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Lower Student Loan Interest Today = Future National Debt Costs?

In an earlier post, we mentioned the continued political debate about maintaining the current student loan interest rates at 3.4%, instead of the increase to 6.8%, if Congress doesn’t come to consensus before July 1, 2012.   Mark Kantrowitz of FinAid and the Wall Street Journal debate whether the short term gain of low student interest …

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House Votes to Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low for 2012-13: A Good Move?

The Wall Street Journal reported that the House today passed a resolution to keep the current interest rate on student Stafford loans at 3.4% for the 2012-13 school year.   The Senate is scheduled to vote on a similar bill on May 8th.  Without Congressional consensus, student loan interest rates will increase to 6.8% for the …

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Fall 2012 UC Admissions More Competitive for Freshmen

The University of California released their admissions numbers for Fall 2012 Freshmen last week.   The uncertainty in the state budget and record number of applications  or Fall 2012 Freshmen admissions created additional competition and subjectivity in the admissions process.   UC Davis Chancellor, Linda Katehi, recently stated: UC Davis refused [Fall 2012] admissions to 1500 or …

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Quality in Education isn’t an Entitlement

I recently read an archived article written by John Fischer in February 1965 for Harper’s Magazine titled, “Is there a teacher on the faculty?” Being a former classroom teacher, I am still fascinated by this idea of quality teaching.  What is a quality teacher? Are the skills that make for a quality teacher inherent, or …

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Passion + Effort = Success

There is no single action that vaults us into success–only a series of decisions, that may seem unrelated at the time, and continuous effort that define any achievement. In a recent presentation at UC San Diego, Conan O’Brien suggests from his experience: My advice is to find out what your passion is and go wherever …

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More on Financial Aid & College Affordability

Here’s a few tips when choosing colleges for application and enrollment, and simultaneously determining how your family will afford the costs: Calculate all 4 or 5 years of costs when determining the affordability of college, not just the first year. College costs during a student’s senior year in college are likely to be at least …

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Financial Aid: There is No Free Lunch

There is no-magic-bullet-one-time-conversation-painless-and-costless solution to paying for college.  Increasing the amount of financial aid–either need based or merit based–are multiple year efforts that extend through a student’s entire college career.  Basically, there is no free lunch. Moving equity from one’s home to a life insurance policy or rolling all savings into retirement accounts are strategies …

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College: Nature vs. Nurture

A recent study by economists, Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger, showed that college graduates from Ivy League colleges and college graduates who were denied admissions to an Ivy League college have the same earning potential. Even applying to a school, even if you get rejected, says a lot about you.  –Dale Krueger, NY Times, 2/21/2011 …

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GUEST POST: A Mom’s Perspective on College Admissions Consultants

By Anne Ross, Ross Family CEO and Co-Entrepreneur Anne and her family first consulted Creative Marbles Consultancy in her daughter’s junior year. She graciously agreed to submit a guest post to share her insights to the college admissions process from a parent’s view. I was asked to give a parent’s perspective and first thought, “Wow, …

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College as a “Financial Decision, not a Rite of Passage”

A little forethought before taking student loans can help students and families understand all the effects of their decision.  As Sue Shellenbarger reported in the Wall Street Journal, 4/17/2012, “[approaching college choices] as a financial decision, rather than a rite of passage” can help families make responsible decisions.

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Considering Universities as Idea Makers to Select Colleges

Research and exploring ideas aren’t usually at the top priority of a student or their parents in choosing a college.   “Getting a good job” or “moving away from home” are more common criteria for choosing colleges.  However, universities are incubators for new knowledge.  (Think: Google, which emerged from graduate work at Stanford )  Knowing the …

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Choosing a College for Job Potential in Its Location

Remember choosing colleges for enrollment or application is not only about the academic and social experience for the years between age 18 and 22.   Where the college is located in terms of getting a job and not living on mom and dad’s couch until age 35  is also important to consider. The smart folks at …

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Comparing College Costs

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is offering a new tool for families to compare up to 3 different colleges’ costs at a time.  (Seniors can also add specific information from their financial aid award letters for further comparison. ) 

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Parents and Academic Success

Parents often ask what they can do to support their children’s education.  Elementary school parents can feel confident to assist with homework assignments and welcome to volunteer in the classroom.  Yet, as students mature, mom and dad’s presence on campus at middle school and high school can be an embarrassment to teens, while mom and …