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The content published in some of our past blogs were within the context of the FAFSA rules that existed at the time they were written. These rules have changed for students entering or already in college in 2024.

New FAFSA Rules Create ‘Grandparent Loophole’ for 529 plans

The long-awaited changes under the FAFSA Simplification Act will finally see the light of day in December when the U.S. Department of Education releases the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2024-2025 academic year. One of those changes will be welcome news for grandparents with the means and the desire to help pay for their grandchild’s college education. Previously, any money that grandparents gave a grandchild for college had to be reported as student untaxed income on the FAFSA, potentially lowering…

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Understanding the Common App: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students and Parents

As the back-to-school season kicks off, students and parents of college-bound students are gearing up for one of the most crucial aspects of the college planning process: the application itself. One of the most popular (and common) application tools is the Common App. Developed to simplify the application process for students, the Common App has become widely used by more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States and around the world.  The Common App allows both first-time students…

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Creating a Budget for College Expenses: Money Management Tips for Parents

As parents of college-bound students, you know that higher education comes with not just academic challenges, but financial ones as well. The cost of college can be significant and can put a strain on your family's finances if not managed wisely. That's why it's essential to create a budget for college expenses early on. By planning and budgeting strategically, you can help your child pursue their dreams without compromising their financial future. In this blog post, we'll share some valuable…

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Why Summer Campus Visits Are Worthwhile

As summer approaches, many college-bound high school students and their parents wonder if it's worth visiting campuses during this time when college students are on summer break. You’ve taken the time to thoroughly research colleges, so understandably, you want a worthwhile college visit. In this article, we will highlight why summer college visits hold immense value, despite the campuses being relatively empty. Join us as we explore the upside of exploring campuses amidst the tranquility of the summer months. Let's…

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Summer is Primetime for Writing College Application Essays

As the school year winds down and summer season begins, it's important for rising seniors and parents of college-bound high school students to understand the necessity of writing the college application essay during these sunny months. In this article, we'll explore why tackling this crucial task early on can lead to a smoother application process and increase your chances of standing out among your competitors.  Beat the Fall Rush: Start Crafting Your College Application Essay Now Waiting until the last…

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5 Steps to Take After You Submit the FAFSA

Now that you have submitted the FAFSA, what’s next? Even though the federal deadline to submit the ‘23/24 FAFSA is 6/30/2024, you will want to submit the FAFSA as early as possible, especially for first-time freshmen. The Department of Education released the FAFSA on October 1st and many families have already completed it or are on the cusp of getting it completed and submitted. Submitting the FAFSA is just step one in the process. Here are 5 steps to take…

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How to resolve issues with your loan servicer

If you have been watching the news, you know Student loan servicers have been under scrutiny from organizations like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They have been staunch advocates for borrowers against deceptive and unethical servicing practices by loan servicers which have defrauded millions of borrowers out of student loan forgiveness. The Department of Education (ED) has made significant changes to “right these wrongs” with their most recent changes and updates to several repayment programs. Every borrower must understand their…

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Federal PLUS Loan – Another option to pay for college

College can be unaffordable for students who cannot secure other funding options. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines a student’s eligibility to receive financial aid. However, the aid offered through the FAFSA application will not be enough to cover most students’ school expenses. Therefore, students must secure other funding sources such as scholarships, grants, and payment plans. Once all other funding options and sources are exhausted, parents can apply for additional loan funding. Parents can ch0ose to…

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5 Reasons Not to Have a “Top” or “Dream” School on Your College List

It happens to almost every family. They know they need to begin the college search process and, whether almost instantly or further along in the journey, the “top,” “target,” “dream” school emerges. The college or university that all the others are compared to, and the one that becomes the student’s focal point for where they hope to gain admission. It’s completely natural, too, for the “top school” mindset to take over. It’s simpler and more exciting to focus on one…

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2023-2024 FAFSA application is approaching. Are you Ready?

The 2022 Fall semester has just begun. Financial Aid Offices around the country have been busy reviewing students' Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and creating financial aid awards that students (and parents) have happily accepted. Parents have settled any outstanding balance they owe with their school's Bursar's Office. Students are back on campus, decorating their rooms, catching up with friends, and enjoying their college experience. All seems well until they realize the 2023-2024 FAFSA application is steadily approaching.…

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