If You Need Another College Option for 2015-16, Check Out NACAC's College Openings Survey

Are you still searching for a college to attend this fall? Perhaps you’re on a waiting list and need a fallback, just in case. Or perhaps, you’ve been accepted to a school but didn’t get enough financial aid to swing the deal.  Even though it’s late May, it’s not too late to apply to a college, get accepted, find a dorm room, and receive financial aid. As of May 22, 2015, more than 300 colleges located throughout the United States and in a half-dozen other countries still had openings for...Read More
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Rates Will be Lower for Federal Student Loans Issued in 2015-16 Financial Aid Award Year

The interest rates on student and parent loans issued under the Federal Direct Loan Program during the 2015-16 award year are slated to fall nearly two fifths of a percentage point from the rates for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS loans issued during the current, 2014-15 financial aid award year. As shown in the accompanying table, the interest rates on Direct Loans issued from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, will range from 4.29 percent for Subsidized and...Read More
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Follow These Easy Instructions to Create Your New Federal Student Aid User ID and Password

FSA IDOn May 10, the U.S. Department of Education will implement its new login process for the federal student programs. The federal government is replacing its old-fashioned FSA PIN with a new method — called the FSA ID — which relies on a username and password.  Effective May 10, the FSA ID will be used to confirm your identity when you go online to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.FAFSA.gov or sign other federal student aid documents, or check on your federal student...Read More
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No Scholarship Yet? Keep Hunting

So you’re definitely college bound. You submitted the FAFSA, received a financial aid package, and made your college choice. But, so far, you haven’t landed a private scholarship, and you (and your parents) could use some additional cash to make college truly affordable. You can appeal your financial aid award, but there’s no guarantee that your school will be able to offer any additional assistance. You also can resist the temptation to succumb to senioritis and, instead, devote your free time...Read More
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1.7 Million High School Seniors Have Submitted Their 2015-16 FAFSAs

2015-16 High School FAFSA submissionsBy  April 17, 2015, nearly 1.7 million high school seniors had submitted their FAFSAs to apply for federal financial aid for the 2015-16 academic year. That's an increase of 2.2 percent over the number of college-aspiring high schoolers who submitted FAFSAs by mid-April of 2014. Submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a must for members of the Class of 2015 who want to be considered for federal financial aid programs.  According to data compiled by the U.S. Department of...Read More
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Retirement of FAFSA PIN Delayed Until May

In mid-May, the U.S. Department of Education will eliminate the use of the four-digit Federal Student Aid PIN, which currently is required to access federal financial aid systems. The government plans to replace the PIN with a new “FSA ID.”  The FSA ID will allow students and parents will be able to select their own user name and password.  What’s more, students and parents who already have a PIN will be able to link that code to their new FSA ID. The implementation of the new login process had...Read More
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How to Compare Financial Aid Awards and Make a College Decision

Jennifer SatalinoCongratulations! If you’re reading this blog post, it’s because you have been accepted to at least two colleges or universities that are a good fit for you, and that have provided you with financial aid award letters or financial aid packages. As you decide which school to attend, you’ll consider a lot of different factors before making your deposit on May 1st. Comparing financial aid between different schools can feel like an exercise in frustration, because you're essentially comparing apples...Read More
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April 1st Is Big Day for Students Awaiting College Acceptance Decisions

April 1 is Deadline for College Acceptance NotificationisTomorrow is April 1st. For most of the world, it’s April Fool’s Day, a light-hearted holiday that kids spend pranking each other. For high school seniors and their parents, April 1st is the last date for those colleges adhering to the National Candidates Reply Date to make an offer of admissions and financial aid to students who are invited to attend their colleges in the fall. Conversely, it is also the date when students find out if they have NOT been accepted into a particular college. Back...Read More
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If You Incurred College Expenses Last Year, Don’t Overlook Your Potential Education Tax Breaks When Filing Your 2014 Tax Return

Credits and deductions for higher education expenses are among the most frequently overlooked federal tax breaks during tax return filing season. There are a number of ways you can save on your taxes by keeping track of what you spend on qualified education expenses, including tuition, books, fees, room and board, and student loan interest. Four of the biggest federal tax breaks are:
  • The American Opportunity Credit
  • The Lifetime Learning Credit 
  • Student Loan Interest Deduction
  • Tuition and Fees...
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Changes in PLUS Loan Adverse Credit Check to Take Effect March 29

PLUS Loans at a GlanceDirect PLUS loans are available to parents of undergraduate students and to graduate students to help cover the cost of college. To qualify, PLUS loan borrowers must complete a FAFSA, be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, and not have an adverse credit history.  Under the federal PLUS loan rules, an adverse credit history is not based on the borrower's consumer credit score or income. Instead, the credit review considers a person’s past credit management (although a graduate student or...Read More
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