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Educational Consultants
1001 Ogden Ave.
Suite 203
Downers Grove, IL

Financial Consultants
1717 North Naper Blvd
Suite 200
Naperville, IL

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Analyze Your Award Letter Before You Accept It!

Analyze Your Award Letter Before You Accept It!

Some colleges and universities are already sending out financial aid award letters for 2018/2019. That’s great news! After all, you’ve worked hard, and it’s time you reap the rewards of that hard work. But before you sign and return that award letter, it’s essential to look at it with a critical eye.   As we wrote in a previous blog, analyzing your award letters can be a complicated process, but it’s well worth your time. Is your offer clear and easy to…

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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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Community College: Is It Right For You?

Community College: Is It Right for You?

Community college or four-year college? The idea of attending a four-year college sounds awesome, doesn’t it? You get to do your thing whenever you want. You are on your own. You are making your own way. But let’s face it, a four-year college is not for everyone. Community college often is the right choice for a student, whether it is a short-term choice, a path to an associates or two-year degree, or part of a more affordable financial plan. Why…

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Freshman Year For Free!

Freshman Year for Free!

The name itself sounds appealing to anyone looking to cut the cost of college—the “Freshman Year for Free” program. Launched in August 2017 by Modern States Educational Alliance, the program provides more than 40 free online courses taught by top professors from top schools. Once students complete a course, they take an AP or CLEP exam giving them the opportunity to earn traditional academic credits at more than 2,900 major colleges and universities. We asked Steve Klinsky, founder and CEO of Modern States…

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Getting College Credit For Prior Learning

Getting College Credit for Prior Learning

Having college credits before you even finish your first semester on campus is a great way to save money. Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is helping students do just that with its Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program. Since the program’s launch in January 2016, about 100 students have earned a combined total of more than 350 credits through CPL. Administrators expect the program to expand in the coming semesters. We asked Alverno’s Rosland Briggs-Gammon, assessment coordinator and coach,  Assessment…

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