Paying for College

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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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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Insider tips for the week of July 24, 2017

The #1 college shock, according to other families – What’s the biggest financial surprise awaiting families of college-bound students? Check out the answer from a Money Magazine/Barnes & Noble college survey.         6 questions you need to ask on your college tours – With many families using summer break to visit colleges,…

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Insider tips for the week of June 26, 2017

How to make sense of college rankings – An important read from the NY Times for every family engaging in the college process. My favorite takeaway: “It isn’t like Consumer Reports…the interaction between a student and an institution is not the same as the interaction between a student and a refrigerator.”     4 ways…

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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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