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1001 Ogden Ave.
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Downers Grove, IL

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1717 North Naper Blvd
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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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College For Free Freshman Year For Free

Freshman Year of College for Free?

College for Free? As any family can attest, it takes a lot of time, effort, and attention to detail in order to successfully navigate the college admissions and student loan applications processes. So it’s easy to overlook valuable programs and resources that can really help families meet their overall college costs by actually making freshman year of college free! Learn and Earn While most  families know about Advanced Placement or AP courses and exams, there’s another often forgotten avenue to…

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OER: Cutting College Costs By Nixing Textbooks

A full 65 percent of students have gone without buying a college textbook due to its high cost, according to a U.S. PIRG Education Fund study released in 2014. But what if no teachers required students to buy any books for their classes, and students could access all the materials they needed online for free? That’s the idea behind Open Educational Resources (OER). Companies like Lumen Learning in Portland, OR, are helping schools to replace expensive textbooks with OER. To date, Lumen is working with…

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Student Loans: Why Parents Shouldn’t Worry

While nobody likes debt, student loans may not be the crucible you’re expecting. Further exacerbating the issue is talk of the Student Loan Crisis currently gripping America. To understand why student loans may not be the worry you think they are, let’s explore what the current loan crisis actually is. Student Loan Crisis! The abridged version: The price of college is soaring, to compensate for this more and more families must take out exorbitant loans saddling them with mountains of debt. To make…

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Grandma’s Help Paying for College Could Cost You!

  It’s only natural for family members who are fortunate enough to do so to want to help to alleviate the financial burden of paying for college. Conventional wisdom dictates that every little bit helps. However, when it comes to paying for college and applying for financial aid, conventional wisdom does not always win the day. How Help Paying for College Could Actually Hurt I’m sure it feels contradictory to hear that having more money could actually be a detriment…

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Open Educational Resources (OER) vs. Expensive Textbooks

The formula was simple: a teacher teaches, a student learns, textbooks are the bridge that connect the two. If you needed specialized information on a specific subject, more in depth than could be provided by an encyclopedia, a textbook was likely the only place you could find it. Then came the internet. With very nearly all of humanity’s accumulated knowledge available at the push of a button, the question becomes – why do we need textbooks? This question becomes especially provocative when faced with the…

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Competency-Based Education: Will it Reduce Costs?

President Obama wants more people to graduate from college.  In a speech to graduating high school students in D.C., he explained why: "...our country used to have the world’s highest proportion of young people with a college degree; we now rank 16th. I don’t like being 16th. I like being number one." -President Barak Obama That was five years ago, at his Back-to- School speech at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington.  Although the President urged young people to turn off the TV and study hard, the real crux…

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The Student Loan Forgiveness Illusion

It took a long time for the very generous forgiveness provisions included in the president’s 2010 Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) student loan program to finally get noticed by the general public. A full three years after launching the program, there were still only a handful of American families who knew about its existence. It’s hard to imagine a program that allowed a $40,000-a-year social worker with a $100,000 student loan debt to pay less than $200 a month for ten years and then have the entire loan balance…

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Book Review: The End of College, Part 1: Defining the Problem

For anyone interested in the future of higher education, Kevin Cary’s book, The End of College, is a well written and thought provoking story.  For a family with college-bound children it is a must read. Cary makes a compelling case that higher education is currently in the process of undergoing a radical transformation that most of us will see unfold over the next 10 to 20 years. Some commentators have suggested that this transformation will come at us “like a…

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