Understanding the College Financial Aid Award Letter

  College Inside Track’s Cozy Wittman was featured in the Journal of Financial Planning, discussing ways to create transparency for families in the college funding process and better understanding the college financial aid award letter. Cozy explains in detail the college financial aid award letter, tips after receiving it, elements of good and bad letters…

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FAFSA changes

FAFSA changes passed by Congress

  The COVID relief bill passed at the end of 2020 also included some significant changes to the FAFSA. The changes go into effect for the 2024-25 school year. The FAFSA for that school year opens on October 1, 2023 and will use tax information from 2022. And because the FAFSA is completed each year…

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529 Plan Funds can be rolled over into Roth IRAs

man celebrating

By Heidi King, College Inside Track   Tucked into the year-end federal spending package was a new provision allowing 529 Plan funds to be rolled over into Roth IRAs tax and penalty free. This significant change takes effect in 2024. Here are the key details:   The benefit is for 529 plan beneficiaries (as opposed…

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Financial Aid Formula Changes

income protection allowance rising

  The FAFSA formula that determines how much financial aid a family will qualify for is undergoing two behind-the-scenes financial aid formula changes for the 2023-24 school year.  These changes are in addition to the massive changes happening for the 2024-25 school year for families with multiple children in college, grandparents, etc. First, the good…

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FAFSA changes for financial advisors

  Check out the following video from College Inside Track President Chris Wills providing a helpful overview of the new changes to the FAFSA that financial advisors need to know about, as they will require new planning strategies for many clients

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Scholarship reduction – The dirty little college secret

Would you ever consider a scenario where the scholarships your student won actually resulted in a scholarship reduction elsewhere? One of the students we work with, whom we’ll call Caitlyn, was a dream that every parent (and counselor) hopes for: kind, bright, studious and incredibly engaged in the college process. In addition to having nearly…

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Insider tips for the week of May 30, 2022

student looking through binoculars

  ACT/SAT outlook – Bruce Reed of Compass Education Group shares his thoughts on how standardized tests will be used by colleges moving forward. He expects testing opportunities will rebound and while many schools are continuing policies and trials as test optional, having a test score when applying to more selective colleges may be an…

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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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