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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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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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Does a Nanodegree Really Guarantee a Job?

Online learning is still in its infancy. MOOCs are sprouting every day at top colleges and universities, yet some would say the whole business has had a rocky start so far. The primary sticking point has been low completion rates: people sign up but they don't finish. The creators of the so-called nanodegree aim to change all that. What is a Nanodegree? These are short, practical series of courses with extremely specific goals: namely, training students to immediately enter the job market, usually by teaching them computer…

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What is Demonstrated Interest and Does it Really Matter?

  As you begin your college search, your college visits, and start thinking about college applications, you’re likely to hear about demonstrated interest.  Usually that means that you show (demonstrate) the college your (genuine) interest in them. Do Colleges Care? There are 3 possible ways to consider this: Colleges don’t care at all Colleges want to know if you are interested Colleges track your every contact with them All three are known to be true, but in very few cases can…

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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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Virtual Reality: Will it Replace the Classroom?

Higher education is already forging exciting new grounds in online learning, but the real ground-breaking news lies in the field of virtual reality and how it's already beginning to change classrooms worldwide. Online Learning So Far Unless you've kept up a diligent study of the latest in online learning, you may be surprised to know that MOOCs are causing serious doubt among experts. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) headline every magazine and blog from here to India and Australia, yet many would agree that the product…

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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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A College Fair May Change Your Life

College Fair season is nearly upon us!  Don't underestimate the potential of a college fair to change the trajectory of your life!  The first one I suggest you attend is coming soon to a metropolitan area near you:  Colleges That Change Lives.  This organization is a not-for-profit consortium of colleges that was created in 1998.  Normally, you would attend a college fair to meet with and speak to representatives from some particular colleges.   That is not my advice here.…

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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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Letters of Recommendation for College

Your college applications usually require one or more letters of recommendation from a high school teacher or counselor. Let's take a look at why letters of recommendation matter and how to go about getting them: Colleges use these to supplement the rest of your application.  Good letters of recommendation (LOR) will strengthen your application. Specifically, the letter should support and reinforce that you can handle college-level coursework in your chosen field. Determine 3 or more teachers who know you the best. Be…

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