The College Whisperer™ | Navigating The Road To College

Showing category "Paying for College" (Show all posts)

On Turkeys, Tuition, & Trolling For Scholarships

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, In : Paying for College 

Almost time to stick that Thanksgiving turkey in the oven (and can that Christmas music be far behind?). [By all rights, if the heralding of Christmas (1 day) begins the day after Halloween, the festivities for Chanukah (8 days) should start right after Valentine's Day. Just sayin'... ]

Early Action. Early Action II (like hitting the snooze button?]. Regular Decision.Now is the time to put those finishing touches on the yet unsubmitted applications. Dot the i's. Cross the t's. Answer the optio...


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Info On FAFSA for 2018-19

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, September 14, 2017, In : Paying for College 



The FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2018-19 school year launches on October 1. [Just like Common App went "live" on August 1, that doesn't mean you should complete and submit the first day, or even the first couple of weeks. Give FAFSA time to work out the kinks, like the issues with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which was hacked last year.]

YES, you WILL be submitting the FAFSA, regardless of income and assets, real or perceived. Colleges use the FAFSA to calculate...


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Guide To FAFSA | FAFSA Deadlines

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, In : Paying for College 

FAFSA COMES EARLY FOR 2017-18!
 
Two important reads regarding the completion and submission of the FAFSA, the starting point for college financial aid...
 
Filing The FAFSA: The Edvisors' Guide to Completing The Free Application for Federal Student Aid
 
3 Types of FAFSA Deadlines You Should Pay Attention To
 
And for those who are applying to colleges that require the submission of the CSS Profile (in addition to FAFSA, required by all colleges, every year), read on:

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FAFSA | Don't Pay For College Without It!

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, October 1, 2016, In : Paying for College 

Yes, FAFSA! Required by every college, not only for student loans, Work-Study, and federal grants, but, in many instances, for institutional aid, including the colleges' own scholarships and merit awards!

FAFSA FACTUAL

FAFSA COMES EARLY FOR 2017-2018! Launch is October 1 of current year, rather than January 1 of next year.

Who must submit FAFSA?
 YOU must submit FAFSA!

Incoming freshmen/Current high school seniors.
 Complete and submit your first FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year on or after Octobe...


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Before You Say YES To Any College. . .

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, December 23, 2015, In : Paying for College 

A word to the wise regarding those college acceptances -- wait until AFTER you receive your financial aid awards from ALL colleges you've been accepted to, BEFORE you say YES to any college!

The next step in the college admissions game (after you've submitted the last of your applications) is to get the money you need to pay for college. 

If you have received that coveted letter (or email, text, Tweet) and you've been accepted to the college of your choice, congrats! Now sit back, relax, an...


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FAFSA | Just Do It!

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, December 3, 2015, In : Paying for College 

Yes, FAFSA! [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] Required by every college, not only for student loans, Work-Study, and federal grants, but, in many instances, for institutional aid, including the colleges' own scholarships and merit awards!

FAFSA FACTUAL

Who must submit FAFSA? YOU must submit FAFSA!

Incoming college freshmen/Current high school seniors. Complete and submit your first FAFSA for the 2016-17 school year on or after January 1, 2016*.

Those already in college. Graduate students...


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None So Need-Blind: The College Fin Aid Conundrum

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, In : Paying for College 

Much has been bantered about, in social media, on campus, and around the family dinner table, on the subject of paying for college. Rightfully so, at a time when college seems out of reach for all but the uber-wealthy and those living in abject poverty.

So the question is often asked, "Do colleges consider financial need when making admission decisions?"

Many colleges, in fact, most, boast that they are "need-blind" in the admissions process, meaning that they do not consider whether you will n...


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Paying For College: The Financial Aid Shell Game

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, April 9, 2015, In : Paying for College 

“...How can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes? First.. get a million dollars...” -- Steve Martin

The financial aid “gurus” love to tell you that they can lower college costs, get you more money for college, and find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Everything from shifting assets to Aunt Dottie and Uncle Moe, to deferring contributions to your retirement accounts, in the collegiate equivalent of the street corner shell game. Now you see money for college. Now you don’t!...


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Jump Start Your College Scholarship Search!

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, In : Paying for College 

College scholarships. Read as, FREE money for college!

You’ve read about them. You’ve heard about them. You may even get emails, texts, and Tweets to apply for them. But what are you doing to actually get a college scholarship -- or two, or three, or four?

In all likelihood, not much, if anything at all.

“Oh, no one every wins those.” “You have to be poor to get a scholarship.” “Too much work.” “Wait. There are scholarships?”

You’ve heard the excuses. And no, it may not be e...


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Tying Up Loose Ends On The Financial Aid Front

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, February 5, 2015, In : Paying for College 

Welcome to February! The Ground Hog has seen your college application and... Okay, you tell me what the Ground Hog said. 

Meanwhile, on the financial aid front, a few tips and critical reminders:

- You MUST submit a “CORRECTED” FAFSA once you have filed your 2014 income tax returns. [The FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is now available. It may be utilized approximately 10-days after you file your federal tax return, if filed electronically.]

- If you will be attending a college physically lo...


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Free College. An Idea Whose Time Has Come -- Again!

Posted by College Connection on Monday, January 12, 2015, In : Paying for College 

Back in the day, when I was a student at Queens College, the jewel in the crown of the City University of New York (CUNY), there was no tuition. A college education was, in fact, “free.”

I remember, when during the course of my tenure at QC, CUNY administrators instituted what they believed to be a modest “consolidated fee” of $250. Oh, the tumult created on campus. The near hysteria. The protests on the quad, orchestrated, as I recall, by the then president of the University Senate, J...


