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Newest Kickback Scheme: Campus Debit Cards

Last week, while catching up on my research on private student loan sources, I encountered this attention-getting headline on Huffington Post: “Proposal Would Prevent Kickbacks that Steer Students Into Campus Debit Cards.”  According to the article. there are now about 900 campuses loading their students’ financial aid money into prepaid debit cards and peddling them to students. Sound convenient? Convenience, however, is coming at a big price for students. It turns out that banks and colleges are splitting millions of…

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5 Steps to Proactive Career Development

It’s never too early to consider viewing college decisions as they relate to career development.  In fact, as a career counselor, I prefer to look beyond any current career decision fork in the road to consider the impact of an immediate choice on a total lifework experience that one will produce over one’s lifetime. Decisions Can Be Overwhelming Thinking beyond the immediate decision to its long-term impact can have two completely opposite effects. On one hand, realizing that your immediate…

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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 explore what their local community college has to offer. Here are a few of the biggest myths I try to dispel:…

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Student Loan Servicers Keep Families in the Dark

With the many flexible income-based repayment options now available for student loans, I continue to scratch my head why defaults have continued to increase. « Learn more about student loans Students Are Not Being Told About More Flexible Student Loan Payback Options While it may be true that most people don’t know about these student loan payback options wouldn’t you think their loan servicing companies would at least mention them as a way to help their customers avoid default? Apparently,…

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Reasons Not to Do Your Campus Visit in Summer

Now that summer is here (for most students), some high school juniors and sophomores are finally finding the time to do a campus visit or several!  I say summer is the time to avoid visiting some colleges!  Why?  Because some of the "perfect" colleges are just too different during summer! Of course, I don't really believe that you should not visit your colleges--it's just that the summertime campus simply does not show an accurate picture of the campus. Here are some reasons why: At…

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The ACT : Raising Scores Opens Doors

When it comes to college planning, there is a reason why ACT prep tutors are key adjuncts to both admissions  counselors and financial advisors.   It is no secret  that competitive to high standardized test scores pave the way for your student applicant to be taken seriously at an increased number of schools. What you may not be aware of, however, is that preferred scores are not a matter of speculation: most institutions of higher learning publicize these golden numbers for the benefit…

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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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ROTC: An Option for Students with Leadership Potential

While the ROTC program can be a major factor in helping you survive the ever-rising cost of a college career, it also offers so much more to our sons and daughters. Though not for everyone, it can be a viable option for many students. ROTC IS NOW AN ELECTIVE AT MORE THAN ELEVEN HUNDRED COLLEGES ROTC is an elective in more than 1100 colleges and universities across America Your choice of branch of service (Army, Navy and Marine, Air force…

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Experiencing Your Essence

What is your essence and how does it apply to the college search process? When you are searching for a college, it is easy to get pulled into where you "should" go and what you "should" pick as a major. This is the time to step back and discover who you are on the inside. What is it that you want?  A tip is to look at the things that really excite you, that give you a feeling of "this is…

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Decide Your College in 6 Questions

National College Decision Day is upon us! It is time to DECIDE YOUR COLLEGE!!  If you have 2 (or 3) colleges that you love from which to choose, how do you decide? Here are some questions that families need to consider: 1.   Is the money really different from one college to the next? If the scholarships and other aid from your top-choice colleges varies only somewhat, then try to keep money out of the decision, at least for the time that…

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