Paying for College Sitemap - Page 1 2016-09-26

College Access for Low-Income Students
Education is a crucial component in obtaining access to highly-skilled and high-paying jobs.

Overview of the CSS Profile Form for Financial Aid
More than 600 colleges and universities use the CSS Profile form to determine financial aid eligibility for non-federal programs. Learn more about it.

Get Ready for the Early FAFSA
Nobody wants to miss out on potential aid because they missed a deadline. This is what you need to know.

Seven Fast Facts About Financial Aid
If you are the parent of an eager high schooler who wants to attend college, here are seven fast facts you need to know about financial aid.

Pros and Cons of the PLUS Loan
There are many decisions which need to be made along the way when it comes to putting together a reasonable financial aid plan.

Learn Your Student Loan Definitions
It is important to educate yourself before borrowing any money for college. Here are a few crucial student loan definitions to get you started.

5 Questions to Ask a College Financial Aid Advisor
Going the college entrance route alone can be frustrating and confusing. That’s why many families turn to outside advisors for assistance.

White House Adds to College Resource Websites
This website utilizes the vast data resources of the federal government to provide information that will allow comparisons of colleges across the country.

How a Parents' Divorce Affects a Student's Financial Aid
Here are some of the ways a divorce can affect the financial aid application process.

Don't Underestimate Financial Aid Eligibility
Some federal financial aid programs have limited funds available, and students could lose out simply by filing too late.

Section 529 Savings Plans Can Help You Pay for College
Saving for college? Consider a Section 529 savings account that allows you to invest money into mutual funds and put it toward a child's college education.

What You Need to Know About a Coverdell Account (ESA)
A Coverdell ESA is a long-term investment option to save money for a child's education. Discover the benefits and limitations to see if it's right for you.

What are UGMA and UTMA Custodial Accounts?
You have many saving options for your child's college. Explore the benefits of UGMA and UTMA custodial accounts and learn how they affect financial aid.

A Year in Financial Aid
There hasn’t been this much attention paid to how students get into college in years. The intent is to make it easier and more affordable for everyone.

How Much Should Parents Help With College Applications?
How do you walk that fine line between doing everything and letting your child take responsibility for their actions? Helping with college applications.

New Definition of Adverse Credit and Counseling Provisions for PLUS Loans
If you are thinking about taking out Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students, or PLUS Loans, here are some upcoming changes to this program.

How the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Works
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is one of the most crucial numbers in calculating a family's financial aid eligibility and how much they pay.

Use Fafsa4Caster.com to Estimate Your Federal Aid
If you're curious about your Federal financial aid eligibility, learn how to use Fafsa4Caster.com, the Department of Education's calculator.

Financial Aid for Community College Students
Financial aid isn't just for university students but for community college students also. Learn the benefits available to those in two-year colleges.

Basics of Student Loan Forgiveness & Repayment Programs
Student loan forgiveness and repayment programs are one of the quickest ways to eliminate your college debts.

Tips for Parents of Departing College Freshmen
As a parent, you want to be sure your new college student knows how proud you are, but you also want to provide some last minute advice before leaving.

Six Missteps That Could Sink Your College Chances
Know that you have the ability to take the right steps now which will lead to a promising future.

Understanding College Financial Aid for Parents
There are billions of dollars available in college financial aid and scholarships if you know where to look and apply for them properly.

Give Your College Student a Course on Credit
Parents can help their teenage children avoid problems down the road by taking the time to teach them about credit as they leave high school and enter college.

How Much Should We Borrow in Student Loans?
It seems like a rather obvious statement - borrow only what you need in student loans? But how do you figure out how much you need?

Student Loan Payment Strategies
Take responsibility for your student loan payments now, and develop a plan that will help you pay them back in the shortest time possible.

College Admissions Deadlines
As a high school senior you are probably being faced with a lot of deadlines and decisions right now. So, when Is It Best to Submit Your College Application?

False FAFSA Assumptions
Why would you want to pull yourself before the game even begins? Never assume that you will not qualify for financial aid.

Know Your FAFSA Deadlines
Once the money runs out, you may not receive that specific type of aid, even if you would otherwise be eligible - don't miss a deadline!

Get Out in Front of Your College Student Loans
Here are five smart student loan strategies you can implement this summer, so you won’t be surprised in the fall.

Trends in College Acceptance and Admissions
Parents of next year’s high school juniors and seniors who want to know more about trends in college admissions now have a valuable resource available.

Stafford Loan Program: What is the Max?
Stafford Loans are one of the most important tools used to help pay for a college education. This article takes a look at what the max is for a loan.

Official Transcript from the White House
President Obama announces a number of new programs aimed at helping displaced and unemployed workers get educated, retrained, and find new jobs.

Transcript - President Obama Announces Educational Opportunities for Unemployed
President Obama announces a number of new programs aimed at helping displaced and unemployed workers get educated, retrained, and find new jobs. Includes expansion of the Pell grant program. Page 2.

GI Bill Education Benefits: Paying Your College Tuition
The Montgomery G.I. Bill covers up to $50,000 in college tuition in exchange for as little as two years of military service. Learn about its benefits.

Late-Start College Savings Tips for Parents
Many parents don't begin thinking about saving for college until their children are teenagers. Here are tips for parents needing to play catch-up.

Choosing the Right College Savings Account for a Child
What type of savings account might be right for you based on your risk tolerances, ability to save, and potential tax benefits.

Doe the Fed Control Interest Rates?
A simple explanation of the u.S. Federal Reserve (aka the Fed) and it role in interest rates. Does the Fed control interest rates, or not?

Overview of 529 College Savings Plan Rules
A basic overview of the popular Section 529 College Savings Plans. Includes a basic look at their history, benefits, rules, eligibility and providers.

