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Beginning Your Student Loan Application: A Guide for High School Students

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In College Planning & Financial Aid Getting a Student LoanLendKey

It’s never too early to start preparing for college. In fact, if you’re in your junior or senior year of high school, then you’ve probably already begun preparing for college. Perhaps you’ve been hard at work studying for the SAT, keeping up your GPA, and completing college applications. These are all important parts of college preparation, but determining how you’ll pay for college should be a priority too. Now that college costs so much, it’s more important than ever to have a plan for how you’re going to pay for things like tuition, rent, and other expenses. For many students, …

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Behind the Curtain: Generation Z Students in College

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

The more we change, the more we stay the same. Countless research has been devoted to understanding how various generations interact with and between each other, how their surroundings influence their behavior, and how their expectations get shaped over time. That is especially true for colleges and universities, which continue to act as the guidepost of education and development into adulthood. Some of these findings are fascinating, and all are immensely valuable. We’re currently seeing the first students of Generation Z enter college, and potentially change the way we think about higher education. And yet, some remarkable parallels to Millennials …

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Generation Z Goes to College: How They Compare to Previous Generations

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Millennials might be the hottest topic of discussion shaping many product discussions, but not when it comes to going off to college. No, for college admissions, the hottest topic is Generation Z–and with good reason. Gen Z is headed to college, but they’re determined not to make the same mistakes as their predecessors–and as a result, they’re using their smarts and savvy to redefine the way they approach that time at school. A Means to an End For members of Generation Z, college isn’t just about four years of experience–though they’re certainly interested in what it has to offer. Instead, …

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Why Does College Cost So Much?

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Whether you’re just about to start college or you’re several years beyond graduation, you have probably heard stories about what it used to be like to pay for college. Many people have heard their parents talk about paying for college with income from a summer job or working just a few hours a week here and there to keep up with tuition bills. In 1987, tuition for the average public four-year college was $3,190. By 2017 that number had more than tripled, up to $9,970, and that does not include room and board, books and other expenses. Yet, according to …

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Should I Accept My Student Loan Refund?

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Possibly one of the biggest regrets many graduates with student loans have is how they spent their student loan refund. A student loan refund is the portion of the loan remaining after total costs (tuition, fees, etc.) have been deducted.1 The remaining balance is then refunded to the student in the form of a check, usually at the start of a semester. Refund checks can be issued for thousands of dollars; and all too often, students feel this money is theirs to use as they please. The reality, of course, isn’t so sweet. Student loan refunds are not “free” money; …

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How to Choose the Right College

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Each year, students all across the country are faced with the arduous task of choosing a college that is the right fit for them. Whether you’re a high school senior researching colleges for the first time, or a nontraditional student returning to school after a long break, choosing where you want to go to college is a highly personal and sometimes stressful decision. There’s a lot to consider when trying to find a college that’s a good fit. So how do you choose the school that’s the best fit for you? Below we highlight some of the most important considerations …

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Affording College: What Are My Payment Options?

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Affording College: What Are My Payment Options? The cost of attending college has risen drastically over the past two decades. Since 1995, tuition at public universities has risen by over 296 percent, out of state tuition is up 226 percent, and the cost of attending private universities has risen by 179 percent. The sharp increase in college tuition has left students and their families wondering what the best option is when choosing a college. For a number of families, a student’s financial aid package may be the deciding factor in whether or not they pursue a college education. As such, …

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The Importance of College Planning in April

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

It’s finally April! The college choice process has officially begun. This is an incredibly exciting time, but also one that brings about a series of seasonal questions for graduating high school seniors and their families as they make their decisions on where they go to college. A college education has been the platform in which American success stories have been built for decades, but the costs of college can also become a burden for many people as they enter their career fields. Careful college planning is paramount to navigating the path between a student’s future financial freedom and hardship.  As …

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8 Tips for Finding Scholarships

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

College isn’t getting any cheaper. Between 2001 and 2012, tuition and fees increased 5.4% above inflation annually while funding per student at state universities plummeted. Student debt in the United States is increasingly burdensome, and funding a college education is now the second greatest financial challenge for families after retirement. There are a number of ways to pay for tuition, but not all of them are in our students’ best interests. Saving money through a 529 plan isn’t always possible, and with the average credit card debt standing strong at $15,325 per household, plastic probably isn’t the way to go. …

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Graduating on Time: A Push for Quality Retention

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Retaining students through all required years of college and seeing them through graduation has become a major priority. President Obama announced in February 2009, the goal of the United States having the highest proportion of college graduates. In order to hit this goal, colleges will have to improve their ability to keep students in school so they can finish. Many schools all over the country are taking on this challenge by strengthening their retention programs. Here are just a few schools that have done well in their retention and graduation statistics recently. The Connecticut State University System reports that “More …

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5 FAQs: Before you Submit Your College Deposit

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Deposits for college begin with an initial May 1st due date. Many may still be unsure of their choices, but before submitting a deposit, consider the following. 1. Did you determine your financial aid eligibility renewal requirements? Be aware of how your bill is paid, and what you need to do to keep the funding. Know your renewal requirements for scholarships and make sure to maintain the minimum GPA to keep them. Need-based funding like Grants could change year-to-year based on income information in the FAFSA, so stay aware during the annual FAFSA filing process. 2. Did you calculate student …