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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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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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Can You Trust The College Stats?

This afternoon I was reading a blog by Jon Marcus (“In new age of college transparency, who’ s checking the facts?”) and was shocked by the number of major universities that are inflating their "college stats" to keep the applications rolling in—and, of course, to maintain their all important U. S. News rankings. Whether it’s average student loan debt, graduate employment rates, or average ACT or SAT scores, it appears that a lot of schools are “cooking-the-books.”  What really stunned…

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Despite Savings, Three Year Degree Not Catching On

Three year degree anyone? They are doing it in Europe where it’s routine for students to get their degree in three years. Yes, it means less socializing, fewer extra curricular activities and more homework. Every year, a couple of colleges somewhere in the country will announce that they are offering a "degree-in-three".  The announcement will create the usual buzz in the national press but, in the end, nothing much comes of it.  Even at the colleges promoting three-year degrees, only a…

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Some Additional Perspective On Outside Scholarships

After reading Stephanie Kennedy’s blog on outside scholarships, I thought I would jump into the conversation and give some of my own perspective on using them as a valid money saving strategy for college. Know The Limitations Though Stephanie already mentioned that many schools will replace other grants with these scholarships, resulting in no benefit to the family, some will allow you to use them to reduce your student loans.  Still others will apply them to your “unmet need". No…

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What If Your Student Is Not Ready For College?

Many parents I encounter seem to have some blind spots when it comes to their student’s readiness for college. Their student’s lack of readiness is not usually an academic issue but, rather, a maturity issue. Many students have no idea of what they want to study by the time they arrive on campus.  This, of course, is the reason so many students are taking six years to graduate. If your student is going to be in college for six years because they…

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Working Students Get Better Grades

Many parents are reluctant to require their students to work during their college years.  They don't want work to distract from the main task at hand--studying and maintaining a good grade point average. There are recent studies, including one published last year in Inside Higher  Ed , however, that contradicts this assumption.  The study concluded that the more money parent pay for their children's college expenses, the worse the children perform. According to a recent article in U.S. News  even students who…

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The Positive Side of Federal Student Loans!

Often parents tell me they want their students to graduate from college debt-free because they are aware of the large debt burden many students are carrying these days. These same parents, especially those who also don’t expect their children to get campus jobs, are also seriously underfunding their retirement accounts. Prioritizing your retirement funding over college funding doesn’t make you a bad parent. Many years from now your children will actually thank you for it when they don’t have to…

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College Admissions: Looking Behind The Curtain

A blog by Rachael Fishman on the New American Foundation’s website entitled “The Dark Side of Enrollment Management" has created quite a storm in higher education. It has also angered a lot of parents. The article reported that George Washington University has been lying about its admissions practices for years. They have actually even admitted it. To make matters worse, other reporters on higher education are discovering that GWU’s deceptive practices are being emulated by many other private colleges across…

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Meet Jack Schacht

Jack has over 40 years in marketing, management, career development and business leadership.  His first business, Career Counselors, launched the careers of hundreds of college graduate at major companies throughout the Chicago area. In 2006, Jack sold his most recent business (The Illinois Trade Association) which became the largest commercial barter exchange in the United States.  While at Illinois Trade Associate he and his team mentored hundreds of business owners on creative financial strategies to reduce expenses, improve cash flow…

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