Withdrawal Rules for UTMA and Other College Accounts
This article answers questions about withdrawing college savings for non-college costs. It covers the unique rules, penalties, and taxes UTMA accounts.

Georgia's 529 Tax-Deferred College Savings Program
Georgia's Path2College 529 plan provides a tax-advantaged way to save for college. State residents can contribute $2,000 per student, per year.

College Tax Benefits for Colorado Residents
The State of Colorado offers its residents an

College Tax Benefits for Arizona Residents
Arizona is one of the few states that allows its residents to deduct a contribution to any state's Section 529 plan, not just the Arizona Family College Savings Program.

Tax Benefits for Using the Indiana 529 Credit
An overview of the Indiana 529 credit to residents, its potential value to taxpayers, and instructions for claiming the tax credit for yourself.

Tax Benefits of the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan
Iowa offers tax deductions to contributors to its 529 college savings plan. Learn how to claim the deduction and about the plan's other benefits.

Tax Benefits for Using the Louisiana START 529 Savings Plan
Louisiana offers a

Maryland 529 Plan Deduction for Residents
Maryland offers a 529 savings plan known as the Maryland College Investment Fund, helping families save for college and get some tax benefits

Benefits of Michigan's 529 Advisor College Savings Plan
If you live in Michigan and plan to put a child through college, get the facts on the tax benefits of the state's 529 Advisor College Savings Plan.

Tax Perks of North Carolina's 529 College Savings Plan
North Carolina offers tax benefits for contributors to its 529 college savings program. Learn the rules for claiming an income tax deduction.

Tax Benefits for NE Residents Contributing to NE 529 Plan
This article includes an overview of the deduction, its potential value to taxpayers, and instructions for claiming the deduction.

Tax Benefits of New Mexico's 529 College Savings Plan
New Mexico offers an

Claiming the Tax Deduction for Funding an Ohio 529 Plan
Ohio offers two versions of a 529 College Advantage Savings Plan, allowing families to save for college while getting a break on their income taxes.

Arkansas Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Tuition Programs
The Arkansas State Teacher Education Program (STEP) and Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP) can help educators with their own college costs.

Loan Forgiveness Programs for California Teachers
Although California no longer accepts applications for its APLE teacher loan forgiveness program, California teachers have two other alternatives.

Definition and Overview of Subsidized Loans
Subsidized loans are useful for students because the federal government pays your interest while you're in college, helping you save money over time

What Is An Unsubsidized Loan?
Definition and overview of an unsubsidized loan for students and educational expenses.

UGMA and UTMA Accounts - Transferring Gifts to Minors
Definition and brief explanation of the college savings term, UTMA.

Maryland Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers
The Maryland Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers can provide up to $30,000 in student loan forgiveness for certified teachers.

Tax Benefits of Pennsylvania's 529 College Savings Plan
If you live in Pennsylvania and plan to pay for a child's college education, learn the benefits of the state's 529 college savings program.

The Rhode Island 529 Plan Deduction for RI Residents
Rhode Island offers a

Benefits of South Carolina's 529 College Savings Plan
If you're a South Carolina resident anxious about putting your child through college, find out about the benefits of the state's 529 college savings plan.

The Virginia 529 Plan Deduction for VA Residents
Virginia offers two 529 savings plan options to help families prepare for college and post-secondary education costs, with significant tax benefits.

Benefits of Wisconsin's 529 College Savings Program
Wisconsin offers a tax deduction to residents who contribute to its college savings program on behalf of future coeds. Learn other benefits as well.

Tax Benefits of West Virginia's 529 College Savings Plan
If you're a West Virginia resident planning to pay for college, learn about the tax benefits included with the state's 529 college savings plan.

How Do I Check My Student Loan Balances?
Finding your student loan balance is essential in getting your financial life together; find your balance through your credit report and NSLDA.

Do Student Loans Go On My Credit Report?
Having student loans — or even just applying for them — can impact your credit report in both good and bad ways. Learn how they can help or hurt you.

College Tax Benefits for Arkansas Residents
Arkansas offers a substantial state income tax deduction for helping to fund your child's college education. The deduction requires you to contribute to the Arkansas Section 529 Plan (GIFT). This article provides an overview of the rules for claiming the deduction, as well as links to the necessary state documents.

Buying U.S. Treasury Bonds for College Accounts
The 30-Year U.S. Treasury Bond is one of the most classic

An Overview of the Federal Pell Grant Program
Federal Pell grants are among the most desired financial aid awards. They pay for a large portion of college costs and never have to be repaid.

Guide to the Needs-Based Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loans are the most desirable of student loan programs, available for both undergraduate and graduate studies.

UTMA and UGMA Custodial Account Conversions
An overview of the key points to keep in mind when considering converting a UGMA or UTMA custodial account to a Section 529 plan.

Understanding the Rising Costs of a College Education
The primary causes examined and explained include inflation, class availability, scholarships, and increased demand for limited enrollment spots.

The Worst College Planning Mistake: Procrastination
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

Using a Scholarship or Financial Aid Expert for College Planning
There are numerous professionals who claim to be experts in securing scholarships and financial aid packages. This article contains tips on determining if you need one, as well as how to choose a professional.

The College Planning Industry - Certified College Planning Specialist
A guide to understanding the most important professional designations in the college planning arena. Certified College Planning Specialist jobs.

Using a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for College Planning
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is one of the most respected credentials in the college and financial planning industry. This article explores a Certified Financial Planner's ability to assist with college planning.

Using a Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS) for College Planning
A Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS) is a credential awarded to individuals who have completed a training course focusing solely on college planning issues. This article explores the strengths and limitations of the CCPS designation.

Using a Stockbroker or Registered Representative for College Planning
A stockbroker is an investment professional who is required to pass a stringent licensing exam. They are licensed to sell investments and can help you set up a Section 529 account, Coverdell ESA, UGMA / UTMA custodial account, or similar plan.