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Turning Winter Break Into Money For College

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, December 24, 2014, In : Paying for College 

Be productive during your winter break from high school or college. Search and apply for college scholarships! [Scholarships are not just for high school seniors, or students already in college. Yes, there are scholarships open to high school juniors, sophomores, and even freshmen.] Check out fastweb.commeritaid.com, and zinch.com, for starters. 

College Prowler
one of the premier college scholarship search engines, is now Niche. More scholarship opportunities. Better matches. Increased opp...


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Earning Scholarship Money For College (While You're Still In High School)

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, December 16, 2014, In : Paying for College 

Getting in to the college of your choice (yes, we'll help you do that) is one thing. Finding the money to pay for college can be quite another matter (and we'll help you there, as well)!

Most high school seniors -- at least the ones we work with -- understand that the bulk of scholarship (read as,
 FREE) money does not come from either the colleges or the government, but rather, from outside sources such as corporations, foundations, community-based organizations, and the like....


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Next Up, FAFSA!

Posted by College Connection on Monday, December 8, 2014, In : Paying for College 

Applying to college for the fall of 2015? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA! [FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, can be completed and submitted on or after January 1.]

Already in college and planning to attend college or grad school in the fall of 2015?
 
YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA! [Yes, FAFSA MUST be submitted each year for the following school year.]

Been awarded a scholarship from a college or want to apply for scholarships offered by a college? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA!

Vying for merit...

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What Cost, College?

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, November 15, 2014, In : Paying for College 

Factored into what colleges you should apply to, and, ultimately, which college to attend, must be the cost of four or more years of higher education. [How's that money tree doing?]

So, how does one cut through that seemingly bottomless pit of calculating the true cost of college, let alone comparing the bottom line of one college to another? And, once the cost of college is revealed, where does one find the funds to foot the bill?

First Step, College Cost Calculators.
 All coll...


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Guest Post: Make Your Scholarship Application Stand Out

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, In : Paying for College 

From time to time, we present guest posts here on The College Whispererblog, offering viewpoints, insights and opinions that may complement or even differ from our own.

Today, we are pleased to bring you a guest post written by Jocelyn Paonita, a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina ("debt free," we might add), and author of The Scholarship System: 6 Simple Steps on How to Win Scholarships and Secure Financial Aid, with some essential pointers on acing that scholarship applic...

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College Scholarships: Sweeter Than The Sweet Sixteen

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, In : Paying for College 

The brackets will soon be set in stone for college basketball's 64, with the March Madness countdown to the Sweet 16 and the Final Four, but how about the money you need to foot that tuition bill?

Now that the college acceptance letters are beginning to roll in, The College Whisperer is amazed by just how many college-bound students abandon the search for money to pay for college.

Sure, you've filed your FAFSA (hopefully), and registered at Fastweb and other scholarship search engines, but h...
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A Shopping List Of College Costs

Posted by College Connection on Monday, January 13, 2014, In : Paying for College 

First came the Net Price Calculator. Then came the College Score Card. Means of comparing and contrasting college costs, which, all too often, turned out to be akin to comparing the cost of apples to the cost of a brand new Ferrari.

And now, enter the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, a tool designed to inform students, and their parents, as to the details of their financial aid awards. 

Ahh. Could it be that after slogging through the CSS Profile (enough to make a financial analyst's head spin) an...
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Got College? Get A (529) Plan!

Posted by College Connection on Monday, January 6, 2014, In : Paying for College 

We all know just how important it is to plan for college. Choosing the right colleges to apply to, and, ultimately, that one college that is the right fit for you. Developing and writing a compelling essay. Finessing those college applications and supplement. Conquering the Common App. Avoiding the pitfalls. Navigating the detours. Handling the stress and anxiety. Keeping from being overwhelmed by that crazy whirlwind of a ride they call the college application and admissions game. [Of course...
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It's FAFSA Time!

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, January 4, 2014, In : Paying for College 

College Connection
, your one-stop source for college planning, counseling, guidance and support, is now scheduling appointments for the preparation and submission of FAFSAthe Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Applying to college for the fall of 2014? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA!

Already in college and planning to attend college or grad school in the fall of 2014? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA! [Yes, FAFSA MUST be submitted each year for the following school year.]

Been awarded a scholarship fr...
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Don't Leave Scholarship Money On The Table!

Posted by College Connection on Monday, November 18, 2013, In : Paying for College 

You've been accepted by the college of your choice. Congrats!

They've even offered you a handsome scholarship (that's free money, folks), if only you'd say yes. Neat!

You consider all offers from the colleges you've applied to, weigh the financial aid awards, and you accept. Way to go!

Come August, as you are packing your belongings for the trip to campus, that tuition bill arrives in the mail (or, more likely, by way of email alert advising that your semester invoice is available for viewing vi...

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CSS Profile, FAFSA, and Financial Aid

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, September 26, 2013, In : Paying for College 

Part and parcel of the college planning and counseling process is helping you find -- and apply for -- the money to pay for college.

Some have already started searching and applying for "outside" scholarships (bravo!), while others will do so over the course on the ensuing weeks and months. [Alas, most will never bother to mine for the money, and many who do, without an assist, will be looking to chisel in to the mother load with a toothpick!] 

Aside from scholarship searches (and actually ...


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Scholarships: The Antidote To Rising Student Loan Debt

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, In : Paying for College 

While the folks in Congress have done absolutely nothing to stop the interest rates on subsidized student loans from doubling (yes, we said DOUBLING, from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1), students can help themselves reduce, and even eliminate student debt by diligently searching and applying for college scholarships.

