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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.

Which Path Will Your Student’s ACT Tutor Take?

Your ACT Tutor:  The Straight Shot or the Scenic Route? Whenever you or I embark on a trip, there are times when adding a few hours onto our travel times is a welcome trade-off for enjoying the view. Of course, there are other occasions when we just want to get our destinations as quickly as possible.  Such is the path your student should take with an ACT tutor. When trying to determine which route your ACT bound student should go,…

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How To Decline a College Acceptance

You're Admitted--How to Tell Your Colleges "No Thanks" You've received lots of college acceptance letters and have made that perfect choice.  Now that you’ve decided on the college you DO want, how do you politely decline those other offers of admission?   The most courteous thing to do is contact the admissions counselors from the schools you are declining. When you extend that courtesy, it allows another student to fill your spot. A simple email would suffice. Just write a short email to each of…

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The Positive Side of Federal Student Loans!

Benefits 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…

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Don’t Let College Costs Destroy Your Retirement

I know this is the time of year when many of you are considering using some of your hard-earned retirement funds to pay for college and avoid student debt.  After all, the market has done quite well over the last three years, so why not? While it is true that most of what you read on this subject will agree that it is not a good idea to use retirement funds to cover college costs, these articles are not “ringing the…

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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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IRS Code Sec 529 Plans Can Shrink Your Education Savings

Since many of you currently own or are planning to purchase an IRS Code Sec 529 plan, here are some important ownership, tax, distribution, ownership and investment issues which you need to be aware of: 1. Tax Issues Parents with sizable balances in their 529 Plans often make the serious mistake of paying the full amount of their qualified education expenses out of it. This could cause you to lose valuable tax deductions and/or tax credits. To qualify for the…

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Meet Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson is an attorney with a varied legal and business background. He received his J.D. from The John Marshall School of Law and also earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Ken was also an adjunct professor at IIT Kent College of Law in the LLM program and taught such courses as Finance, Broker Dealer Regulation, Venture Capital for Lawyers, Investment Banking, Electronic Markets and Exchanges and Mergers and Acquisitions. Ken has gained extensive experience…

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Meet Jim Novak

Jim has been in the financial services business for over 25 years, helping families and returning veterans with retirement planning.  He understands college funding and has helped many clients reduce their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and increase their financial awards.  Jim is also a Certified Senior Advisor, helping the “sandwich generation” (those who have children at home and also need to take care of their elderly parents) manage their resources. Jim studied at the University of St. Thomas and the…

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Meet Jim Kraiss

Jim Kraiss has been a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for over 29 years. He has taught financial planning at several area colleges, written multiple financial planning articles, and authored five books on the subject. His latest book, Living the Tax Free Life, has received rave reviews from readers and other financial advisors. With his expertise in designing non-assessable financial instruments for college funding and his previous long-term experience as a Series 7 and Series 63 securities advisor, he has been able…

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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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