to prepare a comprehensive college budget plan to make sure sufficient funds will be available to educate all of your students in a comfortable manner without incurring too much debt or depleting your retirement funds. The problem with making outside scholarships part of your plan. One of the most problematic sources of college funding are outside scholarships. Though we continue to believe that…

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