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Educational Consultants
1001 Ogden Ave.
Suite 204
Downers Grove, IL

Financial Consultants
1717 North Naper Blvd
Suite 200
Naperville, IL

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Government Proposals for Higher Education

For better or for worse, higher education is a deeply political issue. The rules and regulations can vary substantially depending on who’s in office. One side wants to increase federal aid, while the other wants to do away with it altogether and leave it to private institutions.  It can be difficult to keep up to date with it all, but it’s important to make sure that you do so. The government may not be as forthcoming with information that could…

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The Peace Corps Can Help Reduce College Costs

Who wouldn't love a chance to work a job that pays off student loans? The Peace Corps offers federal loan forgiveness, plus a whole world of other benefits. Graduating with a mountain of debt has become a tradition in our country. Thanks in part to easy access to low-interest college loans over the past 25 years, we've become a nation of debtors. But for anyone who took out loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, there's hope…

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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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How Work Study Works

Financial aid comes in several forms and some are more helpful than others. These various aid types are separated into two categories: gift aid and self-help aid. As you can probably imagine, gift aid is the kind you want – it is essentially free money. On the other hand, self-help aid is more than likely what you will receive the most of. Self-help aid is the kind you are expected to work for one way or another. Student loans are perhaps the most well…

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Avoiding FAFSA Fraud

The financial aid process can be a daunting one. It’s often a good idea to seek out help when filing your FAFSA. How you file can be the difference between receiving or not receiving quite a bit of money. More financial aid is (ostensibly) allocated to those who express the most need. It is one of the few instances in which the worse your finances look, the better you are for it. The savvy filer will create the worst possible snapshot of their financial…

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Balancing Student Loan Debt with Retirement Savings

Welcome to post-graduate life and, with any luck, professional success. Once you’ve bridged the chasm between what you want to do with your new disposable income and what you think you should do, you will find yourself with some life-impacting decisions. Should you put your efforts towards saving for retirement or would they be better allocated to the expedient repayment of student loans? Wanting to make smart decisions with your money is only the first step. A decision made with the most prudent of intentions…

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Savvy College Funding

It’s no secret that most Americans find college to be an expensive venture. Even with years of planning and saving, families who can pay the full cost of a four year education out-of-pocket are the minority. Since it’s unlikely that most people have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around, there are some tried and true methods to pay for an education. The best options require diligence and foresight. However, you shouldn't overlook alternative and creative college funding options. Common College Funding Options Outside Scholarships One…

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What the New Fiduciary Responsibility Law Means

When you meet with a financial advisor, you hope that you have found someone you can trust. There is a new fiduciary responsibility law on the table in Washington, because some advisors are, unfortunately, not trustworthy. They may not have your best interest in mind when recommending certain financial products and that may affect your family's college savings. Are you wondering what this new law means for you? It will affect how financial advisors recommend different investments and how they charge their…

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Balancing Your Tuition and Retirement Savings

If you’re working to pay your child’s tuition, retirement might be the last thing on your mind. With a six-digit tuition hanging over your head, it’s easy to put your savings on the back burner. But it would be a mistake to put off these contributions, because the power of compound interest is still working hard on your contributions. If you put off investments for just a few years, you’re potentially losing out on tens of thousands of dollars. Never sacrifice your retirement to…

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Why Mutual Funds are the Worst Way to Save for College

Saving for college in mutual funds that are not sheltered within a 529 or other non-assessable account can have a huge impact on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Mutual Funds Create a Double Assessment Mutual funds are not only assessed as an asset at 5.6% to determine your EFC but the internal capital gains, dividends, and interest income are also assessed as income at 47%--a much higher rate than the asset assessment! It’s the latter assessment, of course, that can really do serious damage to your…

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