Start while you're still in high school (there are even college scholarships that high school freshman can qualify for), and continue throughout your college career (after all, that tuit...
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Another Senator Takes Aim At Student Loan Rates

Posted by College Connection on Monday, May 20, 2013, In : Paying for College 

We recently reported on the efforts of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to link federal direct student loan rates to the discount rates paid by banks (currently 0.75%).

Now comes Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) with a measure of her own -- one which would permit students to refinance their government loans at 4%.

While we certainly prefer 0.75% to 4%, these rates are better than 6.8% (current rate for unsubsidized loans, and rate to which subsidized loans will climb on July 1 unless Congress a...
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Measure Introduced To Cut Student Loan Interest Rate To Same As Paid By Banks

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, May 9, 2013, In : Paying for College 

It's no secret that banks pay ridiculously low rates to borrow money (currently 0.75%, based on the discount rates banks pay to the Federal Reserve). At the same time, college students pay considerably more in interest (3.4% for subsidized loans and 6.8% for unsubsidized) when they borrow money for school under the feds direct student loan program.

Imagine that. Big banks -- the folks who brought our nation's economy to the brink -- get a most favorable, nearly unheard of rate from the feds, w...
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March Mad(ness) Money -- Revisited

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, In : Paying for College 

Every year around this time we touch upon the critical need for students to search and apply for scholarships (read as, FREE money), both from institutional sources (once they know which college they will attend), AND, from outside sources, where billions of dollars in scholarship money lies in wait for the eager applicant.

So this post is well worth repeating, as is the advice contained herein well worth heeding. Keep up that search for scholarship money. Apply. Apply. Apply!

Remember, the dea...
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Beware The Collegiate Industrial Complex

Posted by College Connection on Monday, February 25, 2013, In : Paying for College 


The year was 1961. Then President and former General of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower, addressing a nation about to embark upon a journey toward a new frontier, warned Americans to beware the military industrial complex, an interlocking directorate, fueled by blind ambition and unfettered arrogance.

"We face a hostile ideology -- global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method," said Eisenhower, referring, of course, to Communism. Our response, he postul...


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Watch The Webinar: "How To Finance College"

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, In : Paying for College 

Did you miss the Newsday webinar on how to pay for your college education?

No worries. Watch it right here, via the link below.

Use the COLLEGE CONNECTION email address -- info@CollegeConnect.info -- as your login.
- - -
Newsday College Prep Talk Free Webinar on "How To Finance College"
The original event was broadcast on:
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Duration: 60-minutes

http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=561393&s=1&k=CE474C5C5481AED2DF6FF6ECDDD9CB49 

Plan. Prepare. Prevail!

The...


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Scholarships? Yup, There's An App For That!

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, February 7, 2013, In : Paying for College 

Nowadays, it seems as though there's an App for almost everything. Shopping. Banking. Restaurants. You name it.

So, it should come as no surprise that, in addition to those Apps that help you search for colleges (among them, College Confidential), there are Apps that let you find, match, save and share college scholarships. Why, there's even an App to help you find parking on campus! [Clearly, they never looked for parking at Queens College. :-)

For anyone who visits the Apple Store online, or ...
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How To Finance College -- Free Webinar

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, February 3, 2013, In : Paying for College 

Getting into college is a challenge. Paying for it?

Well, when it comes to the money you need to cover tuition, room and board, books, not to mention Fraternity or Sorority dues (we never said a word :-), unless you've got a money tree in the backyard, or have saved since your high school kid was in vitro (and even then), you need all the expert guidance and advice you can get.

And so, aside from that which you may glean from The College Whisperer blog, or through our independent college co...
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How NOT To Get Money For College

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, In : Paying for College 

With billions of dollars of scholarship and grant money (read as, "free money you never have to pay back") out there for the taking, and everyone from Guidance Counselors to financial planners telling you how to get your hands on a good chunk of it (not that you listen :-), we figured we'd tell you how to go about NOT getting any money for college.

That's right. Here's the consummate "How NOT To" when it comes to paying for college!

Just follow these simple steps and you will be guaranteed to g...
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Show Me The Money (For College)!

Posted by College Connection on Friday, January 4, 2013, In : Paying for College 

It's time once again to apply for the College Prowler "No Essay" $2000 Scholarship! [Actually, it's that time once every month!]

And speaking of scholarships...

Whether you're in college, applying to college or only beginning to think about college, you should be searching and applying for scholarships, grants and other "free" money via scholarship search engines such as fastweb, MeritAid and Zinch. Remember, you've got to be in it to win it! [There are many other avenues for college gelt shoul...
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Need Money For College? Think FAFSA!

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, December 23, 2012, In : Paying for College 

FAFSA. It's where the money is!

Applying to college for the fall of 2013? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA!

Already in college and planning to attend in the fall of 2013? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA! [Yes, FAFSA MUST be submitted each year for the following school year.]

Been awarded a scholarship from a college or want to apply for many of the scholarships offered? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA!

Vying for merit aid or looking for need-based aid? YOU NEED TO SUBMIT FAFSA!

Simply put, when it comes ...


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Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, December 9, 2012, In : Paying for College 


Or about FAFSA!
 

FAFSA -- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- must be completed (on or after January 1) for the consideration of a financial aid award (both need-based and merit) from almost every college, including those schools requiring the submission of the CSS Profile.  

WHO MUST FILE FAFSA:

1. Those who will be first time students (Freshmen) in fall, 2013;
2. Those who will be returning students (Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, Graduate) in fall, 2013;
3. Students who want to...