Using a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for College Planning
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can help you maximize your tax strategies both prior to, and during college. They can help you understand the complex rules for the various savings accounts, as well as the tax credits and deductions offered for tuition.

Using a Professional FAFSA Preparer for College Planning
Filing out the Federal financial aid form (FAFSA) can be intimidating for many people. A paid FAFSA preparer will complete and fill this form on your behalf.

Other Designtations Encountered in the College Planning Industry
There are numerous designations in the financial industry that appear to make someone an expert in college planning, but in reality have very little to do with it. These

Income Based Repayment Program (IBR) - Eligibility for Students and Loan Types
Not all students and loans are eligible for the Income Based Repayment Program (IBR). This article provides an overview of who is eligible and what type of loans qualify.

Apply for a FAFSA PIN Number
Overview and tips for obtaining your FAFSA PIN number.

Repeat the Application Process Every Year
Explanation of the need to repeat the financial aid application process on a yearly basis.

Consider Getting Professional Help
Overview of getting help completing the financial aid application process.

Understand the Cost of Applying to College
Develop a budget for the college application process so there are no financial surprises along the “getting into college” highway.

Who Is Eligible for Financial Aid?
The only way to find out for sure whether you are eligible to receive any of this assistance is by completing the FAFSA.

Financial Aid Musts as Another School Year Begins
Before you get into the emotion of sending your student off to school, read these last-minute financial aid tips for high school and college students.

How Much Should Parents Borrow for College?
Should you take on PLUS loans from the federal government, refinance the house, or borrow against a retirement account to get extra money?

What are Extracurricular Activities?
You do not always have to be the star athlete or the leader of the group; it looks just as good to say that you tried something and improved yourself.

Update on Federal Perkins Loans
Individual situations are all different, and it may be necessary to contact the school’s financial aid office to determine your exact eligibility.

What Can Happen if You Do Not Repay Your Student Loans?
If you are considering taking out student loans, here are some things you need to know about the consequences of non-payment.

5 Changes in the College Application and Financial Aid Process
Here are five of the biggest recent changes.

What Is the Definition of a Tax Carryforward?
With this definition of the term tax carryforward, learn how taxpayers may benefit later from a deduction that cannot be used in the current year.

Parents: Beware These Financial Aid Stumbling Blocks
If you have a student who is anywhere between being a high school junior through an upcoming college senior, you need to think long and hard about your financial decisions

Looking on the Bright Side of Paying for College
It may be hard to be grateful when you are looking only at the money side of attending college, but try to look on the positive side as well.

Changes are Coming to FAFSA Deadlines
How will the changes to the FAFSA affect current high school and college students?

How Does Summer School Affect Your Financial Aid Status?
Whatever the reason, one thing that should always be considered before enrolling in these classes is the money - can you afford to pay for it?

Get Ready to Learn About Financial Aid
Parents of this year’s high school juniors will need to be prepared to begin applying for financial aid earlier than ever.

Guide to the 2009 American Opportunity Tax Credit
Guide to calculating and claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit created by President Obama.

Claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit
Overview of claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit when student loans are used to pay for college.

Can the FAFSA Changes Affect Your 2015 Financial Planning?
Parents with high school students attending college in the next two years need to determine whether financial moves they make in 2015 might affect their child’s financial aid.

Understanding the EFC
For some families it can be a bit of a shock, but keep in mind that this is not necessarily the amount your family will have to pay.

President Unveils Website to Aid in College Search
Instead of providing a rating, the site provides information about annual costs, graduation rates and post-graduation salaries that will allow parents and students to make their own comparisons.

College Planning for High School Sophomores
Just keep it on your to-do list that at least once a week you are doing something to prepare for college

Factoring Earning Power Into the College Decision
Making the decision about which college to attend involves many choices. Should earning potential really affect your college choice?

What Happens After You File the FAFSA?
Now you just have to wait for those financial aid offers to come rolling in - right? Well, not exactly.

Clean Up Your Social Media Footprint as Part of the College Application Process
Watch that what you say or don’t say online accurately represents who you are.

Is An Early Action Application a Good Idea?
Applying Early Action means you could find out whether you have been accepted as early as December.

Don't Get Caught in Deadline Drama
Here are a few deadlines you will need to be aware of in your quest for getting into college.

Studying the Financial Return on a College Education
Many families still wonder if the value received will outweigh the costs involved.

Declined or Deferred - Now What?
The college application process is similar to the job search process, and lessons you learn now could serve you well in the future.

Fix These Mistakes Before Filing the FAFSA
Unfortunately, in the mad rush to just get this final piece of the college puzzle put into place, parents and students make errors.

Upcoming Changes to SAT and ACT
Check with your anticipated colleges to see whether they accept either or both tests, or if they are even test-optional.

Student Loan Insights from the Center for American Progress
Smart financial moves now could help avoid substantial financial hardship down the road.

Trends in Student Financial Aid
While it has been widely reported that college costs have been increasing, this data reveals that financial aid is also increasing.

Let the Hunt for College Scholarships Begin
Start a spreadsheet or list of potential scholarships and keep careful track of deadlines. Here are a few that have deadlines in September 2015.

Could Student Loan Repayment Terms Change Soon?
You should be aware that there are a number of other programs open to student borrowers when it comes to repaying their federal student loans.

Get Your College Freshman Ready to Leave the Roost
So, your “little baby” is getting ready to fly the coop in a month or so. Is everyone ready for the big transition?

A Well-Produced College Essay Video Can Produce Results
Instead of agonizing over the written word, you can pour your heart out on video and submit it with your other information.

Ten Things You Might Not Know About the FAFSA
You have deadlines to meet, information to gather, and even a few decisions to make.

