Jay Benanav Q and A: Your High School Senior and Imminent Financial Aid Tasks

  College Inside Track founder and nationally recognized college admissions financial aid expert Jay Benanav responds to a few of the moment’s most pressing financial aid issues, in this wide-ranging interview:  The need for conscious student responses to financial aid questions on college applications, how need- and merit based aid configure with financial form (FAFSA…

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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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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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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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Insider tips for the week of October 5, 2020

scholarships good idea

  Expert tips on getting the most scholarships – Suzy Fallon from College Inside Track shares the secret sauce for how families can maximize scholarship dollars. Key takeaway: Each college has its own financial aid philosophy and you want to find those that match with your student’s profile. Take a few minutes to read this…

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Insider Tips for the week of May 4, 2020

   3 new paying for college strategies in the COVID-19 world – COVID-19 has massively disrupted the college planning process, which has created new opportunities for families to potentially reduce their cost. Check out 3 new college financial planning strategies to consider (as always, please consult with a financial professional to determine if any are…

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2 valuable college planning changes in the SECURE Act

  The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act signed into law at the end of 2019 includes two significant college planning changes that families need to know about.   529 Plans can now be used to repay student loans Previously, 529 Plans could be used for qualified college expenses and $10,000 annually of…

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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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Insider tips for the week of July 30, 2018

lose college financial aid

6 tips for managing your EFC – Your EFC, or expected family contribution, is a number used by colleges to determine how much financial aid you will receive and a topic most families know little about. Invest a few minutes to read Road2College’s helpful tips to potentially save your family money.     5 strategies…

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New Tax Code Could Impact College Decisions

College Inside Track President Chris Wills was featured on KSTP TV discussing how the new tax code may affect college planning. Among the changes: Minnesota residents can now qualify for a tax deduction or tax credit, depending on their income level, for making contributions to a 529 college savings plan. Families can now withdraw up…

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