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The content published in some of our past blogs were within the context of the FAFSA rules that existed at the time they were written. These rules have changed for students entering or already in college in 2024.

Don’t dismiss small-town colleges

As a graduate of one small college (1,000 students in a town of 10,500) and former employee of another (900 students in a town of 10,000), I want to make a suggestion as your students are exploring colleges: Don’t be too quick to cross small-town and rural colleges off the list. I compiled a bunch of advantages with the help of some small-town college alumni. Here are just a few: 1. Tuition and housing prices may be more attractive. Enrollment at…

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Reducing the Financial Burden of College With Merit-Based Scholarships

For parents of college-bound students, the cost of higher education can be a significant concern. While financial aid and grants might be more common, merit-based scholarships provide another valuable avenue to help offset the expenses of college. There are many different ways to find merit-based scholarships and a few key notes to keep in mind when applying for scholarships. Ultimately, merit-based scholarships can ease the financial burden on both you and your college-bound student. Understanding Merit-Based Scholarships Merit-based scholarships are…

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Thanksgiving Break College Application Tips

Thanksgiving break is the perfect opportunity for high school seniors to catch their breath and tackle important college application tasks. With Early Action 1 deadlines in the past, Early Action 2 deadlines quickly approaching, and admission results on the horizon, it's a critical time for college-bound students. As parents, you can help your child make the most of this break with some practical advice. In this blog post, we'll outline Thanksgiving break college application tips to ensure your child's time…

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8 Reasons a Student Should Work a Part-Time Job During College

College is a thrilling and transformative period for young adults. It’s a time when students are not only expanding their knowledge, but also developing crucial life skills and figuring out who they are and where they may fit career-wise upon graduation. An excellent way to enhance this experience is by obtaining part-time employment while pursuing a college degree. Though balancing academics and work may seem daunting, the benefits of employment during college are vast and can significantly impact one’s future…

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Is the New FAFSA as Frightening as We Imagine?

Ghouls and goblins aren’t the only thing lurking around the corner this season. Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and they may be just as frightening! The FAFSA Simplification Act has resulted in many changes meant to make it easier for students to file. The application is being streamlined to reduce the number of questions from 108 down to 46, and depending on a student’s answers, some questions may not be asked at…

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How New FAFSA Rules Will Affect What Middle-Income Families Pay for College

For the first time in about forty years, some significant changes have been made in the FAFSA rules. Low-income, and even some lower-middle income families, will definitely benefit from increases in Pell Grants and a higher income protection allowance. Though not much will change for high-income families, financial planning for college will be much more problematic for middle-income families. Many of the benefits that were helpful to these families under the old rules, are no longer going to be available…

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Tips for Completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile

For parents of college-bound students, the cost of higher education can be a significant concern. Fortunately, there are financial aid opportunities available to help ease the burden. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile) are essential tools in securing financial aid for your child's college education. In this article, we'll provide you with valuable tips on filling out these forms, including deadlines and common mistakes to avoid. Understanding the FAFSA The…

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Navigating Early Decision and Early Action Deadlines

  As the college application season kicks into high gear, parents of college-bound students may find themselves trying to figure out which of the various deadline options are best for their student. Two of the most common application deadlines are Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA). Understanding these options, their differences, benefits, and important deadlines is crucial to help your student make informed decisions about their college journey. In this article, we'll break down the distinctions between Early Decision…

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New FAFSA Rules Create ‘Grandparent Loophole’ for 529 plans

The long-awaited changes under the FAFSA Simplification Act will finally see the light of day in December when the U.S. Department of Education releases the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2024-2025 academic year. One of those changes will be welcome news for grandparents with the means and the desire to help pay for their grandchild’s college education. Previously, any money that grandparents gave a grandchild for college had to be reported as student untaxed income on the FAFSA, potentially lowering…

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Understanding the Common App: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students and Parents

As the back-to-school season kicks off, students and parents of college-bound students are gearing up for one of the most crucial aspects of the college planning process: the application itself. One of the most popular (and common) application tools is the Common App. Developed to simplify the application process for students, the Common App has become widely used by more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States and around the world.  The Common App allows both first-time students…

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