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Don't Go Over The College Fiscal Cliff

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, November 22, 2012, In : Paying for College 

With college costs rising, and the amount of student debt ($1 trillion and climbing) off the charts, it is not only the fiscal cliff we hear about on the news that concerns us. The college fiscal cliff looms large on the horizon, and, for some, the abyss below beckons as parents and students hover, not unlike Wile E. Coyote, suspended over that void which threatens to suck every last dollar out of both wallet and bank account.

While we have little (okay, we have some) control over college cost...
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Just Because You're Already In College. . .

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, In : Paying for College 

. . .Doesn't Mean You Should Stop looking For Money To Pay For It!

Unless you have a full ride, or a money tree in the backyard that wasn't felled by Hurricane Sandy/Nor'Easter Athena, those tuition bills and related college expenses keep on coming -- after the freshman year, sophomore year and senior year (and sometimes well beyond that)!
 
So, too, should (MUST) the strident search for scholarships, grants and other sources of financial aid continue once you are in college.
 
That sa...

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Paying For College With Other People's Money

Posted by College Connection on Monday, November 12, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Hope everyone is recovering, or at least coping, after Sandy and Athena. [We are keeping an eye out here on Long Island for the locust, which we presume will be coming our way any day now. :-)]

Just wanted to remind you to apply for the monthly, No Essay Required, $2000 Scholarship at College Prowler. http://www.fastweb.com/college-scholarships/scholarships/159911-college-prowler-2000-no-essay-scholarship

This is truly a no-brainer, and, as those who use the services of COLLEGE CONNECTION know,...
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If A College Isn't Offering You Money...

Posted by College Connection on Friday, October 19, 2012, In : Paying for College 

...Why Should You Give Them Yours?

We all know that college is expensive (some more expensive than others), with tuition and related costs rising nearly every year (this past year, by about 3% on average). As for college debt -- as they say in Brooklyn, fuggetaboutit!

Recently, Princeton Review came out with a list of the ten schools with the worst financial aid packages. On the flip side of the proverbial coin are colleges that are said to offer the best financial aid awards, which, by the way...
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You May Well Need An Abacus To Calculate The Cost Of College

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Those Net Price Calculators on college websites driving you crazy? Comparing apples to oranges would be easier? Lost in the transliteration?

Maybe what you need is a good old-fashioned abacus. Or a new-fangled abacus of the Internet variety.

Find and compare college costs at CollegeAbacus.com. As per their Mission Statement, "Abacus provides a free and secure service to its users, enabling them to compare their projected financial aid packages across schools and to identify schools within their...
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National College Affordability Week

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 8, 2012, In : Paying for College 

An important message from our friends at StudentDebtCrisis.org:

This week is National College Affordability Week! From October 8th-12th we’re joining
Young Invinciblesand partners across the country to participate in rallies, town hall meetings, panel discussions and online chats to talk about the cost of higher education.


Follow us @DebtCrisisOrgand @YI_Care all week to voice your opinion!

Monday: The Tuition's Too Damn High

A Facebook video challenge where you answer the question: "What is...


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One Year Later: Are College Net Price Calculators Working?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 1, 2012, In : Paying for College 

P.B. of Plainview, NY writes:

I've been trying to figure out college costs by using the Net Price Calculators as appear on most college websites. Are they accurate?

The College Whisperer responds:

Ah, yes. The Net Price Calculator. Created for the good of the college student (and his/her parents). But have we instead created a Frankenstonian distopia?

Assuming (and you know what happens when we do that) every college used the very same calculator, taking into account exactly the same factors...
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Now More Than Ever, You Need A 529 Plan

Posted by College Connection on Friday, September 7, 2012, In : Paying for College 

College Savings Plans -- so-called 529 Plans -- were all the rage a decade ago. A tax-advantaged, low-cost vehicle to save money for college.

Then, the bottom fell out of the economy, and suddenly, or so it would seem, folks stopped saving for college. And now, they're paying the price -- literally and figuratively.

That's too bad, because those who started saving, and those who have continued to save, have, in most instances, even in a fluctuating and sometimes volatile market, seen their inv...
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Out of the Ryan Plan, Into the Fire!

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, In : Paying for College 


M.R. of Mineola, NY writes:

My daughter will be starting college this fall and has been offered a financial aid package conditioned upon "verification," a process through which I am asked to release, among other financial statements, my income tax returns. I didn't make $20 million dollars last year. I do not have any money hidden away in off-shore bank accounts. Can I simply pull a Romney and skirt the issue of tax returns?

The College Whisperer responds:

Your question is fraught with major po...


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July 1, Everything Changed (for Student Loans)

Posted by College Connection on Friday, August 10, 2012, In : Paying for College 

S.C. of Merrick, NY writes: I'm hearing so many things about changes to student loans, particularly the Stafford loans. I'm so confused. Could you clear the air?

The College Whisperer replies:

Clearing the air, as far as Congress is concerned, would take a heck of a lot more Febreze® than student loans could possibly pay for. That said, here's the low down on the changes to Direct Student Loans the feds enacted effective July 1, 2012, courtesy of our friends at the Student Loan Network:

No more...

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The Cure for College Debt?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, August 6, 2012, In : Paying for College 

We said it before, and we'll say it again. The best way to get out of college debt is to avoid it in the first place! Fewer (if any) loans. More grants and scholarships. Attending colleges that are within reach, both academically and financially.

Of course, until there's a cure for college debt, with colleges assessing reasonable, common sense tuition, financing that college education is a significant undertaking, and a major worry.