Can You Afford an Ivy League Education For Your Child?
Most parents want what is best for their children so, when it comes to a college education, an Ivy League school usually ranks at the top of the list.

Questions Parents Must Ask When Visiting Colleges to Save Themselves Money
The financial aid office should be a priority when visiting a college campus. Here are 5 questions to ask.

Hunt for Scholarships over Breaks
According to a story reported by KSNWTV.com, millions of dollars in scholarships go unused each year.

What to Do With a Financial Aid Refund
College students may receive some money every semester in the form of a financial aid refund, or a credit balance.

4 Questions Every Family Should Answer About Paying for College
The student may be taking classes, but going to college is a family learning experience.

Familiarize Yourself with the FAFSA Now
What many new applicants don’t realize, however, is that there are some state and school deadlines that can be as early as February!

5 College Application Mistakes to Avoid
To help everyone have just a little less stress, here are five application mistakes to avoid.

Bring Up The Topic of College Financial Aid Over the Holidays
Here are some tips which can help you bring up the topic of college financial aid over the holidays.

College Planning for High School Freshmen
Any planning, thinking and learning you can do now will make things so much easier down the road.

Be Wary of Where You Buy College Textbooks
You let out a gasp as you mentally calculate just how much this is going to cost.

Five September College Application Action Steps
In September high school seniors really begin to feel the pressure of the college application season.

Learn the Difference Between Student Loan and Credit Card Debt
Debt can be good, but it can also be destructive.

Steps College-Bound Seniors Must Take in December
Here are the steps frantic college-bound seniors must take in December.

The CSS PROFILE - The OTHER Financial Aid Application
The PROFILE is used to apply online for nonfederal financial aid from almost 300 colleges and scholarship programs.

Websites That Can Help in the College Application Process
Parents and students who are unfamiliar with the process often spend a great deal of valuable time conducting their own research online. Bookmark these sites!

Financial Aid Resolutions for 2016
These programs, if successful, could have a huge impact on how you apply for and receive financial aid in the future.

The Impact of Dropping Out on Financial Aid
Make sure your child is good college material and the school is a good fit before taking on any form of financial aid.

Get Ready for the College Coalition Application
It is yet to be seen whether this makes the process any easier, but it could be a step in the right direction.

Learn About Student Loan Interest Rates
The different types of interest rates can have an impact on the amount of money owed and your ability to make payments.

College Application Action Steps for November
Most students are trying to get as much of the application process as possible completed by the end of the calendar year.

The Most Popular Federal Student Loan Programs
With this overview, learn about the most popular federal student loan programs, including eligibility for these loans and the loan terms to expect.

College Savings: Using Life Insurance and Other Investments
Avoid using life insurance for college savings. This article also explores other investments to avoid when saving for someone's future education.

Minimize Personal Pressure During College Application Process
While juniors have some time to get things together and prepare themselves, seniors may suddenly feel overwhelmed by the amount there is to do in a short period of time.

Illinois Tax Deduction for Section 529 Contributions
Illinois offer three 529 savings plan options for families in Illinois to help them save for college. All three have significant tax benefits

The Kansas 529 Learning Quest Deduction
Kansas offers a

529 Tax Deduction for Maine Residents
Maine offers a tax deduction to residents who contribute to any state's Section 529 plan. Learn about its potential value to taxpayers, and how to claim it.

Tax Benefits of New York's 529 College Savings Program
The state of New York offers a substantial tax deduction to residents contributing to its 529 College Savings Program.

Rules for Claiming the Student Loan Interest Deduction
Overview and rules for the Student Loan Interest Tax Deduction. Includes an in-depth review of who may claim the deduction and if parents are eligible

Should You Use a Fixed Annuity in Your College Account?
Though a fixed annuity can often offer a noticeable higher yield than many other fixed income investments such as bonds and CD's, it's not without a cost. This article reviews the main drawbacks to using a fixed annuity as a college savings investment.

Understanding College Tuition, Room, and Board
Look at how tuition is calculated, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of on and off-campus housing and meal plans.

Calculating Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)
Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is a measure used by the IRS to determine eligibility for the student loan interest deduction and other credits

What Is the Definition of Tax Recapture?
What is the definition of tax recapture? Improve your understanding of this term, complete with examples, with this overview.

Can I Pay My Student Loan With a Credit Card?
Is it a good idea to pay off your student loans with a credit card? Learn more in this brief overview.

- By Category
An index of categories in the

Connecticut Tax Deductions for Education Expenses
Connecticut offers its residents a substantial deduction for contributing money to the Connecticut CHET savings program. This article reviews the rules and guidelines for claiming this deduction.

Income Based Student Loan Repayment Program - Advantages of the IBR
The Income Based Student Loan Repayment Program (IBR) offers a number of key benefits including lower monthly payments, student loan forgiveness, and an interest rate subsidy.

Income Based Student Loan Repayment Program - Disadvantages of the IBR
The Income Based Student Loan Repayment Program (IBR) has a couple of key drawbacks that every graduate should consider.

Income Based Student Loan Repayment Formula (IBR Formula)
The payment required under the Income Based Repayment program for student loans is based on a formula that takes into account the national poverty guidelines from the Department of Health and Humans Services.

How to Apply for Income Based Repayment of Student Loans
Instructions on applying for the Income Based Repayment Program for student loans.

Income Based Repayment Program for Student Loans
Income Based Repayment (IBR) lowers a graduate's monthly payment based on income level, and offers loan forgiveness after either 10 or 25 years.

Check on the Status of Your FAFSA Form
An overview of checking the status on a previously submitted FAFSA form for Federal financial aid for college expenses.

What are the Steps to Apply for FAFSA?
An introduction to the Federal financial aid application process. Provides step-by-step tips on how and when to apply using the Federal FAFSA form.

