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5 Questions You Must Ask Your Financial Aid Counselor

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

With college costs rising at unprecedented rates, more and more students are turning to financial aid to help pay for their schooling. Unfortunately, the process of applying for aid can be a bit confusing and stressful. As such, it’s important to be prepared when you meet with your financial aid counselor at a prospective school. This will ensure that you ask the right questions and avoid unpleasant financial surprises once you begin your college career. To that end, here are the five questions you absolutely must ask your financial aid counselor before making any final decisions: Do you offer need-based …

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10 Tips to Get Your Employer to Pay for Continuing Education

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Furthering your education and increasing your professional qualifications will both be essential for doing a better job and getting access to more lucrative employment options. The problem with many academic programs is that they tend to be quite costly. Do you believe that only a lucky few can get their employer to pay for continued education? This practice isn’t quite as uncommon as you may think. Here are 10 important tips to convince your employer to pay for continuing your education. 1. Address Concerns Right from the Start There could be some concerns about participating in the program and your …

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Saving for College: Tips for Parents & Students

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Key Points on Saving For College & How to Do It Covering the costs of college is a combination of funding sources for most students and parents. There is “free” money like grants and scholarships, student loans that need to be repaid and out of pocket payments from income and savings. Grants and scholarships are the most preferable source that everyone wants, but not everyone qualifies for. Student loans are extremely common, but no one wants one except for necessity purposes. This leaves income and savings as a prime method of paying the bills. The problem is that the costs of …

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How to Talk to Parents About Money While Home for the Holidays

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

If you’re like most twenty-something graduates, your finances probably aren’t where you thought they’d be by now. You may not have your dream job – or your dream salary – which means you might need a little extra help getting ahead. And whether you need your parents to cover some of your expenses or co-sign a loan, it all starts with an open and honest conversation about everyone’s favorite topic: money. Believe it or not, the holiday season can be the ideal time to have this talk. Even though the holidays can be stressful, they’re also a time when you …

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How Out-Of-State College Affects Student Loan Debt & ROI

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Moving to another state for college is a time-honored right of passage for countless students. It gives you the chance to spread your wings in a new city, without the safety net of your high-school friends. You get the opportunity to explore food, weather, and people you would never have encountered in your home state, and the challenges of starting over in a brand new setting will grow your confidence in incredible ways. However, even though there are a ton of benefits associated with moving away from home for college, keep in mind that it’s probably going to be significantly …

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6 Ways to Reduce the Overall Cost of a College Education

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

In a special guest post from Money Crashers contributor David Bakke, 6 simple methods to reduce the cost of college are outlined. David has great experience in practical money management and regularly shares his knowledge on effective student loan debt elimination and advice for saving money and building wealth. The cost of attending college is through the roof these days, and it’s only going to get more expensive. Short of running for office, there’s not much you can do to change the current trend. Instead of simply giving up and signing away your financial future, though, there are plenty of …

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4 Questions Every Student Should Answer About Getting a Scholarship

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Getting a Scholarship is a major goal for any new college student.  But unfortunately not every student is able to get one.  Students are left wondering what it is they need to do in order to secure that extra funding they need.  The following Q&A/tips can help you secure a scholarship. What is a scholarship? It is a form of merit based funding used toward higher education expenses.  The awarding of a scholarship is based on academic performance, sports, or some form of extracurricular activity a student is associated with. Where do they come from? Typically from two different areas.  …

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4 Things First Generation Students Need to Know About Preparing for College

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

First-generation college students are those whose parents did not attend or graduate from college. Studies have shown that only 47% of first generation students enroll in college, compared to 85% of students whose parents hold college degrees. Even if a first-generation student comes from a financially stable family, they may not be encouraged to attend college if their parents didn’t. On the other hand, first-generation students who come from poverty may feel pressure to begin working full-time after high school in order to support themselves or contribute to their family. Regardless of a first-generation student’s background or socioeconomic status, college …

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Top 5 financial aid terms you need to know

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

In college, students are confronted with a lot of new information. Trying to make sense of it all can be very challenging. With today’s high costs of college, there is a very important area of information that students cannot afford to be ignorant about: financial aid terminology. Are you a student wondering why you did not qualify for a specific grant? Ever wonder why the cost of tuition and the cost of attendance are two different things? Read on and impress your financial aid administrator by being conversationally competent with these key terms. 1. COA: In financial aid, you will run …

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Last minute college planning: It’s never too late for Pell

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Along the road to college, it’s not uncommon to hit a few bumps. Sometimes people forget to file the FAFSA on time putting them at reduced eligibility for many need based grant programs. However, the Pell grant program remains open and available all through the academic year, as long as the FAFSA form is filed. If you have not yet filed your FAFSA there is still hope to retain some funding. Go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/# and file now! The FAFSA uses your personal and family tax and asset information to calculate an expected family contribution. The expected family contribution is then …

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Digging for gold: Finding a scholarship after starting college

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Finding a good scholarship is a beautiful thing. For a student already admitted to a college, it’s like locating buried treasure. That’s because it takes a lot of digging to find the college money you are looking for. Once the student starts to attend a particular University, they typically go on “financial cruise control” accepting whatever financial aid is offered each year, but rarely searching for any more. If you are student looking to put a real dent in your tuition costs, you need to commit time to finding a scholarship. Successful scholarship recipients never quit, and continue to search for …

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College Text Books: Don’t Waste Your Money!

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

I walked through my college book store and was in a state of price tag shock. World regional geography review book: $98. Physics textbook: $114. Anatomy and physiology text with nice diagrams: $188. A book for economics: $126. The expensive book about economics made me laugh because I made a decision not to buy it using theories right from the book. This was me in 2003, still finishing my undergrad. I wanted to compare prices in the book store to what I could get online. I was blown away because I could get the same book on Amazon or E-bay …