Insider tips for the week of June 28, 2021

girl pretending to be scary

  FAFSA changes delayed – The significant FAFSA changes recently approved by Congress will be delayed by year, due to the complexity of overhauling the entire system. Federal Student Aid (FSA), the agency in charge of implementing the changes, said they will now be rolled out for the 2024-25 school year. The earliest families can…

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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. While the changes do not go into effect until the 2024-25 school year, that year’s FAFSA will use tax information from 2022, so there are nearer-term considerations. And because the FAFSA is completed each year a…

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College Planning Changes for Grandparents

grandparent happy about fafsa changes

  The stimulus bill passed at the end of 2020 also included some significant changes to how grandparent contributions are treated on the FAFSA. According to financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz, cash contributions from grandparents, including distributions from grandparent-owned 529 plans and direct tuition payments to colleges, will no longer hurt a student’s eligibility for…

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FAFSA change for families with multiple students

multiple students

  At first glance, the recent changes to the FAFSA appear to be a good thing: A simpler form with far fewer questions, increased financial aid eligibility for low income families, and a formula change reducing any penalty for grandparents who contribute to college. But another formula change could prove to be extremely painful to…

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Filling out the FAFSA when there are divorced parents

broken heart

Completing the FAFSA when parents are divorced is one of the most confusing scenarios for families, because custodial terms and who claims the child on the tax return do not necessarily apply. Further complicating things is that the rules for divorced parents are changing along with a number of other key FAFSA changes starting with…

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4 guidelines for taking on student loan debt

Identify the average starting salary for the field the student is planning to go into, and the family should not have any more than that number in total education loans. Considering a school that would leave you with $35,000 debt for an undergraduate electrical engineering degree? That would pass the test for an acceptable amount…

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ACT canceled – What am I supposed to do?

ACT canceled woman showing frustration on her face

Your high school student wants to apply to Flagship U, which despite the growing list of test optional colleges and universities, still requires the ACT.  She was registered for an earlier test, but a global pandemic rudely interrupted our lives and the ACT got canceled. Okay, you thought, we’ll just sign up for the June…

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2021 CIT Graduate Scholarship Report

Congratulations to our 2021 grads and their families! The amazing total of scholarships received for our 2021 graduates is … drum roll …     Would you like to learn more about the philosophy and strategies College Inside Track consultants use, to facilate strong merit aid offers for clients?  Read here:  CIT Merit Money Expert…

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Insider tips for the week of May 31, 2021

college magic

  College magic – Forbes has an excellent article on how college, if done right, can be a life-altering experience with lifelong benefits. Not enough students experience the most important elements of college, what researchers call the “Big Six.” The elements fall into two categories of relationship-rich and work-integrated. This is an important read as…

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Insider Tips for the week of May 3, 2021

student at internship

  3 things to do now for strong HS recommendation letters – Students have experienced online learning and cancelled or shortened extracurricular activities as a function of the pandemic.  Many report that they hardly know the teachers who have taught them this year, and worry that their core teachers don’t know enough about them to…

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