Income Sharing Agreements vs. Student Loans

The ever growing costs of college are often characterized as “an investment in one's future.” In a cruel twist of fate, the price of that investment remains on the rise, while its security begins to wane. What if we treated students as investments instead of debtors? Imagine that the amount you owe is entirely contingent on what you make. This is a reality at Purdue University and could become a well-needed alternative for students all over the country. College is very expensive, so…

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Student Loans

How Uncle Sam Handles Defaulted Student Loans

Student loans are big business. Collecting defaulted student loan money is becoming an even bigger business. An Overview The federal government works with student loan servicing companies to collect on outstanding student loans. It’s these companies that deal with students once the student loan papers are signed and payments finally come due. When borrowers default, the U.S. Department of Education’s debt collectors come knocking. The federal government has given these debt collectors immense power, unlike anything an ordinary debt collector can…

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Parent Plus Loan Forgiveness

Parent Plus Loans: What You Need to Know

Why the Parent Plus Loan is not recommended by Financial Advisors Financial Advisors who have not been informed about of all the complexities in the Parent Plus Loan program have hesitated to recommend it as a way to pay for college. There are three important reasons for their reluctance: A loan given without any consideration given to income, assets, or income-to-debt ratio is going to hurt a lot of families.  Even the worst of our subprime lenders prior to the 2008 crash…

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Parent Plus Loan Forgiveness

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 boatload 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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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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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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Education Budget

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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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

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

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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