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Preparing for the FAFSA

A lot of people ask about how to prepare for the FAFSA. Doing the FAFSA is a lot like doing your taxes. You can absolutely wait until April 15 to fill out your 1040, but you’ll probably save some money by thinking about your taxes in the fall and taking some steps before the end of the year to mitigate…

The College Financial Lady Podcast

Exciting news: I have a podcast! My initial plan is that it will be more of a supplement to this blog than a replacement for it. My initial set of interviews is around topics outside the strict confines of paying for college– starting with everything you need to know about taking a gap year. You can access it on Spotify,…

College Financial Health

Want to know if your school is at risk financially? The Hechinger Report offers a college Financial Fitness Tracker, a searchable database of colleges showing their overall financial health based on a series of metrics. Their analysis shows that even before the pandemic hit, hundreds of colleges were experiencing financial distress. They cited several factors behind this: A smaller population…

Taking out a Student Loan

By now you are most likely aware that you can take out loans to pay for college. But what does it mean to take out a loan? How do you actually do it? First and foremost, federal student loans fall under the heading of Title IV funds and thus the first step in taking out a loan is completing the…

How America Pays for College 2020

Want to know how other people pay for college? Sallie Mae’s recently-released annual report will tell you. This year’s survey was done in March and April of this year and reflects the 2019-2020 school year. A few key points: College costs went up. On average families paid just over $30,000 for the 2019-2020 academic year, compared with just over $26,000…