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Category: Financial Aid

Getting a Head Start on the Common Application – Why You Should Start This Summer

March 21, 2017

Getting a head start on the Common Application – why you should start this summer How would you like to spend your senior year? Would you like to spend it harried, running around frantically trying to complete your college applications? Or would you rather complete your college applications early so that you can enjoy your senior year without worries of essay prompts and recommendations in the forefront of your mind?

If you chose the latter, then you should start the application process this summer.  Getting a head start on the Common Application will not only save you a ton of stress, but will also help you stay organized during the process.

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How to Pay for College HQ Podcast

November 20, 2013

My name is Celest Horton and I am the mother of four children (three teenagers) who are quickly approaching college, with my oldest being a Junior in High School. My family and I have been saving for college for years, yet with the cost of education soaring out of control there is only enough saved to cover one year. The thoughts about paying for college became worrisome, especially since at one point three of my children will be in college at the same time.

Not one to shy away from a teachable moment, I decided to use this opportunity to start a family project. With that we have started an open dialogue with the kids about the rising costs of education so together we can work up a plan of action to figure out how WE are going to pay for college. Student Loans are not an option as it is something that can cripple their ability to be successful after graduation and would shackle them down to debt right out of the gate. No way!

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An Idea To Lower Education Costs

October 7, 2013

Let me posit an observation: the NCAA Division I football divisions are, for all practical purposes, a minor league system for the NFL. The NFL recruits players who played at the DI level, and without the colleges there would be no way the NFL could survive unless it ponied up millions to create a bona fide minor league football system (similar to what Major League Baseball has).

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7 Tips for Negotiating Financial Aid for College

September 19, 2013

The average financial aid package is around $10,800, according to an August 2013 study by the National Center for Education Statistics. Depending on which school you plan to attend, that amount may not be enough to cover the gap between tuition costs and what your family can afford. So what do you do?

These seven tips can prepare you for negotiating your financial aid package and determining how to pay for college. Remember, the effort you put into figuring out the best way to pay for school today will decrease the debt you will pay off in the future.

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Interest Rates Soar – The Consequences?

July 8, 2013

The nation has turned apoplectic about the increase in student loan rates that took effect on July 1 due to Congress, once again, not doing their job in actually legislating and doing the country's business. Is it any wonder why American rank this Congress lower than any public or private organization in the nation's history?

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Paying for College is Not a “Cost”

July 3, 2013

This may be a reflection of my Chinese heritage, but the Chinese generally believe there are two things in life worth investing in. One is real estate, because they’re not making any more of it. And the second is an education. I’m not sure about real estate, but I’m certainly sure about an education.

In my view, our national conversation about college costs is really misplaced. First of all, when you purchase a stock, mutual fund, or real estate, you don’t generally consider that to be a “cost” -- you correctly classify it as an investment. You know that the investment may make you very rich or your investment might dwindle down to nothing. It’s not a cost in the sense of paying your utility bill, having your car maintained, or paying your landscaper to fertilize your lawn.

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Kelly Greene Gets it Right

July 1, 2013

One of my favorite newspapers is the Wall Street Journal because (a) I love to read about personal finance, and, more importantly, (b) I find the overall quality of reporting to be excellent. This is especially true when it comes to information about paying for college. A recent article by Kelly Greene in the Saturday/Sunday edition of the Wall Street Journal (June 8-9, 2013) provides a lot of great information about 529 plans. What Greene says, essentially, is that even though your financial aid award will take a slight hit based on how much you contribute to 529 plans, the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. This comports with what every financial aid administrator has told me over the past 13 years – that it is almost always better for families to contribute to 529 plans than not to do so even if there is financial need as evidenced via the FAFSA.

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Frothy Stock Market means Good News for 529 Plans

June 13, 2013

Finally some good news for folks who have invested tirelessly in their 529 plans - with the stock market hitting all-time highs, your basket of investments in your 529 plan should be showing dramatic increases. Now, I am not a financial planner, but one thing that many indpendent eduction consultants will tell you -- including me -- is that the closer your kids are to applying to college, PLEASE choose safer investments and transition out of the higher-risk but potentially higher-yielding investments you may have chosen in the past. After all, who knows what will happen in the coming years - lock in your gains and talk to your financial advisor as always. And, congratulations for the sacrifices, organization, and planning you did for your child's education.

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