Posts by Chris Wills

Filling out the FAFSA when there are divorced parents

Completing the FAFSA when parents are divorced is one of the most confusing scenarios for families, because custodial terms and who claims the child on the tax return do not necessarily apply. Which parent info is provided on the FAFSA? Regardless of the legal custody arrangement, the divorced parent with whom the student lived with more…

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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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5 Nuggets of College Planning Wisdom

1 Choose a college that is a fit academically, socially AND financially. And a financial fit inherently means that neither the student nor the parents are over-borrowing (see #2). 2 Borrow an amount no greater than the average first-year salary in your chosen field. If total student loan debt is less than your starting salary,…

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4 guidelines for taking on student loan debt

Identify the average starting salary for the field the student is planning to go into, and the family should not have any more than that number in total education loans. Considering a school that would leave you with $35,000 debt for an undergraduate electrical engineering degree? That would pass the test for an acceptable amount…

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CIT response to college admissions scandal

With the college admissions scandal all over the news, we wanted to respond as members of the vast majority of the college counseling world that work with families honestly and ethically. It’s incredibly upsetting that people would manipulate the college admission system in this way, and every industry seems to have a very small number…

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Why is my EFC going up?

Talk about a double whammy! Despite the rising cost of college, families are at the same time seeing an increase in their EFC (expected family contribution), which is what they are expected to contribute before any financial aid kicks in. In other words, a family with the exact same income and assets today as one…

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Top strategies to help grandchildren with college

With the holiday season approaching, there is a terrific 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 proper…

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The 5 Myths of College Costs

  How many purchases in life would you spend hours or even days on without knowing the cost? Imagine looking at homes or vehicles and obsessing over their details to find the right one, only to then be told the seller would get back to you on the price that they were customizing only to…

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