Saving Money

Saving Money

I have a love hate relationship with saving money. I love the feeling when you look at your bank account and see all that you have saved, but obviously, I hate that I can’t buy all the super cute things I see at stores. But this summer I have been largely focused on saving as much money as I can. My parents expect me to use my own money for…

6 Steps to Prepare for College

6 Steps to Prepare for College

Preparing for college can be a daunting task, especially for high school students already overwhelmed with academics, extracurricular, and other activities. But getting ready for college should not be complicated, here are what we believe are the top six things to make sure you are well prepared for college. Take an Aptitude Test: This is a great starting point because it will give you an idea of what you are…

Tips for Acing your College Interview

Tips for Acing your College Interview

Summer and early fall are the times to start going on college interviews. If one of the schools you are thinking of applying to offers an interview, I recommend doing it. This is a great way to show interest in the school as well as show the school your personality off paper. College interviews are definitely nerve-wracking, so I’ve compiled some tips that will help you feel confident going into…

The College Application – Dos and Dont’s

The College Application – Dos and Dont’s

Want to avoid application stress and create stellar applications? Heed this advice and you’ll be an application wiz from the start. Do read directions. Pay attention to the instructions for each application. For example, directions usually specify a minimum and maximum number of words for essays and short answers. Don’t rush or work on automatic pilot. Slow down. Rushing through your application can cause you to skip key sections and…

Student Self-Assessessment Inspires Learning

Student Self-Assessessment Inspires Learning

Simplify your college planning by doing a self-assessment to find out what college and career paths might work for you. Some students have a clear view of what they want to study and know exactly what their careers are going to be, while others don’t have a clue. No matter where you are in the college planning process or high school timeline — your classes, extracurricular activities, internships, job experiences…

The Filing of FAFSA Has Started

The Filing of FAFSA Has Started

Despite the pressure that may be coming from articles or colleges’ Admission Office, families should remain calm about filing their FAFSA. It isn’t vital to file on October 1st. What is Changing For the 2017-2018 academic year, the Department of Education has changed the start date for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In previous years, the start date was January 1st. The new start date has…

Did you know that the IRS provides tax benefits for education?

Did you know that the IRS provides tax benefits for education?

Looking to take some of the sting out of the cost of higher education?  Review the following information to ensure you are taking full advantage of all the education tax benefits available to you at tax time. Education Deductions Tax deductions are intended to reduce the amount of tax owed to the government by decreasing the amount of your taxable income.  If you, your spouse or a dependent are enrolled…

It’s Not About the Numbers

It’s Not About the Numbers

  When I was going through the college search, admissions, and acceptance process I was surprised at the constant importance that was placed on numbers. As you tour colleges, it is all about SAT scores, GPAs, and numbers of extracurricular activities. As you apply you are bombarded by acceptance rates and dates. And as you are finally accepted you begin looking at the cost. And while I do think all…

Mark your Calendar – October 1, 2016

Mark your Calendar – October 1, 2016

The FAFSA is changing this upcoming school year, but don’t fret with some tips and tricks you can still maximize for your financial aid reward. The FAFSA will now be available October 1st. This is pushed up from the previous January 1st date. Mark the date in your calendar, as the soon you file the better. This earlier deadline should help you to be able to receive financial awards from…

College Is A Toll Booth On The Road To Retirement®

College Is A Toll Booth On The Road To Retirement®

With the sticker prices of the most expensive colleges now reaching as high as $71,000 per year, even students whose parents have annual incomes above $175,000 may qualify for a significant amount of college aid, even if they have significant savings and investments.  What’s more, parents are earnestly seeking out advice on how to best position their finances to qualify for the maximum amount of aid while still being able…

Tools for the Financially Wise College-Bound Parent

Tools for the Financially Wise College-Bound Parent

Today paying for college has become perhaps one of the greatest financial concerns for millions of Americans.  This is completely understandable as college costs have risen to an all-time high.  Harvey Mudd College for example, sits atop the list of most expensive colleges in the U.S.  The cost of attendance (COA) for 2016-17 is a shocking $71,917, an increase of over 70% since their $42,000 COA in 2005.  Now for…

Financial Aid Glossary

Financial Aid Glossary

FINANCIAL AID GLOSSARY Award Letter The document you receive from a college that explains the terms of the financial aid that the college is offering you. The information includes the types and amounts of financial aid offered, what you’re expected to do to keep the award and a deadline for accepting the award. Bursar The college official responsible for handling billing and payments for tuition, fees, housing and other related…

Your 2015 IRA Contribution Will Hurt Your Kid’s College Aid In 2016-2017

If you put $10,000 into retirement plans in 2015 your kid’s college aid could decrease by $2,500 in 2016-2017. That IRA contribution you made may lower your tax bill for 2015, but it won’t help your child’s college aid eligibility in 2016-2017. IRA contributions get “added back” to your adjusted gross income in the financial aid formulas used to determine a student’s need-based aid eligibility. For example, in 2015,  if…

College Just Ahead

College Just Ahead

College planning today is more than just putting money into a 529 plan.  There are four main areas that parents and the students need to focus on in order to achieve the best results.  Action in each of these areas also needs to be coordinated with the other areas, as they are all interconnected. The first area is College Selection.  Yes, I think we all agree that not all universities…