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Savvy College Funding

It’s no secret that most Americans find college to be an expensive venture. Even with years of planning and saving, families who are able to pay the full cost of a four year education out-of-pocket are the minority. Since it’s unlikely that most people have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around, there are some tried and true methods to pay for an education. The best options require diligence and foresight. However, you shouldn't overlook alternative and creative college funding options. « Learn…

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Navigate FAFSA Verification Like a Pro

Have you been chosen for FAFSA Federal verification? Don't worry! According to U.S. News, over one-third of FAFSA applicants are chosen for this type of audit. Some small colleges even elect to verify 100% of their applicants. As deadlines have passed and you have filed your FAFSA, now comes the time when financial aid offices may be contacting you or your student about the verification process. Essentially, it’s an audit that colleges do to verify the numbers you submitted in your original filing. While this…

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The Future of Higher Education: A New Workshop

My College Planning Team will soon be rolling out a new workshop entitled: “The Future of Higher Education and How You Can Benefit From It.” We are exited about what’s been happening in higher education during the last few years and and want to share these new developments with parents who continue to be frustrated by the ever rising cost of educating their children. Our new workshop reviews a growing number of alternatives to get a college undergraduate or graduate degree at less than half the…

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Paying For College Can Be A Partnership Between Middle-Income Parents and Students

In my generation, about half of the students in my incoming freshman class paid for the full cost of their own college education through work, student loans, and personal savings. On their own, they were financing their college education. It was very rare to find a student who wasn’t paying for at least half of their own college education. Though those days are long gone, occasionally I still meet with middle-income parents who fully expect their children to pay for…

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The Student Loan Forgiveness Illusion

Is Student Loan Forgiveness Real? It took a long time for the very generous forgiveness provisions included in the president’s 2010 Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) student loan program to finally get noticed by the general public. A full three years after launching the program, there were still only a handful of American families who knew about its existence. It’s hard to imagine a program that allowed a $40,000-a-year social worker with a $100,000 student loan debt to pay less than $200 a month for ten years and…

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How New FAFSA Rules May Benefit (or Hurt) Some Families

  Under the new FAFSA rules just announced by the Obama administration, students entering or returning to college in 2017 and beyond will be able to submit their FAFSA as early as October 1st of the year before they enter college. What this means is that students will be reporting their family’s salary and tax information for 2015 if they are entering or returning to college in 2017/18.  It also means, however, that financial planning to lower college costs must begin even…

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Book Review: The End of College, Part 3: A Look At The Future

This blog is the third segment of an extensive review of Kevin Cary's book, The End of College, which proposes a new credentialing system that will upend traditional college credits and degrees. Coming soon:  A new college credentialing system In the next five years, students around the world will have a choice of over 5000 online courses featuring some of the best professors from our nation’s leading universities that they can take without cost. These online courses are the same courses,…

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Book Review: The End of College, Part 2: Finding The Solution

This blog is Part 2 of a three-part book review of Kevin Cary's, The End of College. So What Will Replace the Current Model? When we finally realize that we don’t really need a Gucci-priced education for our kids, we will still need something to replace it.  For starters, a new model requires great content and an effective way of delivering that content to the student. In 2013, something happened that put the wheels in motion of the coming transformation.   MIT…

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Book Review: The End of College, Part 1: Defining the Problem

  For anyone interested in the future of higher education, Kevin Cary’s book, The End of College, is a well written and thought-provoking story.  For a family with college-bound children, it is a must-read. Cary makes a compelling case that higher education is currently in the process of undergoing a radical transformation that most of us will see unfold over the next 10 to 20 years. Some commentators have suggested that this transformation will come at us “like a tsunami,”…

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Calculating Your College Budget: Real-Time Answers

Calculating your college budget can be a mysterious process.  Families have a difficult time predicting the awards.  In reality, there are still the real-time answers that only the college can answer for you to help prepare for how to make a budget plan for college students. Stephanie Kennedy was showing me the proprietary software used by her academic team to help families with the college search process.  I was quite impressed with how the software enables her team to quickly optimize a student’s…

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