Paying for College

Federal student loan rates go up for 2018-19 school year

For families that take out federal student loans, college just got a bit more expensive for the second year in a row. Starting July 1, 2018, federal loan interest rates are going up for loans taken out to pay for the 2018-19 academic year:   Undergrads will pay a rate of 5.04%, up from the current…

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Insider tips for the week of May 28, 2018

15 things to know about college rankings – Lynn O’Shaughnessy does a nice job of explaining “how the sausage is made” with the popular US News college rankings, and it isn’t pretty. A must-read if you are at all using rankings in your search, and remember there is no such thing as a best ranked…

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Insider tips for the week of April 30, 2018

10 ways for parents to get on top of the college process – A must-read for parents of college-bound students from the Washington Post. My favorites: 1) Become a mentor as much as a parent and 2) Expect your student to take advice from others that he or she won’t take from you.   23…

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Insider tips for the week of March 26, 2018

Stop asking about my kid’s college plans – A beautiful essay from the NY Times from a parent who is going through it just like you. A terrific read, especially the point she makes in the second-to-last paragraph. Check it out.   How colleges award financial aid – A succinct and well-written explanation by the…

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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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Insider tips for the week of February 26, 2018

3 tips for having the scary college money talk – I’ve been shocked at how many families with HS students we’ve been meeting with lately have not talked about what they are willing or able to spend on college, both between the parents and with the student. We naturally avoid things that are scary, and I realized…

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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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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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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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