Find Out Your Financial Aid Deadlines
Provides an overview of the application deadlines for Federal, state, and school specific financial aid programs.

Getting Your Paperwork Organized
Ideas for keeping your financial aid paperwork organized and safe.

Complete and Submit Your FAFSA Form
Overview of the FAFSA form for Federal financial aid, including tips on filling it on correctly and by the deadline.

Contact the Financial Aid Offices at the Schools You are Considering
After submitting your FAFSA form, you should follow up with the financial aid offices at schools you are considering.

U.S. Savings Bonds for College - Advantages and Disadvantages to U.S. Savings Bonds
A description of the advantages and disadvantages of using U.S. Savings Bonds as a college savings vehicle.

U.S. Savings Bonds as College Savings Vehicles - Investment Options and Tax Benefits for U.S. Savings Bonds
An overview of the investment options and tax benefits associated with a using U.S. Savings Bonds for college savings.

U.S. Savings Bonds - Eligibility and Contribution Rules for U.S. Savings Bonds
An overview of who can receive benefit from the interest exemption on U.S. Savings Bonds.

Guide to Series I and Series EE U.S. Savings Bonds
An in-depth look at the use of U.S. Savings Bonds as college savings vehicles. Identifies the ideal type of investor, advantages, disadvantages, eligibility, contribution limits, tax benefits, deadlines, and effects on financial aid.

U.S. Savings Bonds - Eligible Expenses and Effect on Financial Aid for U.S. Savings Bonds
An overview of what college expenses are qualified for purposes of receiving the exemption from taxation on U.S. Savings Bonds, as well as the effects of ownership on financial aid.

U.S. Savings Bonds - Withdrawal Rules and Treatment of Unused Funds for U.S. Savings Bonds
Overview of the withdrawal rules for U.S. Savings Bonds used for education expenses, as well as the treatment of unused funds.

College Planning Mistake #4: Choosing Investments With High Annual Expenses
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

College Planning Mistake #3: Not Using The Right College Savings Accounts
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

College Planning Mistake #9: Not Watching Your Time Horizon
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

College Planning Mistake #8: Not Taking Your Tax Education Tax Breaks
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

College Planning Mistake #7: Not Using Student Loans
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

College Planning Mistake #6: Underestimating the Effects of Inflation
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

College Planning Mistake #5: Getting Too Fancy With Your Investments
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

College Planning Mistake #2: Using Your Retirement Funds to Pay for College
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college.

Roth and Traditional IRA's as College Savings Accounts
Identifies the ideal type of investor, advantages, disadvantages, eligibility, contribution limits, tax benefits, deadlines, and effects on financial aid.

Retirement IRA's for College - Advantages and Disadvantages of a College IRA
A description of the advantages and disadvantages of using a retirement IRA for college savings.

Retirement IRA's for College - Investment Options and Tax Benefits for a College IRA
An overview of the investment options and tax benefits associated with a using retirement IRA's for college savings.

Retirement IRA's for College - Eligible Expenses and Effect on Financial Aid for a College IRA
An overview of what college expenses a retirement IRA can cover, as well as the its effect on financial aid.

Retirement IRA's for College - Eligibility and Contribution Rules for a College IRA
An overview of who can contribute to and receive benefit from a Roth or Traditional IRA used for college expenses.

Retirement IRA's for College - Withdrawal Rules and Treatment of Unused Funds for a College IRA
Overview of the withdrawal rules for a Roth and Traditional IRA's used for education expenses, as well as the treatment of unused funds.

College Fund EFC - Planning Mistakes Made By Parents
A list of the top ten saving, investing, and financial aid mistakes made by parents planning for college for their children. College fund EFC.

Glossary of Financial Aid Terms for Parents
This is a resource for parents to understand the language of college financial aid to help your child get the most.

Resources for Financial Aid
When it comes to college financial aid, don't try to do it alone. Use the resources listed here to get the information you need.

Late Deadline Scholarships
Scholarships can help fill the gaps between college costs and college financial aid.

Changes to the Common Application
Students will use the Common App to apply for admission in the fall of 2016 need to be aware of certain changes.

Doing What You Enjoy Could Help Pay for College
No matter what you love doing in your free time, check to see if there are organizations that promote what you enjoy. Chances are there’s a scholarship for that!

The New and Improved Common App
These changes should make it a little easier to complete the Common App, but you still need to leave yourself plenty of time.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Final College Choice
Still on the fence about which college you want to attend? Ask yourself these 10 questions.

Schedule a Campus Visit for Spring Break
Talk to your parents about setting up some road trips now so you can get up close and personal with prospective colleges.

What to Do With Those Financial Aid Award Letters
Make sure you understand exactly what is included in each financial aid package.

Surviving the Summer With a College Student
As the parent, you still want control over how things happen in your home, but you also want to keep instilling a sense of independence and responsibility.

What Do College Admissions Officers Look for in Potential Students?
Here are a few things the admissions officers might be looking for, to help you feel more comfortable about what could happen.

Start Planning for the Last January FAFSA Now
This will be the last time the January FAFSA will be used, but it does not change the preparation students and their parents need to complete to be ready to submit it.

Making Tough Choices About Student Debt
Going to college is about learning to make decisions. Start now with learning how to make more well-informed decisions about student loans.

Money-Saving FAFSA Tips
Here are some money-saving tips that could help minimize your college costs and maximize the amount of college financial aid your child receive.

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Develop an Action Plan for Your Student Loans
Here are a few recommendations for dealing with both your federal and private student loan debt.

Smart Financial Moves for College Seniors
Take a few moments to learn valuable lessons which will help you get a sounder financial foundation in life.

Final Steps for Waitlisted Students
If you have not already moved on or been accepted by another college, here are a few final steps you can take to try to get accepted.

The First College Lesson: Student Loans
Student loan class is in session. Learn as much as possible about the realities of money now so you don’t get blindsided later.

