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Downers Grove, IL

Financial Consultants
1717 North Naper Blvd
Suite 200
Naperville, IL


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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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Navigate FAFSA Verification Like a Pro

Have you been chosen for FAFSA verification? Not to worry! According to U.S. News, over one-third of FAFSA applicants are chosen for this type of audit. Some small colleges even elect to verify 100% of their applicants. As deadlines have passed and you have filed your FAFSA, now comes the time when financial aid offices may be contacting you or your student about the verification process. Essentially, it’s an audit that colleges do to verify the numbers you submitted in your original filing. While this…

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Choosing a Christian College

Are you looking for a Christian college? If so, you have probably noticed there are a lot of colleges with a Christian affiliation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics there are over 800 religiously affiliated colleges, most of which have Christian ties. With so many options, you need some criteria to help you sift through and select a college that is a good fit for you. Define what you mean by “Christian college” One of the first steps…

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Should I Choose the SAT or the ACT?

  Prior to January of 2016, in my role as head of the My College Planning Team tutoring division,  I rarely had to field the SAT vs. ACT question from prospective students or their parents. With the sudden switch by the state of Illinois in favor of the SAT, this has changed. Why the Change? In deciding which test to take, its important to first understand why Illinois has now jettisoned offering free ACT tests to public high schoolers. Simply stated,…

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So You Want to Be a Doctor?

Planning on Pre-med? Over the years, I have encountered more than a few students who are interested in pursuing medicine.  This is some basic information that I always share for those who plan to become a doctor. High School Coursework Any student interested in medicine (or any field in the sciences, for that matter) should make sure to take 4 years of science and math at the highest level of their ability (i.e., take whatever honors or AP classes possible.)…

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I’ve Got an Interview! What Should I Wear?!?

What should I wear to my interview? I get that question a lot from my students regarding their admissions “interviews” (which may or may not be true interviews) or their honors interview (believe me, this one IS an interview). But the question is relevant to anyone planning to interview with admissions staff, a professor, an alum, or with a prospective employer.  It is ALWAYS a good idea to dress “appropriately” for interview, even if it is for a lifeguard job or a…

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What Should Students Do In Summer?

In today’s world, you must have previous work experience to get a job.  But what can a high school or college student with little to no work experience do?  Get a summer job, any job, especially during the summer months because this is when they have time to explore without the added pressure of academics.  Taking summer classes, studying for ACTs/SATs, playing video games and/or reading all summer are simply death knells to a future career. Structure Your Experience In my…

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Filing Your FAFSA: Not as Scary as It Sounds!

  The financial aid eligibility process can be tedious and difficult to navigate. Planning ahead and starting the process early is a great way to ensure that your journey is as smooth as possible! It is in your best interest to make the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a priority as early as January 1st of your senior year and every year thereafter while you are in college. Understanding that it is unlikely that your…

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Why It Is Always Important to Reduce Your EFC

Parents often ask me if it is really necessary for them to reduce their EFC (Expected Family Contribution) when they already know their student is going to get a merit scholarship that will far exceed any need-based aid for which they would otherwise be eligible.   Though it is possible that a high merit scholarship may eliminate your eligibility for any need-based financial aid, it is still very important to keep your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as low as possible. A lowered EFC can…

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5 Easy Ways to Explore a College Major

The conventional wisdom is that you should take a class if you are interested in exploring a subject area for a college major.  However, that can be a long and expensive process depending on how many areas you want to explore.  Here are some easier ways to start the process: Go to a website for a college you might consider attending. Print out their list of undergraduate majors.  Take just 20 minutes with a pen and this list.  Cross off…

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