Archives by Month

November 2014

FAFSA Treatment of Retirement Plan Contributions

Behold, FAFSA season is upon us! Well, not entirely– the FAFSA isn’t available until January 1. Nonetheless, confusion and questions about the FAFSA abound already. One of the more confusing aspects of the FAFSA is how retirement plan contributions are counted. “Wait,” you say, “I thought my retirement plan doesn’t count on the FAFSA!” It’s true that your retirement plan…

School-specific student loan calculator

Wondering what the student debt picture looks like at schools you’re interested in? The New York Times has a new calculator here that shows specific schools’ graduates’ average debt levels, plus what the monthly payment on those debts looks like, how much interest you’ll pay, and how much the new graduate would need to earn in order for that debt…

What is Need-Blind?

Colleges are either need-blind or need-aware in their admissions policies. A college that is need-blind makes acceptance decisions without considering a student’s financial need or ability to pay. A college that is need-aware will consider what the student can pay when evaluating their application. So need-blind must be better, right? Well, not necessarily. The fact that a school maintains a need-blind admissions policy…

Refinancing Student Loans

Many borrowers, especially parents and grad school graduates who took out PLUS loans, are stuck with high fixed interest rates on their student loans. In the past year, though, several companies have started refinancing services that seem to be above-board and might be worth a look. Credible provides a marketplace in which graduates can complete a single profile form with their…

Is it really college credit?

The #1 way to keep college costs down is of course to minimize the amount of time spent in college. Many people rightly focus on getting college credit prior to enrolling as a college student. There are several main ways of getting these credits: AP or IB classes and tests Community colleges Online courses Before packing your schedule with these…