Never Pay Retail for College

An excerpt from Never Pay Retail for College by Beth Walker. If what you thought you knew about college turned out not to be true, when would you want to know? As soon as possible? In time to do something about it? I’m so glad you’ve found this book. In these pages, I will share with you the sobering news about higher education as it exists … [Read more...]

5 Tips for an Effective Financial Aid Appeal

Is the award letter from your favorite college not what you’d hoped?  Enough to wonder if it’s even possible without taking on an enormous loan? Don’t panic!  You DO have the power to up the amount by thousands by opting for a financial aid appeal. At this point, you’ve tallied the net amounts for your top picks.  You roughly know what you’ll … [Read more...]

7 Tips to Unraveling Financial Award Letters

Award letters are notoriously complex.  They're riddled with finance terms and non-standard abbreviations.  You're left thinking, "So what do I REALLY owe?" It's with good reason, but the process becomes far less convoluted when you break down the individual pieces. Master the formula.  As you sift through these award letters, it’s important … [Read more...]

Financial Independence and the Busy Student

Financial independence.  It’s a tricky one.  Amidst deadlines and term papers, why worry?  Students should! Take some time to teach your student to navigate financial waters before they are on their own to avoid trouble with credit cards, overdraft fees and other tricky financial woes. Here are a few steps to take now, so you don’t have to … [Read more...]

Shrink West Coast College Tuition with the Western Undergraduate Exchange

It's easy to adore the west coast, and colleges are a fundamental reason why students hold this section of the US so dearly to their hearts.  If you're thinking "I'm going to a college on the western coast" with absolute certainty, you need to fund this endeavor.  How? One of the best places to start is an initiative by the Western Interstate … [Read more...]

A Guide to Stafford Loans

Stafford loans, repayments, need-based aid, dependent status... Do these make your head spin? College finances can be a sticky--and confusing--endeavor. Fear not: We'll take out the scary parts of the biggest federal loan available: subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans. Traditionally, these are two most common forms of federal student … [Read more...]

Introducing the Coalition App

Seniors: You’ve heard of the Common App, but did you know there’s now an alternative?  It’s known as the Coalition App for Access, Affordability, and Success, and will be available for the first time in 2016. It rewards students who think ahead in high school, and in fact, allows you to craft a profile as early as freshman year: an online … [Read more...]

New FAFSA Adjustments: What You Need to Know

Get ready, seniors: The FAFSA is shaking up the rules.  Previously, the FAFSA application process began January 1st.  It’s become common knowledge: New Year, new FAFSA.  This is no longer the case. If you (or your parents) are early bird completionists, take note—the FAFSA now opens October 1st of each year.  This means for the 2017-18 academic … [Read more...]

Make Summer 2016 Your Best Yet

Seniors: Heat, BBQs, and vacations all mix into the perfect recipe for a memorable summer.  It's completely normal to spend your months off hanging out with friends (everyone deserves time to relax!). In your down time, get the college planning train rolling. Even if only for an hour a week, it all counts. Summer of Planning Research: … [Read more...]

Land an Athletic Scholarship

You've enrolled your student in their favorite sport. They seem to have a knack at it. How does that tie into their college future (other than first string)? An athletic scholarship may be the key to avoiding college financial debt. Take a look at these 7 tips to find out if an athletic scholarship is right for your child: Start early. The … [Read more...]