You Cannot Get Federal Financial Aid Without a FAFSA
The federal government provides more than $150 billion in grants, work-study funds, and loans each year. The FAFSA is the gateway application.

How Incarceration Affects Financial Aid
The Dept. of Ed recently announced that approximately 12,000 incarcerated students will now be eligible for federal Pell Grants under a Second Chance Pilot Program.

Are You Eligible for a Disability Discharge for Your Student Loans?
It may sound like this is some big announcement, but the surprising part of this news is that the disability discharge program has been available all along.

Financial Aid Tips for Summer 2016
Decisions you make and actions you take could save thousands of dollars in the years ahead.

How to Find College Scholarships
College scholarships can bridge the gap between what it costs to attend a particular college and the amount of money you have available to pay for it.

A New Way to Access Federal Student Aid Online
There's a new way to get federal student aid information. Learn how your identity will be confirmed when accessing Department of Education websites.

Micro-Scholarships Help Take Bite Out of College Costs
A new scholarship resource rewards achievements along the way, and keeps students focused on the bigger prize of attending college.

Start Gathering College Cost Data Early
There is a lot of information to mull over that is both emotional and financial. You will need open discussions to decide which factors are most important to your family.

Get the FAFSA Facts
Perhaps you heard there is a “new” FAFSA, or that you’ll need to use older income information, but aren’t really sure what is going on.

Student Loan Tips From the Federal Government
Congratulations! You have graduated from college and are now the proud owner of a diploma, along with a pile of student loan bills.

Five College Scholarships for Musicians
A list of five music scholarships that every musical student should know about.

Study the Income-Driven Student Loan Repayment Options
You’ve heard there are repayment options but haven’t paid attention because it didn’t apply to you at the time.

Start Considering the Common App Now
Students who wish to apply for early action or early decision will now be able to factor financial aid awards into their final college choice.

Does a Gap Year Affect Financial Aid?
Although Malia Obama probably does not have to take the financial aspects of this decision into consideration, it can be a concern for other students.

Parents: How Much Money Should You Give or Loan Your College Student?
Most parents agree that they want their child to have the benefit of a college education, but the financial burden on the family can be quite onerous.

Money Decisions College Seniors Must Make Now
Here are some money decisions these college seniors can make now that will help propel them down the road to success.

Take Steps Now to Be Sure You Can Repay Those Student Loans
As May rolls around soon-to-be graduates start thinking about life after college. What lessons can next year’s crop of college freshmen learn from their experiences?

Are There Benefits to Letting Your Student Borrow for College?
If there is still a certain amount of expenses that will need to be covered through student loans, it's time to have a talk.

How To Select The “Best” College
Maybe you need to schedule a “college thinking and deciding” night where you put aside time, get together as a family unit, and lay it all out on the table.

Where to Search for Financial Aid Info
To help lessen some of the stress, here are a few good places you can search for financial aid information and start getting yourself up to speed.

Will The Every Student Succeeds Act Help Your Family?
The Act proposes holding students to higher academic standards in order to prepare them for the rigors of college and careers.

5 Things the Department of Ed Wants You to Know About Scholarships
Many scholarships awarded as part of your financial aid package will be sent directly to your college and applied to your tuition, with any leftover funds being sent on to you.

2016 College Planning Tips for Current High School Juniors
Here is what current high school juniors will need to do this year to be prepared for this major change in scheduling.

Five College-Related Challenges and How to Overcome Them
After all the activity of the fall semester, does it just feel like these last few months of your last year in high school are dragging on forever?

This Financial Aid Test Could Save You Money
Check your financial aid IQ with five true of false questions.

Scholarships for Nursing Students
If a nursing degree is your goal, but seems out of reach financially, you have to be aware of every opportunity to help pay for your schooling.

The Harvard Report on College Admissions
With the higher costs of education, a great deal of focus has been placed on finding a college which can lead to a high-paying job after graduation.

Celebrate Financial Aid Awareness Month with These Timely Tips
February is College Financial Aid Awareness Month! Believe it or not, your federal and state governments, as well as colleges, want you to afford going to college.

Use the Data Retrieval Tool to Complete the FAFSA
When its time to update the FAFSA, the Data Retrieval Tool is designed to eliminate all that hassle and reduce any confusion.

College Financial Aid and Presidential Politics
If you have a student that is already in college, or is about to attend college, it might be a good idea to pay attention to the race for President.

Let's Break This ESA Down
A review of the Coverdell Education Savings Account offered by E*Trade. Includes an analysis of fees, investment options, and required minimum balances.

Common FAFSA Mistakes
FAFSA mistakes can be time-consuming to correct, and may even keep you from receiving all of the college financial aid to which you are entitled.

Should Your Child Consider Joining the Military?
Many students consider joining the military out of patriotic duty, some are looking for direction & others believe it is a smart way of helping to pay for their college education.

Start Your College Essays Now
Here are a few tips to help you write essays that can really stand out to the admission committee.

Summer Tips for Visual and Performing Arts Students
High school students interested in studying the visual and performing arts in college might need to complete a few more requirements to be accepted into the college of their choice.

Things to Think About Before Taking Out Student Loans
Student loans are there for a purpose, and should be used. The only caveat is to use them wisely.

Things to Consider Before Transferring Colleges
There can be many reasons why students want to consider transferring from one college to another. Here are a few things to consider before making a move.

Start Your College Applications This Summer
A lot can be riding on your choice of college, so you want to put the best possible effort into it.

Don’t Let “Summer Melt” Spoil Your College Dreams
Here are a few ways to “keep cool” and stay on path towards your college career.

Plan to Make Some Campus Visits This Summer
Another school year is coming to a close and most students are thinking about their summer plans. Consider scheduling a few campus visits.

