Building healthy money habits

Guest Post: 3 Easy steps to building healthy money habits with your children!

Although intended for families with younger children, Jessica Weaver’s advice to help kids become financially literate applies to teenagers as well. Inherent to financial literacy is defining one’s values, which is an essential tool for teens and families reduce the risk of college malinvestment. The other day I was squeezing in some work while sitting with my daughter, Andie! She…

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The Summer of the Long Goodbye

Soon-to-be first year college students all over the world are separating from their childhoods—saying, “Goodbye” to friends, leaving their childhood bedrooms, and now emerging as an adult, learning to partner with their parents. They’re establishing their first households outside their family homes, a complicated endeavor often involving new responsibilities.  In readying to move, students are combing through a childhood’s worth…

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The search for merit aid begins with the proper valuation of a college degree

“Do you help with scholarships?” is often one of the first questions that parents ask me. Fearful of the ever-increasing cost of college tuition, they (mis)perceive a college education as a large purchase, rather than an investment.  To invest in a college education, both institution and family mutually consent to a partnership. Yet, in any partnership, both parties must first…

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Coming Changes to the FAFSA

Over the next three years, the Federal Department of Education will phase in changes to the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Aid, which may increase out of pocket college costs for families, yet reduce the complexity of applying for need-based financial aid. The following are highlights of the changes, as well as recommendations for families to consider:   NUMBER OF…

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The Top 100 Colleges in the U.S. Ranked by Tuition

How to assess the value of a college education in order to avoid malinvestment

Comparing the published price of tuition along with the size of the student population can be one metric to value a university education. However, “shopping” colleges on price alone is shortsighted, thus families may overlook valuable educational opportunities.  Instead families should determine the value of any college education by discussing answers to reflective questions, starting with, “Why is a student…

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Why the May 13, 2021 10 Year Treasury Auction Matters to Student & Parent Loan Borrowers

Federal student loan interest rates, the cost of borrowing money to be paid at a fixed rate over the life of the loan, are set by adding 2.05% for undergraduate loans to the 10 Year Treasury Rate after the last May auction each school year. [For the upcoming 2021-22 school year, loan interest rates will be set after the May…

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How do I choose a college when I can’t visit the campus?

Although its difficult in the age of COVID to visit campuses, in no way should that diminish one’s effort to gain as much information as possible to make an effective decision when choosing a college from those which you’ve been admitted to diminish the risk of malinvestment.  Admitted students should use every virtual resource available from attending the special admitted…

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Deferred Student Loan Payments and Interest May Diminish Tax Deduction

Starting in March 2020, first former President Trump, then President Biden have automatically suspended accrual of Federal student loan interest, as well as deferred student loan repayment for every borrower. According to Federal tax law, all borrowers can claim a deduction of the student loan interest paid during the previous tax year. Yet given the automatic deferment of interest for…

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Deferment of student loans to continue

On January 21, 2021 by executive order, President Biden continued the suspension of all Federal student loan payments as well as interest until September 30, 2021. With President Biden’s extension, student loan borrowers will be granted a total of 18 months of loan and interest deferment, since payments were suspended since the enactment of the CARES Act in March 2020. …

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Chart: Tuition Discounts for all undergraduates, 2019-2020 academic year, NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study

College Tuition Discounts To Continue

Private universities discounted tuition in the form of merit scholarships and grants nearly 50% on average in the 2019-20 school year. Furthermore, tuition discounts for the 2020-21 school are forecasted to be 52.6% for full time, first year students, according to data from National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). And, in the current COVID-induced disruption of higher…

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Unemployment By Educational Attainment

In the current economic upheaval, those individuals with more education are unemployed at lower rates than all other groups. Or by wages, assuming that wage is an indicator of educational attainment, those with $60,000+ in wages have lower rates of unemployment than those earning less than $60,000. However, if the recession during The Great Financial Crisis of 2009 is an…

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“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

So, said Warren Buffet, net worth $86 billion. Tuition can be a measurement of value, as in, “What’s the value of the education for the number of dollars exchanged?” When families question the “affordability” of a particular college, as in, “Do I have enough money to pay for X College?”, they’re in essence determining the value of one college’s education for…

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The 2021-22 FAFSA Is Open

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, which U.S. universities use to determine what, if any, financial assistance for families, opened on October 1, 2020. Parents and students can submit the form online, only requiring some time and patience to complete, what can, on first glance, be reminiscent of a complex tax form. Furthermore,…

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Merit Scholarship Concerns

At some universities, SAT and ACT scores are used to award merit scholarships, in addition to being a metric for admissions. (Merit scholarships are awarded regardless of a student’s family’s financial status and based on an applicant’s qualifications, like GPA and SAT or ACT scores.) Many parents are concerned that their children will miss merit scholarship opportunities, if they do…

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