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Pell Grants

Pell Grants are one of the largest federal gift aid programs, with over $28 billion going to students with high financial need in the 2017-2018 school year.  While that is certainly a lot of money, the program is in fact fairly limited.

Why File the FAFSA?

Every year, a large percentage of the eligible population fails to file a FAFSA: the Department of Education estimates 40% of high school seniors do not file it and 25% of college students do not renew their FAFSA. And yet, there are plenty of compelling reasons to do so. The obvious one is access to financial aid. Here are some…

Honors Colleges, Dual Enrollment and Majors

Apologies for my recent absentee-ism. Between our (hopefully) last college visit and my nephew’s wedding, it’s been a busy couple of weeks here! Our hopefully last college visit was with both kids at our in-state flagship school. My son loved it; it’s where he was already intending to go and the visit really confirmed that, as well as increasing his…

529s and the FAFSA

529s are a source of a bit of confusion when it comes to filling out the FAFSA. Here are some common issues: 529s for multiple children: All of the parents’ 529s get reported on the FAFSA as parent assets. Let’s say you have 3 children, ages 17 (the one whose FAFSA you’re completing), 15, and 12, and you have a…

Long Term Student Loan Default Rates

Schools are required to publish a Cohort Default Rate (CDR), a useful but limited statistic showing the default rate of student loan borrowers from that school. Why is it limited? Because data is limited to federal loan programs and to students within three years of graduation. That tends to omit two groups of students with a higher-than-average likelihood of defaulting:…