Though certainly no panacea in eliminating college debt in its...
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Target Your Scholarship Search

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Okay, so you've started to look for the big bucks in college scholarship money. Good for you! But don't overlook the small change -- or even the loose change hidden behind the cushions of the sofa. It all adds up!

Yes, the tedium of the search. The burden of the essays. The agony of defeat. Oh, ye of little faith...

Sure, it's summer. Who wants to apply for countless scholarships? [You do!] Who needs to spend hours on end mining the scholarship search engines? [Again, that would be you!] Who ne...
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The Best Time To Apply For College Scholarships

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, July 19, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Michelle of Mineola, NY asks: My daughter is going into her Junior year in high school. When is the best time to apply for college scholarships?

The College Whisperer replies: Great question, Carolyn. Answer? NOW!

Yes, it is rarely too soon to begin that scholarship search, and never too early to start saving for college.

While many students wait until they are in the throes of the college application process to even inquire about scholarships, grants and financial aid in general (and, unfort...
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Can't Pay Your Student Loan? Move!

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, In : Paying for College 

From time to time, The College Whisperer publishes posts of guest bloggers, whose musings may be of interest and/or benefit to our readers.

Today, a guest post from Maureen (no last name, like Cher and Madonna, just Maureen) on the timely (and costly) topic of paying off college loans.

Enjoy!
- - -

How To Have Someone Else Help Pay Off College Loans
By Maureen

One of the biggest recent changes in college education is the level of debt that many students build up while they get their degrees. ABC ...


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Support The Student Loan Forgiveness Act

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, July 8, 2012, In : Paying for College 

J.R. of Albertson, NY writes:

I've heard talk of a Bill in Congress that would provide much needed relief to college students in the form of student loan forgiveness. Could you elaborate?

The College Whisperer replies:

Much more than just talk on the college loan forgiveness front. Indeed, the House of Representatives has before it key legislation -- know as the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 -- which would, in effect, erase college loan indebtedness for many students.

In part, the Act wo...

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Heightened Interest On The Student Loan Front

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, June 23, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Interest rates on home loans may be at the lowest levels ever, but the feds are tightening up, raising rates and limiting grace periods on Direct loans to students, many of whom are already over their heads in college and graduate school debt.

Note the following changes to Direct Student Loans:

Direct Subsidized loans will not be eligible for an interest subsidy during the six-month grace period.

  • Subsidized loans are loans for which the borrower is not responsible for the interest while t...


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Till College Debt Do Us Part?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, May 14, 2012, In : Paying for College 

The New York Times reports that which most college students -- and their parents -- already know too well: Student loan debt is out of control! [Read, A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College.]

More than $1 trillion in outstanding student debt, and that number is rising.

Of course, with tuition alone topping $50,000 at some colleges, and rising every year, despite an ailing and stagnant economy, and internal scholarship dollars as awarded by these same institutions shrinking, is it a...
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A FAFSA Correction Corrected

Posted by College Connection on Friday, March 16, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Or, Why You Should Always Question What The Government Tells You!

Recently, the feds at FAFSA sent out emails to students who submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) reminding them to submit a corrected FAFSA once their tax returns have been filed.

Here's the email:

When you completed your 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you indicated that you were going to file your taxes and were providing estimated 2011 tax information.  Now that the federal ...
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March Mad(ness) Money

Posted by College Connection on Friday, March 16, 2012, In : Paying for College 

The brackets are set in stone for college basketball's 64, but how about the money you need to foot that tuition bill?

Now that the college acceptance letters are beginning to roll in, The College Whisperer is amazed by just how many college-bound students abandon the search for money to pay for college.

Sure, you've filed your FAFSA (hopefully), and registered at Fastweb and other scholarship search engines, but has your quest for college cash ended there?

Visit and revisit those college schola...

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On Advice Of Counsel

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Just when you thought the paperwork that has followed you throughout your college career was over. More paperwork...

Seems this nation, and our beloved government, in particular, is enamored with paper -- even if it is electronic. Forms. Questionnaires. Surveys. Documents of every kind and of infinite duration. Endless, too often incomprehensible paperwork, rendering the Paperwork Reduction Act just another Congressional blunder, and the act of completing required forms more or less meaningles...
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Scholarships Are Not Just For High School Seniors

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, January 15, 2012, In : Paying for College 

If you know a high school senior, well then, you are well aware of their hectic schedules applying to colleges, searching for scholarships, and biting their nails waiting for admission decisions. [High school seniors should also be preparing their financial aid forms, including FAFSA.]
 
But what about high school juniors?
 
Even though they are not applying, they should be preparing. That means lining up engaging courses to take in the senior year, embarking on those meaningful extracur...

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"Best Values" In Public Colleges?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, January 9, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Perhaps. Then again, "best," let alone "value," is in the eye -- and wallet -- of the beholder!

Yes, it's time to take that large grain of salt again, as those lists of "bests" are being compiled and disseminated.

Starting the year off is Kiplinger Magazine (because, we suppose, publishing lists sells magazines) with its Best Values in Public Colleges.

Dare we ask the question, Best for whom? Best programs? Best courses? Best endowments? Best in research? Best dining options? Best underground b...
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If This Is January, It Must Be FAFSA

Posted by College Connection on Friday, December 30, 2011, In : Paying for College 

Yes, the new year. And with it, resolutions, fresh starts, W-2s in the mail, and the annual preparation and submission of college financial aid forms.

