Expert Advice

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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Insider tips for the week of January 29, 2018

Straight talk from college admissions officers to parents – Brennan Barnard collected candid advice to share with you. While some of it may be hard to stomach, it is valuable to get an insider perspective from the other side of the desk. Check out the article in the Washington Post.   Are you a helicopter,…

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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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Insider tips for the week of January 1, 2018

How to talk about money with your student – Affording college is a big issues for parents and their kids; take a few minutes to read some helpful tips shared with Money Magazine by Karen Levin Coburn, author of a recent book on the topic. My favorite takeaway: Parents should start out with a clear idea…

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Need-to-know education changes in tax bill

The new tax bill will affect numerous areas of education funding and college planning. After numerous versions and last-minute changes, here is a summary of what did (and didn’t) happen:   College tuition benefits – Originally targeted to be taxed, tuition benefits for grad students or children and spouses of employees remain tax-exempt.   529 plans -…

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Insider tips for the week of December 4, 2017

15 things every parent needs to know – A thought-provoking list from DIY College Rankings. My two favorites are 1) You set the expectation for acceptable colleges — not the rankings, your peers or your child’s peers and 2) You shouldn’t base your expectations on another family’s experiences. Take a few minutes to scan the…

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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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Insider tips for the week of November 13, 2017

Knowing this one thing about a college can save you money – A commonly overlooked cost is how long it takes a student to graduate not just from a specific institution, but from a specific program at that institution. Consider the double whammy of potentially needing an extra year to graduate because classes may be…

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Insider tips for the week of October 16, 2017

10 tips to get the most financial aid – Time magazine has 10 practical tips to help families get the most out of the FAFSA. Take-aways include moving money out of your child’s bank and brokerage accounts and appealing disappointing aid packages.   College fair do’s and don’ts – Check out this goofy 3 min…

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Tips on the 6 trickiest FAFSA questions

The FAFSA is a quintessential government form, meaning it isn’t always as easy to understand as it should be. And with over 100 questions to navigate, far too many families make mistakes that are unnecessarily costing them money. Money Magazine compiled the following tips on how to tackle the 6 trickiest questions:   Questions 24…

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