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The content published on our website is written within the context of  existing FAFSA rules.  These rules are subject to change for students entering or already in college in 2024.  Please read our newsletter to regular updates on the status of these proposed changes which, though codified into law, are still subject for revision by the Department of Education.

Winning the Waiting Game – 5 action steps to take now

Tedious college applications, thoughtful essays, glowing recommendations, intense interviews, OH MY! The whole college process can bring about stress and anxiety for students and their families. Some try to speed up the process with early admissions, which has become all the more accessible AND competitive due to the expansion of test optional admissions. The frenzy of fall senior year is waning for those seniors who applied to early admissions deadlines but the waiting game between November 1st and January 1…

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Why Go to College When You’re Older – My Story

What a silly question that is, you might say. Here’s my story and it has a happy ending. WHY GO? I went to college for the first time when I was about 40. I had just gotten divorced and felt the need to expand my horizons and my education. I got married right out of high school, and although I took college classes, I knew I wasn’t going to attend college. After 40, I knew if I wanted to jump…

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Benefits of Federal Student Loan

The goal for every parent of students seeking higher education is to have their child graduate debt-free. The unfortunate reality of life is that college is not free. Therefore, many students will graduate with some debt burden. The amounts they carry will vary based on the institution they attend, the type of degree obtained, and how much student loans they borrow. If parents are not fiscally sound and prepared to cover their student's tuition expenses through 529 Savings Plans, home…

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3 Ways to Assist Your Student With College Applications

Resist the temptation As a high school counselor, I often ask students to log into their Common Application account or college specific application portal. This is usually because they have a question or need clarification on an item.  It is commonplace for students to tell me that they do not know their login information or that their parents completed the application on their behalf.  In that awkward moment, the student may feel inadequate or ashamed, and their confidence has been…

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are outside scholarships worth it

Are Outside Scholarships Worth It?

The following headline was featured in the February 9, 2018 edition of Forbes: “How This Savvy Student Won More Than $700,000 In Scholarships!” While this sounds like quite the accomplishment, if you read the article in its entirety you’ll notice 2 major catches: It required the student to apply to more than 140 scholarships just to win six awards The student couldn't accept more than half of the $700,000 total because it included scholarships from schools he chose not to…

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How To Get An Internship In College

How To Get An Internship In College

Why does it matter that one tries for an internship in college? There are many reasons, but the main one, according to John P. Fahey Career Center at Creighton University in Nebraska is that “it can plug students into a professional network and help them develop industry contacts for when they begin a job search.” The ‘how’ to get this accomplished comes next. Are there right and possible wrong ways of going about this task? And where does one begin?…

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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 current 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…

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freshman year checklist

Freshman Year Checklist

As your child enters high school, you may be wondering about their transition from middle school. Questions may be swirling in your head: Will they ease into their new schedule? Will they make friends?  But how much should your budding high schooler think about college in freshman year? Is it too early to start planning? In a word, no but this “no” comes with some additional nos. Should you pepper your freshman with deep questions about their plans after high…

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asset repositioning strategies

Why Families May Want To Consider Asset Repositioning Strategies To Reduce College Costs

About 20% of middle-income families will qualify for need-based aid that is higher than their merit scholarship.   It often makes sense for these families to consider asset repositioning strategies to reduce their EFC so they are able to capture the additional gift aid that may be available to them.  Upper middle-income families, especially those that will have more than one child in college at the same time, can also benefit from this strategy—especially if their student is headed to an…

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How To Research Colleges

How To Research Colleges

Deciding to attend college is one of the biggest decisions you'll make during your life. Hence, it shouldn't be taken lightly. Rather, it should be researched earnestly and thoroughly.  As a starting point for how to research colleges, you should think of what interests you, what makes your heart sing, and what would be fun to do as a lifetime job. However, there are many other factors to consider as well which we'll address in full below. How To Research…

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