5 Things to Accomplish at College Fairs
Here are five things you can do to get the most out of a college fair opportunity!

5 Steps for Seniors to Take Before Leaving High School
For many HS seniors, it’s all over except the part where you get to throw your caps in the air at graduation. Here's a few last-minute tasks before you leave.

5 Financial Steps High School Seniors Can Take Now to Get Ready for College
Here are some steps high school seniors can take now which will help make the dream of financial security come true.

3 Things College Seniors Need to Know About Student Loans
If you are a college senior, things are starting to get pretty serious for you right now. Have you thought about your student loan repayment plan?

The Ups and Downs of 529 Plans
To keep you up-to-date, here is a review of some of the ups and downs of using a 529 Plan to help pay for your child’s education.

Student Loan Season
Here are the most important things you need to understand regarding student loans.

Keep on Top of Congressional Budget Activities
Are you aware of several possibilities which could impact your ability to pay for college.

Can Your College Acceptance Get Rescinded?
Here are a few things that might lead to having your college acceptance offer rescinded.

Financial Aid for Older College Students
Here are a few things you need to know about financial aid for non-traditional students.

Do You Know For Sure that You Can Pay for College?
Here are a few crucial pieces of information every student must have to help him or her decide whether a particular college is affordable.

Financial Aid Award Letters
Take some time to review financial aid award letters carefully, and then sit down with your student to discuss your options.

4-Year College Alternative #1 - Two Years of Community College
Many smart parents are strategically encouraging their kids to take two years of community college prior to going to the school of their choice. Here's an overview of the benefits and the finer points of convincing your student.

You May Be Eligible for Higher Education Tax Benefits
Tax Credits and Tax Deductions Help Offset Some of the Costs of College

Being Waitlisted Doesn’t Mean the End of Your College Dreams
Nobody likes to be waitlisted, but it doesn’t mean the end of the college world for you.

Four Factors Affecting College Costs
College acceptance letters and financial aid award packages should be coming in quickly now. What additional costs do you need to take into consideration?

Are You The First In Your Family to Attend College?
If you are a first generation college student, that figure seems pretty daunting, but here are a few insights that might help increase your chances of success.

The Benefits of Student Loan Counseling
Becoming informed about your student loan responsibilities now is a great way to prevent possible misunderstandings in the future.

Update on 529 Plans
529 savings plans can be used at virtually any accredited college or university in the U.S. and are an important part of the total college package.

Pell Grants - Another Reason to Complete The FAFSA Now
Never assume that you are not eligible for any type of financial aid. The only way to find out is completing the FAFSA now; you may be pleasantly surprised!

How Much Should Financial Aid Factor Into Your College Choice?
What factors should you take into consideration when making such an important decision? Certainly, money does have to play an important role.

Blog


District of Columbia Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for the District of Columbia financial aid programs.

Texas Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Texas financial aid programs.

Utah Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Utah financial aid programs.

Washington Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Washington financial aid programs.

Alaska Financial Aid Contact Information
Contact information for the primary agency providing state-based financial aid to Alaskan students.

Hawaii Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Hawaii financial aid programs.

Missouri Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Missouri financial aid programs.

Illinois Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Illinois financial aid programs.

Ohio Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Ohio financial aid programs.

Saving for College
All the info you need to calculate your future college costs, determine the savings needed to meet those costs, and choose the best investment options to get you there. Includes in-depth examinations of Section 529 Accounts, Coverdell ESA's, UGMA / UTMA accounts, and prepaid tuition programs

Financial Aid Basics
grants, scholarships, loans, work-study

Financial Aid
Financial aid programs are crucial in helping parents and students meet the high costs of a college education. This guide helps you to understand the different types of programs available, who qualifies for these programs, and how to apply for them. Topics covered in-depth include the various types of student loans, scholarships, and the Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA).

A Guide to the Various Types of College Savings Accounts
In-depth profiles and information about the various types of college savings accounts. Includes Section 529 plans, Coverdell ESA's, UGMA / UTMA Custodial Accounts, US Savings Bonds, Roth IRA's, and traditional savings accounts.

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
A directory of student loan forgiveness programs around the country, sorted by profession. Includes details on each program and links to their official sites.

Other Funding Sources
Information and program details for alternative sources of college funds. Includes a review of the UPromise program, the Montgomery GI Bill, Work-Study programs, and retirement plan loans.

Search For Scholarships By State, School, Major, and Affiliation
Quick and simple overviews of scholarships sorted by category (state, school, major, or affiliation). All scholarship listings include award amount, eligibility, application deadlines, and contact information. New listings added every week.

Profile and Overview of Section 529 College Accounts
In-depth profiles and information about Section 529 Savings and Prepaid Tuition plans.

Tax Breaks for College
An easy-to-read guide covering the tax deductions and credits offered by the IRS to help lower the cost of a college education. This comprehensive guide includes the Hope Scholarship, Lifetime Learning Credit, and student loan interest deduction. It also looks at which costs are not deductible and how the rules apply to parents with multiple children in college at one time.

A Guide To Navigating the Financial Aid Application Process
Applying for financial aid can be overwhelming. This easy-to-understand guide helps you to understand the basic steps, required forms, and common mistakes.

Profile and Overview of Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA's)
In-depth profile and information on Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA), formerly known as the Education IRA.

Loan Forgiveness for Doctors and Nurses
Directory of student loan forgiveness programs for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

Pennsylvania Scholarships - Scholarships for PA Students
Scholarships and grants for college students from or attending school in Pennsylvania.

Scholarships by Major
Directory of scholarships by major and area of study.

Reviews of Each State's Section 529 Savings and Prepaid Tuition Plans
There are over sixty Section 529 Savings and Prepaid Tuition plans. Each plan has its own unique features, rules, benefits, and drawbacks. Be sure to read our in-depth reviews before deciding on a plan.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs
Directory of Federal and state teacher loan forgiveness programs. Includes details on each program and links to each program's official site.