January marks the official start of the college financial aid season (though the eager high school student started searching and applying for scholarships weeks, if not months ago),
 and we now usher in that hallowed time for the preparation, completion and submission of FAFSA, CSS-Profile (for those colleges and scholarship programs requiring sa...
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The Best FAFSA Post, Ever!

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, In : Paying for College 

Our friend and colleague, Michael Szerak of College Counseling for the Rest of Us, is known for his poignant commentary and timely posits. True to form, he has hit that proverbial nail on the head yet again, this time on the topic near and dear to all those in search of the almighty dollar (or was that a buck fifty?) to pay for college: FAFSA -- the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid.

Check out this informative, accurate and undeniably essential post on the DOs and DON'Ts of FAFSA, entit...
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Free FAFSA Webinar December 7th

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, November 20, 2011, In : Paying for College 

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) will host a FREE Webinar on Wednesday, December 7 on the essentials of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), while also highlighting application and program changes to the 2012-13 FAFSA.
 
The annual completion and submission of FAFSA is required by almost every college and university in order to be considered for scholarships, grants, Work-Study and Federal Loans (including Stafford Loans).
 
Learn more a...

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College Financing: The Bonds That Tie

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 31, 2011, In : Paying for College 

To read the full page ad in Sunday's The New York Times, one would think that the Ohio State University, home of the Buckeyes, was issung 100-year bonds (they reach maturity in a century) to help students pay for their college educations.

"BUT FOR OHIO STATE," touts the ad's headline, "a new standard would not have been set for financing public education."

While it is not unusual for public universities to issue bonds to pay for both short and long term capital projects -- dormatories, classroo...
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Calculating The Real Cost Of College

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 24, 2011, In : Paying for College 

Tuition. Room & Board. Books. Transportation. Incidentals. [Ah yes. Incidentals. Didn't think of those, did ya?]

What is the REAL cost of attending college? How close were those "guesstimates" to financial reality?

For years, many colleges, and a host of college-related websites, have posted so-called college cost calculators, aimed at helping the confused and tormented become even more so.

Calculations, often skewed and seldom accurate, were of little use in determining what money would be made...
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Calculating The True Cost of College

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, August 21, 2011, In : Paying for College 

So, what will four years -- or more -- on campus (or off) really cost you?

Until now, the cost of a college education -- from tuition, room and board to textbooks and those "incidentals," like transportation and toothpaste -- has been, pretty much, a guesstimate, at best.

Sure, there's an app for this and an app for that. College websites, too, often offer insights, as well as rough figures rounded up (or down) for one-size-fits-all. But what will be the hit to your wallet, bank account, or 529...
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The Gerber Baby Goes To College

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, In : Paying for College 

L.B. of Sea Cliff, NY writes:

As the new mother of a bouncing baby boy, I would like to start saving for college, especially given the rising costs for both public and private universities. Can only imagine what four years of tuition, fees, room and board will cost in 18 years! Having heard about the Gerber Life College Plan, I was wondering whether this would be a good way to save ...


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Get More Money From The College Of Your Choice

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, April 21, 2011, In : Paying for College 

M.G. of Glen Head, NY writes:

My daughter got into her first choice college [Yea!]. Her financial aid award, however, left much to be desired. Can we -- and should we -- ask the college for more money?

The College Whisperer responds:

There's an old adage, as true in college financing as it is in fundraising: "If you don't ask, you won't get."

Most schools base financial aid awards on a number of factors, which could include merit (i.e., GPA, test scores) and, more often than not, need.

There are...
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FREE Webinar: How To Finance College

Posted by College Connection on Monday, April 4, 2011, In : Paying for College 

There are lots of "How To" books, courses, videos, etc. on getting into and paying for college, but how many of them are FREE? Many, to be sure, aren't worth the cost of the paper they're written on -- or, for that matter, the cost of the blank DVD. But who could argue about free?

Newsday, home of College PrepTalk, is offering a FREE Webinar, entitled, "GET THEM THERE!", a "How To" on financing that college education.

Date: Thursday, April 7
Time: 8 PM


Registration for the How To Finance College...
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March Madness?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, March 21, 2011, In : Paying for College 

Now that the college acceptance letters are beginning to roll in, The College Whisperer is amazed by just how many college-bound students abandon the search for money to pay for college.

Sure, you've filed your FAFSA (hopefully), and registered at Fastweb and other scholarship search engines, but has your quest for college cash ended there?

Visit and revisit those college scholarship search engines. Tweak your profile. Keep an eye out for emails containing links to scholarship opportunities....

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FAFSA FEVER

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, February 24, 2011, In : Paying for College 

Donna of Louisiana writes:

I am married and have one daughter. She will be a college freshman in the fall. I have contributed money in my state's 529 plan (I live in Louisiana) since she was 8. We were in the process of figuring out whether we were required to report the amount of money in the 529 on the FAFSA application. I found out yesterday that we do report it. One question i have is this. The state has invested the money and we have received "enhancements." There is more money in t...
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Deadlines, Priority Deadlines and Missed Deadlines

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, February 10, 2011, In : Paying for College 

J.K. of Lake Success, NY writes:

We're working on our college financial aid applications and notice that there are all kinds of deadlines, in addition to all kinds of forms from so many sources. We've even come across something called "Priority Deadline." How do we find out what these deadlines are, as well as the best possible sources for aid, giving ourselves the best shot at money for college?

The College Whisperer responds:

And there you were, applications for admission submitted, thinki...

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When FAFSA Isn't Free

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, January 11, 2011, In : Paying for College 

Which Part Of "Free" Don't They Understand?


FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Required by almost every college and university in the nation as a prerequisite for consideration for scholarships, grants, work-study, and, yes, even loans.

