Last month, the Department of Education announced the release of earnings and debt levels by major and school. This is a fantastic level of transparency when a career path is already in mind. The data is available on College Scorecard.
For example, a student looking at Seattle University would see that the average annual cost is $35,006, with graduates’ starting salaries ranging from $22,000-$84,000 and median debt between $19,000-$27,650. Those are huge ranges, so not particularly helpful– owing $25,000 is not a problem if you’re making $80,000, but it probably is if you’re making $20,000. If you’re a nursing student, on the other hand, the numbers are considerably better:
Where do you find this data? Go to College Scorecard, then search for a school, then expand the Fields of Study link.
Many families think there’s no point in doing the FAFSA because they assume they don’t have financial need. That reflects a fairly limited view of the FAFSA; in fact, there are plenty of good reasons why every family of a student who’s even potentially college-bound next year, regardless of the family’s financial position, should do it. Continue reading Haven’t Done the FAFSA Yet? Here’s Why You Should→
Isn’t it horrible that organizations like US News & World Report rank colleges? Remember the good old days when you could just go to college and not worry about rankings? When admissions departments focused on finding best-fit students, not best test score students? Continue reading College Rankings→
High schools and others often promote AP, IB and dual credit classes as a way to save money on college, and for some students that’s certainly true. These classes have plenty of benefits other than saving money; however, I’m all about saving money on college so that is what I’m writing about. Continue reading Do AP and IB Classes Save Money on College?→
The FAFSA offers a “Simplified Formula” that eliminates asset reporting for low-income families– those with household incomes below $50,000. There are some eligibility limitations, primarily designed to limit the Simplified Formula to those who truly have low incomes, not those who are able to manage or artificially reduce their incomes. In the past, in order to qualify for the Simplified Formula, filers must have filed or been eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ, or have received a means-tested federal benefit such as Medicaid, SNAP or SSI. However, the Trump tax reform of 2018 eliminated the different versions of the 1040, so the eligibility criteria changed. Continue reading Simplified Formula: Not So Simple→
It’s the big day: the FAFSA is here! So, you need to file it right away, right? Not exactly.
First, schools generally won’t do anything with your FAFSA until they have an application from your student, so the earliest you need it done is the end of this month if you’re applying Early Decision or Early Action. Remember that the main factor that you can influence at this point in the FAFSA is your assets, since income is from 2018’s tax return and assets are on the date you file. So here are some factors to consider: Continue reading When to File the FAFSA→