Have a college planning question?

Ways to stay on top of student loan payments

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Dec 17, 2014 9:28:44 AM

Once you have achieved your goals of graduating college and pursuing a fulfilling career, the last thing you want to deal with is the stress of poorly managed student loan debt. 

Your personal expenses alone can seem daunting. When you add a student loan payment that you haven't thoroughly accounted for, you may be headed for financial disaster. Managing your student loan debt is not an insurmountable task. Avoiding to deal with your student loan debt will not fix the problem. Face the problem head on. Here are some options to help you stay on top of student loan payments so that you can enjoy life in your new career.  

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Topics: Student Loan Repayment

How to apply for financial aid in RI

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Dec 11, 2014 2:02:00 PM

When it's time to send your child off to college, it's hard to avoid the possible strain the costs will put on your finances. Despite the fact that it may seem laborious to pay for your child's education, never let it be a deterrent. There are ways to obtain the help you need to fulfill the dream of sending your child to college. You need to know the necessary steps to obtain financial aid in your area. Here is a look at how to apply for financial aid in RI.  

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Topics: College Financial Aid

Financial Education: creating a college student budget

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Dec 6, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Poor money management in the early years of adult life can wreak havoc on credit causing high interest rates and higher insurance premiums in the long run. Many graduates face debt problems from their college days that may take years to recover from. Unwise spending can cost a lot more than the balance on the bill. Don't let your child fall into bad spending and borrowing habits that could get them into trouble. 

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Topics: Borrowing for College, Financial Education for Students

5 things to check on your universal college application

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Dec 1, 2014 9:03:00 AM

Filling out a college application is one of the most highly anticipated moments of your young adult life.  After four years of building your high school profile for your college application, it's time to see how all of the hard work pays off.  To make the application process easier, there is a universal college application called the Common Application that allows students to apply to more than one school simultaneously.  This method provides you with more time to focus on the quality of one application as opposed to several different applications.  Here are five things to double check before you send off your Common Application. 

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Topics: College Planning

How a universal college application eliminates stress

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Nov 25, 2014 8:00:00 AM

College application season is an incredibly stressful time for many high school seniors. College is a huge next step in your young life and if you are like most students, you are probably putting a tremendous amount of weight on your college applications. 

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Topics: College Planning, College Essays

7 Steps to Applying to College in Rhode Island

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Nov 21, 2014 12:38:56 PM

Parents often needs to provide their high school seniors with some simple guidance during the college application season. Applying to college in Rhode Island has some great advantages and there are some things you need to be aware of. View this presentation for 7 simple points you can make to your child as they prepare for the next big step in his or her life.

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Topics: College Financial Aid, College Planning

Repayment flexibility on student loans

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Nov 14, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Loans with the Most Repayment Flexibility

If you went to college and have student loans, chances are you have a Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Subsidized (Stafford) Loan, as these are usually a student's best choice when they need to borrow for college. These loans offer a great array of benefits, from low interest rates and fees to extended, income-based, Pay asYou Earn and other repayment options. 

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Topics: Borrowing for College, Student Loan Repayment

Should I consider private student loan consolidation?

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Nov 11, 2014 7:30:00 AM

If you have private student loans, you may be considering refinancing those loans. Up until a few years ago, this was barely an option but recently programs have been cropping up to help students and parents restructure their education debt. This year, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority launched a refinancing program that allows students and parents to refinance private student loans, state-based student loans, and federal PLUS loans into a single fixed rate loan. 

So what should you be considering when deciding if private stuent loan consolidation is right for your personal situation? 

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Topics: Student Loan Repayment

How much will college cost my family?

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Nov 7, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Over the past sixteen years at College Planning Center of Rhode Island, we have heard this question time and time again: "How much will college cost my family?" This is a complex question with an equally complex answer but it really all comes down to two things: how much financial aid your family is eligible for and what school your child attends. 

Your Expected Family Contribution

So how much financial aid are you eligible for? Financial aid eligibility is determined by two different formulas: the Federal Methodology and the Institutional Methodology. The Federal Methodology is the formula used the the federal government  to determine your Expected Family Contribution, often referred to as your "EFC." Your EFC can only be determined one way - by completing the FAFSA. You need to complete a FAFSA for every year your child is in school, and your EFC can change from year to year as your family's circumstances change.

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Topics: College Financial Aid, Borrowing for College, Financial Education for Students

How to pay for college with no money

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Nov 3, 2014 3:30:00 PM

Your child has made a big commitment by choosing to go to college. Likewise, you are putting a large commitment in your child by agreeing to pay for college. But many parents, like yourself, can't help but wonder, "how the heck am I going to pay for this?"

The sticker price on a college education can no doubt lead to shock. If you see that number and wonder how to pay for college with no money, know that there are options available. Most families these days don't pay the sticker price published on a college website. Financial aid can greatly reduce that number to something that is affordable for your family. The amount of financial aid you are eligible for is directly related to your family's personal circumstances, including income, assets, number of children, age of parents, etc. The formula used to determine how much aid you will qualify for is called the "Federal Methodology." Some colleges also use an "Institutional Methodology" for awarding their own institutional funds. 

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Topics: Scholarships for High School Students, College Financial Aid, Financial Education for Students