And did we mention that the application is FREE? Free to complete. Free to submit. Absolutely FREE! [Hence, the word "Free" in "Free Application for Federal Student Aid.]

So, why are folks paying "as little as $79.99" (and sometimes more than $1...
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Time to File FAFSA for Financial Aid

Posted by College Connection on Monday, January 3, 2011, In : Paying for College 

FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is now "live" at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. Completion and submission of FAFSA online is essential, both for merit and need-based aid, including grants, scholarships, loans and work study. Indeed, most colleges will not consider a financial aid award, of any kind, without submission of FAFSA.

Our friends at My College Calendar offer a concise, informative and easy to follow, step-by-step guide to completing and submitting the FAFSA form. We e...
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Scholarships, Grants and the CSS Profile

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, November 10, 2010, In : Paying for College 

If you haven't started looking for money to pay for college (assuming that tree you planted in the backyard last spring has yet to bear fruit), now is definitely the time.

The following websites are great places to start:


Be sure you complete the profiles in each scholarship search engine, and then search and apply for all scholarships you may qualify for. Check for new scholarship opportunities regularly. Read all e-mails carefully. And keep at it, r...

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A Four-Letter Word To Help Pay For College: SAVE

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, November 4, 2010, In : Paying for College 

Our friend and colleague, Lynn O'Shaughnessy, opines on why saving for college -- or for anything, for that matter -- is a good thing. To top it off, having saved some money for education beyond high school, you won't necessarily be penalized in terms of securing financial aid from your college of choice.

There are some links included, courtesy of U.S. News & World Report (the folks with those silly rankings), to be taken with the requisite grain of salt, hopefully spurring some more in-depth ...
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College Is A Six-Figure Investment

Posted by College Connection on Friday, October 8, 2010, In : Paying for College 

Shouldn't you be working with an "investment" advisor?

Call COLLEGE CONNECTION today for a FREE telephone conversation. 516-345-8766.

We help students -- and their parents -- navigate the road to college. We also help them find money to pay the bills once they get there!

COLLEGE CONNECTION

College Matching ~ Admission Strategies ~ Application Enhancement
Essay Development ~ Scholarship & Financial Aid Sourcing

516-345-8766


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College "Best Buys"

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, October 7, 2010, In : Paying for College 

While reluctant to call most college tuition, "bargains," there are, to be sure, great values to be had, even schools that charge no tuition at all. [Now that's a bargain!]

Check out the Forbes' list of America's Best College Buys, which includes both private and public colleges:

...
Rank Name State
1 United States Military Academy NY
2 United States Air Force Academy

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Win A Free Ride To College

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, September 30, 2010, In : Paying for College 

Free Ride -- or Full Ride -- scholarships, covering everything from tuition to room & board, one year or all four, are highly coveted, often written about, and, yes, as hard to come by as a winning lottery ticket.

Scour the web, searching for a "free ride to college," and aside from the ingenious ad of a car service offering students just that (imagine arriving at your dorm room in a stretch limo), you'll find a plethora (good SAT word) of contests, sweepstakes, and scholarship opportun...

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Profiles In College Money

Posted by College Connection on Monday, September 27, 2010, In : Paying for College 
FAFSA versus CSS-Profile: The Battle of the Financial Aid Forms

Most people believe that FAFSA -- Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- is the end-all when it comes to looking for money for college.

Not so!

In fact, if you do nothing more than file your FAFSA online (which can be done on or after January 1, 2011), you're not likely to see a dime in scholarship and grant money, other than that which the school itself may provide (including work-study and loans) as part of your financial aid...
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Meritocracy: The Scoop On Merit Aid For College

Posted by College Connection on Monday, September 13, 2010, In : Paying for College 
A good friend to every parent of a college-bound student (and, by osmosis, every high school student hoping to get into and find a way to pay for college), James Boyle of College Parents of America opines on the upsides, downsides, and inside-outsides of so-called merit aid.

The College Whisperer shares this piece with his readers for their edification (good SAT word), enlightenment, and reading pleasure.

Examining the Merit of Merit Aid

On its surface, merit aid for college is an appe...


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How To Pay For College? Write A Book!

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, In : Paying for College 
Seems that every time you turn around, someone -- usually an enterprising college student who needs the cash to pay that tuition bill -- is writing a book on how to pay for college. Add on the perfunctory, Without Going Broke, Without Mooching Off Your Parents, Without Going Into Debt, and you've got a best seller.

Saunter (a good SAT word) into your local Barnes & Nobles and you'll find at least a half dozen books dedicated to paying for colleges, the profits from any one of which likely to b...
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Saddle Up the POSSE and Let's Ride

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, August 24, 2010, In : Paying for College 
For high school students looking for leadership training and college scholarship opportunities, the Posse Foundation offers those with "extraordinary academic and leadership potential" a means to become Posse Scholars.

No, the horse is not included, nor will there be any outlaws to round up and bring to justice. There will, however, be the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a diverse, enthusiastic, and engaged group of students (the Posse, in case you were wondering), who, through campu...
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Other People's Money

Posted by College Connection on Monday, August 23, 2010, In : Paying for College 
The New York Higher Education Loan Program (NYHELPs) touts itself, on ads seen on buses and heard on radio, as "bridging the gap" in college financing.

After exhausting federal grants and loans, scholarships from colleges, and State programs, such as the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) [itself an extremely limited resource, particularly for the financially hard-squeezed middle class, being quietly phased out in NY (TAP, that is. Not the middle class. Then again, with property taxes what they ...
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A "Full-Ride" Scholarship for low-income, high achieving students

Posted by College Connection on Monday, August 23, 2010, In : Paying for College 
Have the grades to get into colleges like Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania, but don't come close to being able to afford the steep tuition and related costs?

