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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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Competency-Based Education: Will It Reduce Costs?

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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College And The Hidden Cost Of Attendance

College and the Hidden Cost of Attendance

It’s no secret that paying for college is expensive. The high price tags of tuition and housing have become an expected part of higher education. The numerous hidden expenses that go into your cost of attendance that you and your child will need to be prepared for are far less well known. Paying for College Before You’ve Even Chosen Your School By the time you get the first bill from your child’s college, it is entirely possible that you will have already spent…

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Watch Out For Front-Loaded Scholarships

Watch Out for Front-Loaded Scholarships

High school seniors and their parents often come away pleased as punch after meeting with college financial aid reps and recruiters.  That’s because they’re given attractive aid packages that give them hope that college will be affordable after all. And while those scholarships for college freshmen do pan out to make paying for the first year a relative breeze, it’s what happens next that’s a troubling trend in American higher ed. The trend in aid packages is not a happy one. Many…

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Campus Visits On A Tight Budget

Campus Visits on a Tight Budget

The college process is rife with major decisions. Deciding which school your child will attend is easily one of the most important. Conceivably, you have your ideas on where they should go; they likely have their own, and you might even be fortunate enough that both are in line with each other. Either way, it is not a decision to be made lightly, or without as much information on your options as possible. This is what makes campus visits so important. The common deterrent…

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Manipulating The Real Cost Of Attendance

Manipulating the Real Cost of Attendance

What if department stores monkeyed with 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 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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Federal Student Loans Now Less Expensive

Federal Student Loans Now Less Expensive

Financing a college education can be a daunting prospect. As you do your research it’s easy to become inundated with all the fees, interest rates, and other price tags you’ll be expected to pay. With the cost of college ever rising, it can feel like an endless cavalcade of bad news. If you are familiar with this feeling, I may just have some much needed good news for you. Private vs Federal Student Loans Student loans, though oft maligned, are an integral aspect of…

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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…

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The Student Loan Forgiveness Illusion

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

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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