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Staying the Course to Graduate on Time

Tracy Scott

In College Planning & Financial Aid GeneralTracy Scott

Plans change. Whether due to our own actions or circumstances beyond our control, getting off track is unsettling. Thanks to COVID-19, this academic year has already been turned on its head. Some U.S. high schools re-opened their physical doors for a few days, only to close them again or at least require affected students to quarantine for several weeks. And some colleges, like The University of Texas at Austin, are already planning for worst- case scenarios, including closing the campus for at least the semester. If you hope to graduate on time, plan now for alternative ways to complete the …

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The Financial Aid Office: How they can Help and What to Ask

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In College Planning & Financial Aid General Getting a Student LoanLendKey

Although college can be expensive, financial assistance is available and could greatly reduce the cost of pursuing higher education. Did you know that 85% of college students in the United States receive financial aid? As many students flock to their financial aid office every year to be a part of that 85%, some may find themselves not knowing what questions to ask their financial aid office or even how to get started with obtaining financial assistance, which is why we’re letting you know how the financial aid office can help you. What Is a Financial Aid Office? A financial aid office …

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Is Graduate School Worth It?

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In College Planning & Financial Aid GeneralLendKey

In today’s competitive job market, a graduate degree can almost be seen as a necessity. But is it worth it? In some fields, it’s necessary for more senior positions. In others, it can help you to stand out from the competition. For example, certain careers in fields such as law and psychology may require a grad degree. To decide whether graduate school is the right choice for you, it’s essential to know as much about the field, your career goals, and the grad programs available. This is a big decision. Does Graduate School Play a Role in Your Career Goals? …

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Is Taking a Gap Year This Fall a Good Idea?

Tracy Scott

In College Planning & Financial Aid GeneralTracy Scott

The reality of COVID-19 has college students across the country planning to skip the upcoming school year, with some citing worry over personal finances and concern over online classes. Many students and their families lost income amid the pandemic, making it tougher to pay tuition and other educational expenses. And while college administrators are planning reboots that reduce the potential health risks of starting school this fall, students aren’t excited about the proposed instructional delivery options. Taking hybrid and online classes are unappealing to those who signed up for a traditional college experience. But financial roadblocks and less-than-desirable learning environments …

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Beware of These 5 Private Student Loan Myths

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In College Planning & Financial Aid General Getting a Student LoanLendKey

If you hope to earn higher wages in an entry-level position, completing your college degree is key. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggests that when education levels increase, so do potential earnings. For example, entry-level positions that only require a high school diploma or equivalent pay a median annual wage of $37,930. Jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree were nearly double that at $75,440.   But higher education costs can be a barrier to earning a college credential. Scholarships, federal student loans, and grants may not be enough to pay tuition and other college expenses. Fortunately, private student loans are …

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How to Manage Student Loan Debt in School

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In College Planning & Financial Aid General Managing MoneyLendKey

With student loans, you commonly aren’t expected to begin paying back the money you borrowed until after you graduate. This makes sense because the idea is that you’ll hopefully have a full-time job with a steady income after you finish school. In reality, it’s never too early to begin managing your student loan debt. Rather than borrowing aimlessly and worrying about it after you graduate, having a game plan for managing (and even beginning to repay) debt while you’re in school can work to your advantage. Not sure where to start? We’ve got some practical tips for understanding the loans you’re taking …

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Is an Out of State School Worth it?

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In College Planning & Financial Aid GeneralLendKey

The choice of a college is a major one. It does not just affect the next four years of your life but will influence the many years yet to come. Many decisions go into finding out which school is right for you. One of the biggest decisions is whether to pick an in-state school close to home or an out-of-state school instead. There are many pros and cons of each to consider, and no answer is one-size-fits-all. Whatever you choose, here are some points you should keep in mind before making the final choice. 1. What is the difference between …

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Federal vs. Private Student Loans: 4 Key Differences

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In College Planning & Financial Aid General Getting a Student LoanLendKey

It’s the words high school seniors around the country anxiously wait months to read: “Congratulations! We are pleased to offer you admission to…” Whether received via U.S. Mail or email, these words of college acceptance can be life-changing for both you and your student. While your recent high school graduate eagerly prepares for their first year at their dream college, you’ve been in the background running the numbers. And the news isn’t good. Scholarships and grants won’t cover the cost of the first semester, let alone the first year. The money you’ve set aside in a college savings fund helps, …

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6 Everyday Expenses That Can Sneak Up on You

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In General Managing Money Student Loan Refinancing OptionsLendKey

Do you ever feel like you’re watching your budget and have everything figured out, only to be hit with a surprise auto repair or medical bill? Whether you’re dealing with seasonal expenses, lifestyle creep, or emergencies, unexpected costs can often set you back for months. Which everyday expenses are most likely to catch you unprepared, and what can you do to fit these costs into your budget? 1. Subscription Services While subscription services and memberships can provide an inexpensive source of entertainment, too many $10 or $20 monthly subscriptions can add up, especially nowadays. From gym memberships to music streaming …

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Savings Accounts: What’s Right for You

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In General Managing MoneyLendKey

A savings account is an opportunity to safely tuck money away that you don’t need for routine and daily purchases. They allow you to save money for the future, whether that’s saving for college, a house, a car, or a vacation. The longer you save, the better that’s because a majority of savings accounts earn interest, which means their value grows as long as there are funds in them. It’s quite different from a checking account. But what is it, and why is it so valuable to you? What Is a Savings Account? Unlike checking accounts that are designed to …

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How to Build Credit as a Student

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In General Managing MoneyLendKey

Looking for ways to start building your credit at a young age? If so, you’re already ahead of the game. Getting started on the right foot financially can potentially make things a lot easier for you down the road. Generally, people with established credit have an easier time getting approved for loans. This can be anything from a car loan or student loan to a mortgage, or even a business loan. An excellent credit score can also help you secure a low-interest rate, which allows you to save money over time. What is a credit score, anyway? In simplest terms, …

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The Top 5 Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

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In College Planning & Financial Aid GeneralLendKey

If you’re looking to learn about the benefits of extracurricular activities, you probably already know how valuable they can be. But what exactly are extracurricular activities, and just how important are they? “Extracurricular activities” refer to any regular activities that you commit to outside of the regular school curriculum. This can mean involvement with any number of clubs, teams, associations, and charities. Activities such as theater and sports qualify as extracurriculars. Even self-driven pastimes such as writing and moviemaking count, as long as you can confirm that you have spent a significant amount of time on them. The college admissions …