If you are in the top 5% to 10% of your graduating high school class, and have financial "need" (typically translating into family income below $60,000, though circumstances may vary), you may qualify for a full scholarship, courtesy of the Questbridge National College Match Program.

QuestBridge is an initiative of the ...
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A Message from the New York Student Aid Alliance

Posted by College Connection on Monday, August 16, 2010, In : Paying for College 
Tough times call for tough measures and often difficult decisions, both for students and university administrators alike.

All the more difficult, especially in these hard economic times, when the State cuts back on financial aid to students, often hitting the hardest those who are most in need.

The College Whisperer's good friends at the NY Student Aid Alliance report on cutbacks in New York's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and summon a call to action on the part of students and parents alik...
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You paid HOW MUCH for that college?

Posted by College Connection on Friday, August 6, 2010, In : Paying for College 
Some awesome insight on the outrageous cost of college from one of the foremost experts on everything college, Lynn O'Shaughnessy, along with some straight on advice on how to contain those seemingly runaway costs.

Lynn, The College Whisperer couldn't have said it better himself. So, my astute college counseling colleague, this blogpost's for you!

7 Ways to Cut College Costs


Does anybody else out there think it's obscene that dozens of schools no...


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Shark Week

Posted by College Connection on Monday, August 2, 2010, In : Paying for College 

Shark Week
and the Common Application going "live" at the very same time. Coincidence, or calculated by design to strike fear in the hearts and minds of swimmers and college-bound students alike? Hmmm. The College Whisperer reports. You decide. Is it me, or does anyone else hear the theme from Jaws playing in their heads? Oh well...

Anyway, speaking of sharks, has anyone looked at the cost of tuition these days, not to mention room and board? Cue the Great White...

D.G. of Sea Clff, NY writes: ...

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A Dollar and A Dream

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, July 10, 2010, In : Paying for College 
In fact, this dream doesn't even cost you a dollar.

It's the 3rd Annual $100,000 Upromise College Dream Sweepstakes®. 10 lucky winners will each receive a $10,000.00 college scholarship. Now wouldn't that be grand? Ten, actually.

Forget that little bit of luck fella, cute and cuddly as the lottery's namesake curmudgeon may be. Simply click on the banner below, join
Upromise and get TurboSaver® (it's FREE), and you are automatically entered in the scholarship sweepstakes.

Nothing to buy. N...
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Beyond Fastweb

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 10, 2010, In : Paying for College 
M.T. of Glen Head, NY writes:

I will be starting my junior year of high school in the fall. Is this a good time to start my search for college scholarships?

The College Whisperer responds:

Absolutely!

While most students wait until they are firmly entrenched in their senior year (if then) to begin the critical scholarship search, the earlier the better.

In fact, while scholarships, in descending order of eligibility, are most widely available to high school seniors, college grants and scholarships...
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Shop until you SAVE for college

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, In : Paying for College 
M.G. of Jericho, NY writes:

Aside from the 529 plan, which I am currently funding, what other ways are there to save for college?

The College Whisperer responds:

Short of that Trust Fund from a rich and generous relative, one must be creative, as well as diligent, in putting away money for college. This is particularly so in an economy that is less than robust.

Glad to hear you've started saving in a 529 Plan. As discussed in an earlier blogpost, the savings options and tax advantages of a 529 ar...
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UGMA, UTMA, Uughh!

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 3, 2010, In : Paying for College 
K.B. of Lake Success, NY writes:

I have an UGMA account for my child, who will be entering high school this fall. Should I also have a 529 account? Which is better? Can I rollover the UGMA into a 529 Plan?

The College Whisperer responds:

The old "UGMA versus 529" debate.

Not much of a debate, really, when one looks at the benefits of a 529 account juxtaposed against the drawbacks of an UGMA or UTMA account.

UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act; UTMA -- Uniform Trust -- in some states) is an irrevocabl...
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Uncle, Can You Spare A Dime?

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, June 3, 2010, In : Paying for College 
T.F. of Glen Cove, NY writes:

What's the difference between a subsidized Stafford Loan and an unsubsidized Stafford loan?

The College Whisperer responds:

Interest, my friend. Interest.

Stafford loans are low-interest loans (5.6% for undergraduate, subsidized; 6.8% for graduate and all unsubsidized), the lender nowadays being the federal government (Direct student loans) through the Department of Education, private lenders having been legislated out of the Stafford loan market.

Aside from interest ...
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Tuition Redux

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, In : Paying for College 
James A. Boyle of College Parents of America writes:

How aware do you think students and parents are of tuition refund policies? College Parents of America recently began to offer tuition insurance and I hope to get a read on the perception of need.

The College Whisperer Responds:

Jim, clearly the need for tuition refund insurance is there. The knowledge regarding tuition refund polices? Not so much.

Not many parents I work with (and even fewer students) are aware of the tuition refund policies o...
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FAFSA, Si. Going Broke, No.

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, In : Paying for College 
G.P. of Williston Park writes:

I am starting college in the fall and will not be applying for scholarships or loans. Should I still complete and submit the FAFSA?

The College Whisperer responds:

Let me think about this for a second. DUH! Yes, you should file the FAFSA, and, given that most colleges have already made or are in the process of making financial aid decisions for the fall, do it today!

FAFSA, as its full moniker more than implies (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is FREE. No ...
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