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1001 Ogden Ave.
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Downers Grove, IL

Financial Consultants
1717 North Naper Blvd
Suite 200
Naperville, IL

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The Benefits Of Student Work In College

The Benefits of Student Work in College

One of the most productive things your student can do with all the new found free time that college affords is to find gainful employment. 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 with financial aid, then Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a term you are well acquainted…

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The Real Cost Of 2 Extra Years Of College

The Real Cost of 2 Extra Years of College

What is the Real Cost of 2 Extra Years of College? If you have started the college search process, chances are you have probably wondered what percentage of students graduate in four years. Although these statistics could explain how effectively universities help their students complete their degrees, admissions offices will only provide you with the number of students completing their degrees in 6 years! For any family budgeting for a 4-year degree, an extra two years of college could be…

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Grandma’s Help Paying For College Could Cost You!

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

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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Why Mutual Funds Are The Worst Way To Save For College

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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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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Calculating Your College Budget:  Real-Time Answers

Calculating Your College Budget: Real-Time Answers

Calculating your college budget can be a mysterious process.  Families have a difficult time predicting the awards.  In reality, there are still the real-time answers that only the college can answer for you to help prepare your college budget. Stephanie Kennedy was showing me the proprietary software used by her academic team to help families with the college search process.  I was quite impressed with how the software enables her team to quickly optimize a student’s opportunity for earning merit scholarships. Indeed, many…

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CSS Profile Deadline–Just Do It!

CSS Profile Deadline–Just Do It!

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt (2002) I procrastinate. I fight the tendency every day of my life, especially when the job to be done sparks anxiety. Suddenly it's October. Early admissions to colleges ramp up. Approximately 400 universities, colleges and scholarship programs require the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile. And, the bad news is that the Profile is twice as long as the FAFSA. The…

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The Role Of Financial Advisors On My College Planning Team

The Role of Financial Advisors on My College Planning Team

A client recently asked me if MCPT has any special requirements that determine the types of financial products that are offered to our clients and if our financial advisors are required to sign-off on a particular code of ethics. He also asked how I decide on which financial advisors to recommend to a client. These are all excellent questions. Financial Products/Financial Planning Let me begin by saying that I or others on my college funding strategies team do not recommend…

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There’s More To Be Scared About Than Paying For College

There’s More To Be Scared About than Paying For College

There is no doubt that the ever-accelerating costs of paying for college are daunting for almost every family--the good news is that there are experts and professionals out there who can help you. A competent financial advisor who understands how the system works can work with you to uncover any number of potential strategies that may help reduce your out-of-pocket cost for college.  They can also create cash flow strategies, educate you on different types of loans, and even blend in tax…

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