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Student Loans

Mar 12, 2019 Borrowing money to pay for your education is a necessary evil for many students, and how quickly you pay it off can determine the true cost of earning a degree. Even though interest rates for student loans tend to be lower than those associated with other kinds of debt, it still adds up quickly if you're not careful. If you're trying to keep the amount of interest you pay to a minimum, here are five errors to avoid. Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 Every year, colleges send out award letters based on the information that students put on their  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. If your financial aid package is less than what you expected it to be, you may be able to squeeze out a few more dollars by appealing the school's decision. There are some steps you'll need to take, but the extra effort could be worth it. Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 College students who need financial aid may qualify for various federal programs. For example, the government offers two different kinds of student loans. It also offers the Federal Pell Grant. If you're eligible for this grant, you won't be responsible for paying back any of the money you receive. If you're interested in learning about the Pell Grant, here's everything you need to know. Read More...

Mar 12, 2019 Many families who can't afford to cover the cost of a child's college education rely on student loans and financial aid to fill in the gaps. Students who want any sort of financial assistance from the federal government must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. Some colleges require students to submit this form in order to receive financial aid from their own schools (or state governments). If you need help filling out your FAFSA form, here's how to do it step by step. Read More...

Aug 28, 2020 Deferment and forbearance are options that people struggling to keep up with their student loans can use to make sure they don't get into serious trouble. Falling behind on your payments can hurt your credit or lead your lenders to garnish your wages, neither of which outcomes anyone wants. If you are struggling with loan payments, a financial advisor may be able to help. Read More...

Jul 10, 2019 If you’re in search of financial help for higher education, you may have explored different scholarships and grants to pay the way. Gifted money is a great way to pay for school without having to worry about paying it back after graduation. However, if you don’t have all your expenses covered through scholarships and grants, you might need to consider student loans to fill in the gaps. If you’re exploring federal aid, Stafford loans might be an option. Here's what they are, how much they cost and how to know if you qualify. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 As you explore funding options for higher education, you’ll come across many different ways to pay for school. You can try your hand at scholarships and grants, but you may also need to secure federal student loans. Depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for a subsidized loan or an unsubsidized loan. Here’s the breakdown of subsidized and unsubsidized loans, along with how to get each of them. Read More...

Nov 27, 2018 Paying for college is a challenge, and rising tuition costs certainly don’t help. According to College Board, the average cost of a four-year private college has increased by more than $3,000 over the last five years. Scholarships, grants and work-study programs can help bridge the gap, but it’s best to have a robust savings to back you up. Since some parents don’t want their child to take on too many loans themselves, the federal government created Parent PLUS loans. They stand out from other programs thanks to a fixed interest rate and flexible repayment options. Here we discuss what exactly a Parent PLUS loan is, how it works and whether you should get one. Read More...

May 07, 2018 It's hard to overstate the value of an education. According to Census Bureau data from 2016, the average worker with a bachelor’s degree earns $51,600 per year. That is roughly $22,000 more than the average worker with a high school diploma earns and $30,000 more than a worker without a high school diploma earns. But as everyone knows, getting an education can be expensive and is getting increasingly so. From 2006 to 2016, the cost of college tuition and fees increased by 63%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More...

Aug 24, 2017 In today's economy it can be difficult to get the best jobs without having a good education. Unfortunately, the cost of attending a four-year college is rising quickly, forcing many people to take on large chunks of debt or forgo college entirely. According to College Board, the average cost of attending a four-year public university has risen $5,000 in the past decade. For students looking for ways to budget, community college is a good option.  Read More...

Apr 27, 2017 Education is a factor that parents often take into account when deciding where to settle down and purchase a home. That's why most of the best places to raise a family have good schools. While education has never been the great equalizer it was meant to be for students in the United States, those who receive a high quality public school education have a greater chance of graduating from college and succeeding in the real world. Read More...

