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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How To Get Help Filling Out Your CSS Profile

How To Get Help Filling Out Your CSS Profile

Applying to college is exciting but it’s also up there among some of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. Part of the reason for that is the confusing process of applying for financial aid.  If you’re like almost three-quarters of applicants recently surveyed by Citizens Bank, applying for financial aid is even more stressful than applying to colleges! So if you’re at your wits end about the aid process, you’re not alone. That same survey also revealed that over…

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Budgeting For College

Budgeting for College

There’s quite a bit more to paying for college than just tuition. It’s the fact that most of the other expenses can vary so wildly that makes budgeting for college so tricky. Will your student live in the dorms? Will they go on a meal plan? As is the case with most other aspects of college, how you budget is largely dictated by your personal circumstances. Be that as it may, there are tips and tricks that just about everyone can use to save money…

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Manipulating The Real Cost Of Attendance

Manipulating the Real Cost of Attendance

What if department stores manipulated their pricing systems so that when you checked out, the cost was a complete surprise? Or let’s say you took on a mortgage to buy a house, but at closing the cost was $100,000 lower? It would be hard to budget, hard to compare prices, and hard to plan your life.  Believe it or not, that’s exactly what is happening right now in our college and university system.  The price of going to college, or the Cost of Attendance (COA), is all but…

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Campus Visits On A Tight Budget

Campus Visits on a Tight Budget

Helping your student choose the right college is one of the most important decisions you will make during the college search process. It is a decision that requires significant research and, in many cases, information that can only be gathered by visiting campus. Experiencing residence life, meeting with professors, or sitting in on a class could likely provide invaluable information that could influence your decision, which is why campus visits are essential. With spring break right around the corner, many…

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The Real Cost Of 2 Extra Years Of College

The Real Cost of 2 Extra Years of College

What is the Real Cost of 2 Extra Years of College? If you have started the college search process, chances are you have probably wondered what percentage of students graduate in four years. Although these statistics could explain how effectively universities help their students complete their degrees, admissions offices will only provide you with the number of students completing their degrees in 6 years! For any family budgeting for a 4-year degree, an extra two years of college could be…

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How Families With High EFC And No Savings Can Reduce College Costs

How Families with High EFC and No Savings Can Reduce College Costs

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions and careful planning, a family finds itself staring down unexpected college expenses. After completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), families are provided with an estimated family contribution or EFC. And sometimes, that number far outweighs anything a family has saved toward college costs. And even worse, though their students may meet the requirements for admittance, they don’t meet the requirements for obtaining a sizable merit scholarship. While it can certainly be…

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NextGen: New Help On The Way For Student Borrowers

NextGen: New Help on the Way for Student Borrowers

It’s no secret that students spend a lot of time dealing with student loans. In fact, U.S. residents carried more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt as of September 2018, according to the Federal Reserve. Students often juggle multiple loans issued through different loan servicers and with varying repayment terms. Repayment issues aren’t uncommon. The delinquent rate on student loans was greater than 10% in 2017. But help may be on the way with the roll-out of the U.S. Department of Education’s new…

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Having Problems With Your Student Loan Servicing Company?

Having Problems With Your Student Loan Servicing Company?

A lot of students will be entering a student loan forgiveness program in the not too distant future. Some parents have also taken Parent Plus Loans with a plan to pay it back under the Income Contingent Repayment Program. Unfortunately, many will also encounter difficulties with their student loan servicing company. Here are some important resources that you may want to keep on file. Where to Go for Help Realizing that you’re having trouble with a federal student loan can…

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Help Your College Students Manage Their Budget

Help Your College Students Manage Their Budget

Chances are good you’re not living like a college student anymore. So it’s likely that your children aren’t used to living like one either. One of the roles parents take on when helping teenagers transition academically from high school to college is also helping them transition financially. It’s a time of tremendous growth for everyone, and with growth often comes growing pains. But there are ways to help kids avoid breaking their budget. Have a Heart to Heart, Often Sending…

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