Parent College Coach Tip #43: Be a Black Friday Bargain Hunter
Nov28

Parent College Coach Tip #43: Be a Black Friday Bargain Hunter

Today is Black Friday and those of us who want a bargain have been perusing the ads and being the first in line to get a deal. If you have a college bound teen, you should be applying those same principals to your college prep. Here are some Black Friday tips that will help you find the best college bargain: 1. Do your research Compare all the prices, look at the financial aid, investigate smaller liberal arts colleges, and check out the competition before your teen applies to college. 2. Be a smart shopper Don’t be fooled by all the bells and whistles from the college rankings and all the lists that are produced comparing colleges. Look at the facts and figures before you commit to such a large purchase. 3. Be first in line Get that application in early and complete the FAFSA as soon as it becomes available on January 1st. First in line meas you get the first crack at financial aid. Once the money is spent, there won’t be any left for those late comers. 4. Hold on to your receipts Keep tabs on all the paperwork you submit, along with the dates submitted. Follow up with the colleges to make sure they received all the necessary forms and...

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Parent College Coach Tip #4: Look for College Bargains
Feb21

Parent College Coach Tip #4: Look for College Bargains

— Bargain hunting for a college? There are deals and discounts to cover college costs.

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Scholarship Mom Tip #47: Don’t be Spooked by Scholarships
Oct31

Scholarship Mom Tip #47: Don’t be Spooked by Scholarships

— Not knowing what’s ahead can be scary, but don’t let that be the case when it comes to scholarships!

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College Expenses: Planning Ahead is a Must
Jul23

College Expenses: Planning Ahead is a Must

How America Pays for College 2013” is a national study released by Sallie Mae that gives us a look college costs and who’s paying. In addition, the report indicates that 85% of parents believe that a college education is a smart investment. As you plan your college visits, be sure to go prepared with a list of questions about financial aid and scholarships.   Infographic – click to enlarge   Explore the infographic above (click on the image to open) to see how the parents surveyed report on where the money comes from when it comes to financing a college education. College Money Tip: Watch your expenses. Take out only the amount of student loans you need to cover college costs. Some students felt that a 3.4% rate justified using student loan money to cover living expenses, but that isn’t a sound strategy any more. Consider living at home, sharing a room, and take full advantage of your meal plan. Using student loan money to go out for pizza every week could cost you a lot of money in the long run. — Jodi Okun, College Financial Advisors What are you doing to save for college? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments section...

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Will You Pick Which Colleges to Visit Based on Cost?
Nov06

Will You Pick Which Colleges to Visit Based on Cost?

By Abigail Seldin, co-founder of CollegeAbacus.com A junior in high school, Sarah* has always been good at math and science. Her mom has offered to take her on a college visit trip to see engineering schools, but doesn’t want Sarah to get her heart set on a school that they can’t afford. Sarah’s top choices are Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Sarah’s mom thinks that visiting Carnegie Mellon is a waste of time, as the sticker price for Carnegie Mellon exceeds their post-tax income of $50,000. Instead, she’s encouraging Sarah to visit Virginia Tech (where she will get in-state tuition) and Georgia Tech. To help convince her mom to drive her to Carnegie Mellon for a visit, Sarah used College Abacus to generate a free estimate of how much financial aid she could expect from her dream school. Sarah’s guidance counselor told her that College Abacus is like a Kayak.com for financial aid, and uses calculators built by the colleges to create its estimates. Sarah and her counselor thought that the free online tool might help her decide which schools to visit during her junior year. To her surprise, Sarah learned that Carnegie Mellon would cost only $4000 more per year than in-state tuition at Virginia Tech. After Sarah’s mom saw the College Abacus results, she and Sarah agreed to add Carnegie Mellon to their itinerary, and to leave Georgia Tech off their list. You can scroll down to see Sarah’s detailed results, or visit CollegeAbacus.com to find out which schools will offer you financial aid before you...

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