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FAFSA

Pre-Tax or Roth: How do I Choose?

April is Financial Literacy Month, so I’m writing about some general financial literacy topics. Today’s topic: Pre-Tax and Roth retirement savings and how to decide which to use. Saving can be hard. Not just because you have to come up with money to save, but because once you do, you have a bewildering range of choices. So many that a…

What Kind of Aid is it?

Scholarships and grants are free money. Does it matter which kind of free money you get, as long as you get some? As a matter of fact, it does. Just to refresh: colleges offer two primary types of financial aid, need-based and merit-based. Need-based aid is allocated on the basis of the FAFSA or CSS Profile and reduces or even…

Outside Scholarships: The 5Ws and H

Outside scholarships can be a great way to stretch your college budget. They can also be an exercise in frustration with countless applications yielding small dollars. Knowing the 5Ws and H of outside scholarships can make your search more rewarding. Let’s start with What is an outside scholarship. An outside scholarship is a scholarship offered by anyone other than the…

EFC vs Net Cost

Families of college-bound students are always looking for strategies to manage their Expected Family Contribution, and I’m happy to oblige. However, lowering your EFC is no guarantee of getting financial aid. And that’s why net cost is important. Your EFC is what the federal needs analysis methodology says is the amount you can spend on college. You can estimate it…

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