Posts by Chris Wills

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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4 mistakes families make that increase the cost of college

While the rising cost is certainly a factor, it is often the decisions that families themselves make that cause them to unnecessarily pay more for college than they should (and potentially increase student debt). As hard as it might be, there are instances where a family needs to recognize a college-related decision will cost them…

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3 tips for having the college money talk

In our work of helping families navigate the college process. it continually shocks me how few have not had the “money talk,” either between the parents and/or between parents and child. Given the cost of college today, this is highly irresponsible at best, if not downright dangerous. I haven’t heard of many married couples not…

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You’ve been accepted, now what?

So much energy and attention gets placed on the process of applying to colleges, that families often aren’t sure what to do once they have been accepted. And many are certainly unprepared for the intensity of the courtship that is about to ensue. Here is what every family should know heading into this stage of…

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4 last-chance financial aid strategies for parents of juniors

With last year’s big change to the FAFSA, families of current HS juniors (2019 grads) will now use tax information from 2 years prior to their year of HS graduation when they complete their first FAFSA in the 2018-2019 school year. This is a huge deal because whatever those families are doing (or not doing)…

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4 essential FAFSA tips

The FAFSA is now available for families of HS seniors and college students starting October 1 and will use tax info from 2 years prior to the term being applied for (2016 tax year info for students starting college in Fall 2018), which was a change made last year. We see families commonly make significant…

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Federal student loan rates go up for 2017-18

For families that take out federal student loans, college just got a bit more expensive. Starting July 1, 2017, federal loan interest rates are going up for loans taken out to pay for the 2017-18 academic year:   Undergrads will pay a rate of 4.45%, up from the current 3.76% Graduate students will pay a rate…

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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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