Posts by Chris Wills

5 tips for negotiating with colleges

For many colleges, May 1 is National College Decision Day, the deadline for families to make deposits to attend the college of their choice.   But before families make their final decision and begin forking over lots of money to attend college, they should know it is possible to negotiate with colleges to get a…

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The big problem facing Twin Cities’ small colleges

CIT’s Jay Benanav was recently interviewed in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Small private colleges are being pinched by higher costs and declining cash levels, and national trends aren’t in their favor  Patrick Rehkamp Data Reporter Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal Several small Twin Cities private colleges use adjectives such as “innovation,” “creativity” and…

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Top strategies to help grandchildren with college

With the holiday season upon us, there is a new way grandparents may want to consider spoiling their grandchildren. Today’s retirees have accumulated wealth at unprecedented levels and combined with the rising cost of college, many now are taking advantage of an opportunity to provide a legacy of education to their grandchildren. However, without understanding the…

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3 ways families can lose financial aid

As if it isn’t hard enough to finance college, many families overlook the strings attached to maintaining the financial aid they received freshman year. It’s easy to see how this happens. Families are grateful for any financial aid they get and simply assume it will be the same every year. But there are a number…

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Asset protection allowance down sharply

As if paying for college wasn’t hard enough for families, the amount of assets you are allowed to have that are exempt from the federal financial aid formula plummeted by 29% from just a year ago and a stunning 60% from 10 years ago. First, a quick overview of the asset protection allowance: The general concept is…

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College costs even more than you thought it did

NPR has a helpful article on little-known costs of college. My two favorite takeaways: 1) Students living at home aren’t always saving money because they get less access to aid, and 2) Financial aid calculators overestimate how much parents can pay. Take a few minutes to read their 6 key findings.

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New FAFSA rules help grandparents contribute

With future FAFSA forms now using tax returns from two years prior (known as “prior prior” in the college world), that adds another year that family members can help pay for college without it negatively affecting financial aid eligibility. First, some quick background: The three main factors used to calculate financial aid eligibility are Non-retirement…

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3 things to consider before making your college decision

By Chris Wills   May 1 is National College Decision Day, the deadline for students to make deposits to attend the college of their choice. But before you send in that check, here are three important things to consider:   1. Affordability is part of fit   Many students choose their college based on academic…

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