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

Financial Consultants
1717 North Naper Blvd
Suite 200
Naperville, IL

We gladly use video conferencing for clients who are unable to meet in person.

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 Will The Education Budget Affect College Families?

How Will the Education Budget Affect College Families?

From the screaming headlines over the past few days, it would seem that the president’s new budget on higher education will be devastating to American families who are already struggling to pay for college. So, it’s time to be objective and look at the facts.  The president’s budget, if implemented, is really not going to have that much impact on MCPT families. Here’s a brief overview: Pell Grant Funding Though the talk about reducing the Pell Grant surplus has been…

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Can Parent Plus Loan Forgiveness Rescue Some Families From A Lifetime Of Debt?

Can Parent Plus Loan Forgiveness Rescue Some Families from a Lifetime of Debt?

Unbeknownst to many who are struggling to pay for college, the current loopholes in the Parent Plus Loan rules allow some families to receive full forgiveness on a boat load of college debt.   It’s not a viable strategy for everyone, it’s not a recommendation by any means, and there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding it, but there is a way to banish the bills from your Parent Plus Loan for good. But should you? Parent Plus Loans…

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Financial Aid Appeal:  How And Why

Financial Aid Appeal:  How and Why

You’ve just received your Financial Aid Award Letter from your favorite college, and it just isn’t enough.  Besides the thud of your disappointed heart hitting the floor, you hear a small voice in your head, “I’ve heard you can negotiate your college costs!!” Whoa there!  Take a step back.  That’s not quite true.  Accepting or declining a financial aid award is not like negotiating on a used car!  Prepare for a bit more courteous and considerate approach, and read on.…

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Interpreting Your Financial Award Letters Can Be A Complicated Task

Interpreting Your Financial Award Letters Can Be a Complicated Task

Applying and subsequently gaining admission to a college or university is an exciting time for both you and your student. However, the exhilaration of an acceptance letter is invariably followed by the typically more sobering award letter; wherein you learn what will be expected of you financially. That is at least, their intended purpose. According to financial expert Mark Kantrowitz, almost 1/3 of financial aid award letters underestimate some of the costs of attendance, while other costs go unacknowledged altogether.…

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Analyzing Your College Award Letters

Analyzing your College Award Letters

College award letters are already fairly confusing. What's worse, they can often be somewhat misleading. This is especially problematic– considering major decisions are made based upon that first award letter; when the next one could be dramatically different. Before you accept a school’s award, there are a few steps you can take to better ensure you won't be left out in the cold later. Avoid the Bait and Switch What you see may not end up being what you get.…

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Government Proposals For Higher Education

Government Proposals for Higher Education

For better or for worse, higher education is a deeply political issue. The rules and regulations can vary substantially depending on who’s in office. One side wants to increase federal aid, while the other wants to do away with it altogether and leave it to private institutions.  It can be difficult to keep up to date with it all, but it’s important to make sure that you do so. The government may not be as forthcoming with information that could…

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