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Why It Is Always Important to Reduce Your EFC

How important is it to reduce your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? What if you already know that you or your student will be receiving a merit scholarship that will far exceed any need-based financial aid? 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 low EFC can be a way of protecting yourself from…

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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 CLEP?

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP), is a program administered by the College Board that allows students to save time and money by earning college credit for knowledge they already have from work experience, AP classes or independent study. Upon passing a CLEP exam, students can earn college credit at more than 2,900 institutions. This program is open to anyone, including high school students, adult learners, active military service members, veterans and current college students.  What is CLEP? Although it…

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College For Free Freshman Year For Free

How the Freshman Year for Free Program Works: Q&A with the Executive Director of Modern States

  The Freshman Year for Free Program launched in 2017 by Modern States Education Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to college access. The program has since helped more than 200,000 students earn free college credit. The Modern States Freshman Year for Free program provides more than 30 free online courses taught by top college professors. Once students complete a course, the program provides vouchers for them to take an AP or CLEP exam to earn traditional academic credits at more than…

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6 Costly Mistakes Parents Make when Saving for College

Parents Saving for College Saving for college is undoubtedly important, but there are right and wrong ways to do it.  Be wary of these six common and costly mistakes that families make when parents are saving for college: Saving for college in your child's name Paying for college with the help of a grandparent or non-custodial parent Using retirement funds to pay for college Not using the financial aid appeals process Not applying to enough colleges Not starting early enough…

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Education Budget

Budgeting for College

« Learn more about paying for college When planning for college costs, there’s quite a bit more to consider than just tuition. It’s the fact that most of the other expenses can vary so wildly that makes budgeting for college so tricky. Will your student live in the dorms? Will they go on a meal plan? As is the case with most other aspects of college, how you budget is largely dictated by your personal circumstances. Be that as it may, there are tips…

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Cost Of Attendance

Manipulating the Real Cost of Attendance

  College Cost of Attendance « Learn more about paying for college What if department stores manipulated their pricing systems so that when you checked out, the cost was a complete surprise? Or let’s say you took on a mortgage to buy a house, but at closing the cost was $100,000 lower? It would be hard to budget, hard to compare prices, and hard to plan your life.  Believe it or not, that’s exactly what is happening right now in our college and university system.…

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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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High EFC

How Families with High EFC and No Savings Can Reduce College Costs

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions and careful planning, a family finds itself staring down unexpected college expenses. After completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), families are provided with an estimated family contribution or EFC. And sometimes, that number far outweighs anything a family has saved toward college costs. And even worse, though their students may meet the requirements for admittance, they don’t meet the requirements for obtaining a sizable merit scholarship. While it can certainly be…

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Nextgen Student Loans

NextGen: New Help on the Way for Student Borrowers

Next Generation Financial Services It’s no secret that students spend a lot of time dealing with student loans. In fact, U.S. residents carried more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt as of September 2018, according to the Federal Reserve. Students often juggle multiple loans issued through different loan servicers and with varying repayment terms. Repayment issues aren’t uncommon. The delinquent rate on student loans was greater than 10% in 2017. But help may be on the way with the roll-out of the U.S.…

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