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7 things to have ready before you file the 2022 – 2023 FAFSA

1. Know the deadlines - There are 3 of them! Federal - The FAFSA becomes available on October 1, 2021 for the college academic year 2022 - 2023 and the federal deadline is June 30, 2022. Link to the FAFSA form. College – Since colleges rely on the FAFSA to award student aid, make sure you know each individual school’s FAFSA deadline. Deadlines may be different for early action, early/regular decision, new students, and continuing students. State - Residents planning to attend an in-state…

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Do you need help with the FAFSA?– What you need to know!

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. So, let’s get started with how to file FAFSA. How to File FAFSA It is in your best interest to make completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a priority. I recommend completing it as early as October 1 your senior year, and each year…

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Use Caution Before Using Insurance or Annuities to Reduce EFC

There are a lot of financial advisors out there who are anxious to sell you insurance, annuities, 529s, and other financial products in the name of helping you lower your college costs. Using these for a college education is not always the best idea. I always advise people to do their homework before they act on any advisor’s recommendations. Not doing your homework on annuities for college funding can end up costing you much more. « Learn more about financial aid Annuities are…

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7 Unconventional Ways to Earn Money Towards Your Kid’s Dream Degree

Written by: Guest Contributor College is a big expense, and saving for it can be stressful for both parents and students. It’s easy to make mistakes in this process of saving and paying for an education. We all know about filling out the FAFSA. But let’s talk about 7 unique strategies for saving and paying for college.  Deposit funds into a college savings account There are various types of college savings accounts available to you. Some schools allow parents to…

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What is EFC (and Why Does it Matter)?

EFC stands for expected family contribution. It’s the amount that the government and colleges calculate you should be able to pay out of pocket toward college costs. It's also used to calculate the amount of need-based financial aid students qualify for. Many families don’t know that they have some control over their EFC. By understanding how your expected family contribution is calculated and used by colleges, you can learn EFC-reducing strategies that can increase your student’s financial aid eligibility and…

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Student Work

The Benefits of Student Work in College

« Learn more about financial aid One of the most productive things your student can do with all the newfound free time that college affords is to find gainful employment. Working as a college student is beneficial for everyone. For some students, it can be a great way to keep their lives structured while making some extra money. For others, student work is a necessity to stay in school at all. Student Income and EFC If you have any experience…

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Css Profile

How To Get Help Filling Out Your CSS Profile

« Learn more about financial aid Applying to college is exciting, but it’s also up there among some of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. Part of the reason for that is the confusing process of applying for financial aid.  If you’re like almost three-quarters of applicants recently surveyed by Citizens Bank, applying for financial aid is even more stressful than applying to colleges! So, if you’re at your wit's end about the aid process, you’re not alone. That…

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Financial Aid Appeal:  How and Why

You’ve just received your Financial Aid Award Letter from your favorite college, and it just isn’t enough.  Besides the thud of your disappointed heart hitting the floor, you hear a small voice in your head, “I’ve heard you can negotiate your college costs! How can I appeal my financial aid?” Whoa there!  Take a step back.  That’s not quite true.  Accepting or declining a financial aid award is not like negotiating on a used car!  Prepare for a bit more…

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How Work Study Works

Financial aid comes in several forms. 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. Self-help aid is the kind you are expected to work for one way or another. Student loans are perhaps the most well-known form of…

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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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