Faith-Based Answers To The Tough Questions

Faith-Based Answers to the Tough Questions

This “Guest Blog” was written by Pastor Terrence Ford, Youth Pastor at Victory Cathedral in Bolingbrook, Illinois.   When I interviewed Pastor Ford for my “Keeping the Faith in College II” blog, he spoke with such enthusiasm and clarity (he was just plain FUN!) that I invited him to write a blog on his advice to young adults. He readily accepted (Thank you, Pastor T!). So, here is our debut of the My College Planning Team (MCPT) Guest Blog. Stephanie Kennedy,…

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Looking For Your College In Europe

Looking For Your College in Europe

Three years ago, when I decided to build a business devoted to helping families reduce college costs, I quickly discovered the savings available to students who were willing to go abroad to get their degrees.  My interest piqued as I learned more about the subject. I even identified a couple of academic consultants who specialized in helping American students search out the best-fit schools in Europe. What About the Higher Cost of Living? Though I originally thought the higher cost…

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Keeping The Faith In College II

Keeping the Faith in College II

2nd in a Series on College Student Development:  Keeping the Faith My April 23rd,  2014, blog for My College Planning Team, “Keeping the Faith in College,1” was written from my personal perspective based on my experiences with students in colleges, both faith-based and secular.  College students tend to question their faith.  College students tend to experiment with the routines of discipline they knew at home with their family of origin. Most professionals who study and understand young adult development recognize…

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Newest Kickback Scheme: Campus Debit Cards

Newest Kickback Scheme: Campus Debit Cards

Last week, while catching up on my research on private student loan sources, I encountered this attention-getting headline on Huffington Post: “Proposal Would Prevent Kickbacks that Steer Students Into Campus Debit Cards.”  According to the article. there are now about 900 campuses loading their students’ financial aid money into prepaid debit cards and peddling them to students. Sound convenient? Convenience, however, is coming at a big price for students. It turns out that banks and colleges are splitting millions of…

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5 Steps To Proactive Career Development

5 Steps to Proactive Career Development

It’s never too early to consider viewing college decisions as they relate to career development.  In fact, as a career counselor, I prefer to look beyond any current career decision fork in the road to consider the impact of an immediate choice on a total lifework experience that one will produce over one’s lifetime. Decisions Can Be Overwhelming Thinking beyond the immediate decision to its long-term impact can have two completely opposite effects. On one hand, realizing that your immediate…

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Dispelling Myths About Community College

Dispelling Myths About Community College

When I bring up the subject of community college to families for the first time, I am amazed by the number of misconceptions they have about the idea.  However, when parents are stressed out about how they are going to pay for college or have a serious shortfall in their retirement savings, I always encourage them to at least to explore what their local community college has to offer. Here are a few of the biggest myths I try to…

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Student Loan Servicers Keep Families In The Dark

Student Loan Servicers Keep Families in the Dark

With the many flexible income-based repayment options now available for student loans, I continue to scratch my head  why defaults have continued to increase.  Students Are Not Being Told About More Flexible Payback Options While it may be true that most people don’t know about these payback options wouldn’t you think their loan servicing companies would at least mention them as a way to help their customers avoid default? Apparently, these loan servicers prefer to keep their customers in the…

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Reasons Not To Do Your Campus Visit In Summer

Reasons Not to Do Your Campus Visit in Summer

Now that summer is here (for most students), some high school juniors and sophomores are finally finding the time to do a campus visit or several!  I say summer is the time to avoid visiting some colleges!  Why?  Because some of the "perfect" colleges are just too different during summer! Of course, I don't really believe that you should not visit your colleges--it's just that the summertime campus simply does not show an accurate picture of the campus. Here are some reasons why: At…

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The ACT : Raising Scores Opens Doors

The ACT : Raising Scores Opens Doors

When it comes to college planning, there is a reason why ACT prep tutors are key adjuncts to both admissions  counselors and financial advisors.   It is no secret  that competitive to high standardized test scores pave the way for your student applicant to be taken seriously at an increased number of schools. What you may not be aware of, however, is that preferred scores are not a matter of speculation: most institutions of higher learning publicize these golden numbers for the benefit…

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Business Owners Have A Big Advantage When Paying For College

Business Owners Have a Big Advantage When Paying For College

Small business owners have some unique advantages when it comes to lowering the cost of college, often by thousands of dollars a year. The big drivers in determining college costs are income and assets. Small Business Not Assessed Under FAFSA Rules Under FAFSA rules, assets (a business with under 100 employees) are not assessed when determining the Expected Family Contribution. (EFC). Considering that assets are assessed at 5.64%, it can be a big advantage for many small business owners to…

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