Expert Advice

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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Insider tips for the week of Sept. 18, 2017

Top 10 things admissions officers care most about – Here are the 10 factors that college admissions officers say they put the most weight on, according to a new survey. One big surprise: Test scores aren’t even in the top three.   7 things to know about college rankings – A must-read for any family…

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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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