Types of College Account Investments
In addition to the many types of college accounts parents can choose from, there are also many different types of investments parents must choose from. This category gives in-depth profiles of the various types of investments that could be used in Section 529, Coverdell ESA, Custodial, and Trust Accounts.

Understanding the Different Types of Student Loan Programs
Provides an overview of the different types of student loans available to help pay for college, as well as taking an in-depth look at each individual program.

Blogs Related To College Planning, Personal Finance, and Parenting
Links to the different blogs I enjoy reading that are related to planning for college, personal finances, and parenting.

State Income Tax Deductions for Section 529 Contributions
In addition to the Federal tax benefits offered to taxpayers for payment of college tuition, many states offer a deduction or credit as well. This section provides a state-by-state overview for claiming or using the deduction or credit available from certain states.

UPromise Partner Profiles (Rated by About.com Users)
User-rated profiles of the companies that partner with the free UPromise program to help parents save for college every time they shop. UPromise partners with over 8,500 national chains, restaurants, and websites, and has helped parents earn millions of dollars in tuition simply by shopping at their favorite stores.

Alabama Section 529 Plan Reviews
Overview, rules, advantages, and disadvantages of using Section 529 plans offered by the state of Alabama.

Reviews of the Coverdell ESA's Available Through Different Brokers
Not all Coverdell ESA's are created equal. Before opening an account at a brokerage house or bank, be sure to check out our review of the features, minimums, and fees.

Florida Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs
Directory of Florida loan forgiveness programs for teachers. Program profiles include forgiveness amounts, academic subject areas, length of service and application requirements.

National Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Doctors and Nurses
Directory of national loan forgiveness programs for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

Texas 529 Plan Reviews and Contact Information
Reviews and contact information for all Texas 529 Plans.

FAQ's About the Financial Aid Process
List of frequently asked questions about applying and qualifying for financial aid.

Arkansas Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs
Directory of Arkansas teacher loan forgiveness programs. Program profiles include forgiveness amounts, academic subject areas, length of service and application requirements.

California Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs
Directory of California teacher loan forgiveness programs. Program profiles include forgiveness amounts, academic subject areas, length of service and application requirements.

Iowa Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs
Directory of Iowa teacher loan forgiveness programs. Program profiles include forgiveness amounts, academic subject areas, length of service and application requirements.

Texas Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs
Directory of Texas teacher loan forgiveness programs. Program profiles include forgiveness amounts, academic subject areas, length of service and application requirements.

State-by-State Directory of Financial Aid Contact Info
Directory of contact info for each state's financial aid agency for college students.

New Mexico Scholarships - Financial Aid for NM Students
Scholarships and grants for college students from or attending school in New Mexico.

South Dakota Scholarships
Directory of scholarships for South Dakota college students.

FAQ's About the Your Student Loans
Frequently asked questions about student loans, repayment plans, interest rates, deferment, forbearance, etc.

User-Rated Reviews of UPromise Car & Auto Partners
Guide and user-rated reviews of car and auto companies that contribute to your child's college savings account every time you spend.

A Guide To Determining What College Will Cost and How Much To Save
This guide takes the guesswork out of calculating how much a college education will cost a family. Includes instructions on calculating the future costs of college as well as the necessary savings to reach specific goals.

Debt & Credit Blogs
Excessive debt and poor credit can create problems both saving for college and for new graduates. These are some personal and professional blogs I enjoy about people's experiences getting out of debt.

Blogs About Frugal Living
Some great blogs about cutting costs and living frugally - both things that parents saving or paying for college often have to do!

Guide To The U.S. Economy and How It Affects Your College Funds
Basic explanations of how the different aspects of the economy affect your family's college funds.

Student Loan Repayment Programs and Options
Articles and information about the various student loan repayment options offered by both public and private lenders. Includes information on programs to lower your monthly student payment.

Weekly Listing Of Scholarships By Study or Background
Archive of my weekly listing of unique scholarships for different types of students, studies, and situations.

Online Calculators & Quizzes to Help You Plan For College Costs
Links to calculators and quizzes that take the guesswork out of college expenses, savings, and financial aid. All links include an explanation of how to use the calculators, as well as other factors to consider when using them.

Guide to Getting Professional Help With College Planning and Expenses
A guide to the various types of professionals that can help you plan and save for college, as well as maximize your financial aid. Includes information on the professional credentials to look for, the typical fees and services provided, as well as common scams.

Glossary and Definitions of Financial Terms
Contains definitions and explanations for many of the terms used in the

A Guide to the Costs and Benefits of a Pre-College Private Education
A helpful guide to making an informed decision about the costs and benefits of a pre-college private education. Includes information on tuition costs, effects on college acceptances / scholarships, and rules on using colleges accounts early.

A Guide to Lowering Your Annual College Costs
Information on how to avoid paying

News and Updates About College Costs and Savings Accounts
A guide to the constantly changing world of college costs and planning. Includes updated information on loan programs, savings accounts, college tuition rates, and scholarships.

Massachusetts Financial Aid Programs Contact Info
Contact information for Massachusetts financial aid programs.

Alaska Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs
Directory of Alaska teacher loan forgiveness programs. Program profiles include forgiveness amounts, academic subject areas, length of service and application requirements.

Guide To The U.S. Economy and How It Affects Your College Funds
Basic explanations of how the different aspects of the economy affect your family's college funds.

Penn State Scholarships - Scholarships for Penn State Students (PA)
Scholarships and grants for undergraduate and graduate students at Penn State. Scholarship listings include award amount, eligibility, application deadline, and contact information.

Special Needs Scholarships
Scholarships for students with special needs.

Texas 529 Plan Reviews and Contact Information
Reviews and contact information for all Texas 529 Plans.