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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.

Q&A with Jan Miller, Student Loan Consultant 

Jan Miller is a student loan expert and founder of Miller Student Loan Consulting, where he helps clients develop student loan repayment strategies that fit their financial goals.  Previously, Miller spent eight years working in 11 different departments at four student loan servicers — including Nelnet, one of the largest federal student loan servicers. “I saw every side of the industry,” Miller says.  Later in his career, when he was working as an investment advisor at Morgan Stanley, Miller started…

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Watch Out for Front-Loaded Scholarships

You may have wondered, do you get more financial aid after freshmen year? Many sophomores, juniors and seniors begin the school year with a rude awakening: The financial aid packages they received as freshmen have shrunk. Scholarships and grants, which make aid packages so wonderfully enticing for first-year students and their families, often melt away starting the second year of school. Students are often given less aid overall or they're offered mostly loans. This concept is known as scholarship front-loading…

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How to Decline a College Acceptance

After you’ve been recruited and wooed by a college, it can be incredibly difficult to say the “no thank you” to one of them. Here's our advice for how to decline a college acceptance: 1. Say "yes!" to your chosen school First, inform your chosen school that you'll be attending. Submit your deposit before the deadline. Then, write your admissions representative a note  — email is fine — to thank them for their help and give them the good news. …

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Student Work

The Benefits of Student Work in College

« Learn more about financial aid One of the most productive things your student can do with all the newfound free time that college affords is to find gainful employment. Working as a college student is beneficial for everyone. For some students, it can be a great way to keep their lives structured while making some extra money. For others, student work is a necessity to stay in school at all. Student Income and EFC If you have any experience…

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Beware of Student Loan Scams!

Debt, despite how essential it is for many American families trying to afford college, can be in and of itself the cause for quite a bit of stress. When you factor in the further difficulty students are having finding employment after graduation, and loan management companies that can be less than forthcoming with information that could ease your repayment burdens, the tension only grows. Wouldn't it be great if there was a trick or a quick fix to help get…

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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 much…

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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. « Learn more about student loans An Overview on Government Default Student Loans 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…

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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?

Can Parent Plus Loans Be Forgiven? 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…

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Css Profile

How To Get Help Filling Out Your CSS Profile

« Learn more about financial aid 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 wit's end about the aid process, you’re not alone. That…

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