Aug 10, 2018 Besides comparing colleges based on their size and academic programs, high school graduates need to consider whether they'll take advantage of in-state scholarships and grants or enroll in an out-of-state school. After, all some states do a better job of providing students with a high quality education. Wondering how your state's public colleges compare to schools across the country? Take a look at our ranking of the best states for higher education. Read More...

Mar 02, 2017 The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form that students must submit each year if they need federal assistance for their undergraduate or graduate school courses. You may also need to fill out the FAFSA if you're interested in receiving financial aid from a specific school, state or program. Wondering when you'll need to complete the application? Let's look at the FAFSA deadline for the federal government and states across the country. Read More...

Jan 12, 2017 Not all students can cover the cost of their college education with the grants or scholarships in their financial aid packages. Some begin their college careers by taking out student loans, while others look for part-time jobs and work-study positions. Students who are trying to avoid taking on too much debt may wonder what their job prospects look like outside of their college campuses. To help them out, we ranked the best cities in the country for working students. Read More...

Nov 14, 2016 College students have several different options when they need financial aid. They can take out a student loan or apply for scholarships and grants. They can also take on part-time jobs and use their earnings to pay for their tuition, books and school supplies. Students who need help finding employment opportunities might want to consider applying for the Federal Work-Study program. Here's a breakdown of how it works. Read More...

Nov 08, 2016 College is expensive. If you need to borrow money and you exhaust all of your federal financial aid options, you may consider talking to a private student loan lender. But having bad credit could keep you from qualifying for additional financing. If your credit score isn't as high as it could be, here are three steps you can take to boost your chances of getting approved for a private student loan. Read More...

Oct 31, 2016 If you can't afford to cover the cost of your college education, you'll likely need some form of financial aid. The government requires students who want federal aid to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Once you submit this form, you'll receive your student aid report. Here's what you should know if you're having trouble understanding this form. Read More...

Oct 26, 2016 Deciding on a subject to major in is a huge decision for most college students. There are many factors to consider, including your interests, your strengths and future career opportunies. Choosing a less lucrative career path may have its downsides, particularly if you have few job prospects after graduation and you're buried under a mountain of student debt. That's why students might want to think about the return on their educational investment before picking a major. For the second year, SmartAsset took a look at the highest-paying college major in every state. Read More...

Oct 21, 2016 In order to receive financial assistance from the federal government (and in many cases from their own states and schools), college students are required to complete the FAFSA every year. The financial details that they provide on this form are used to calculate their expected family contribution (or EFC). Knowing your EFC is important for several different reasons. Read More...

May 18, 2018 During the 2016 primary season we heard a lot about the issue of free college. Should every American be able to get a bachelor's degree at no cost? What are the pros and cons of free college? If you have student debt yourself or you have kids who plan to go to college, you probably have strong feelings one way or another.  Read More...

Jul 20, 2016 If you've been admitted to multiple colleges, your biggest dilemma could be deciding which one to attend. One thing you'll need to consider is the amount of financial aid that each college is willing to give you. Unfortunately, some financial aid award letters can be difficult to read. If you're having trouble understanding yours, here's a quick guide to evaluating award letters. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 We all know that it's important to pay off our debt. But student loan debt can sometimes get lost in the shuffle when you're trying to keep up with your other bills and financial obligations. If you happen to miss one student loan payment, there's no need to panic. If you act quickly, you can prevent your mistake from ruining your credit score and jeopardizing your financial future. Read More...

Jul 19, 2016 On average, in-state students who attended public four-year institutions spent $9,410 during the 2015-2016 school year on tuition and fees, according to the College Board. After accounting for room and board, that total rose to $19,548. For many students, attending a community college for two years and then transferring to a university is a much more affordable option. Read More...

Feb 02, 2017 Graduating from college is exciting, but it comes with a slew of new responsibilities. That’s especially true when it comes to personal finance. Before the ink dries on your diploma, it's important to think about how you're going to pay off your student loans and manage your spending in your post-college years. Check out our budgeting guide for new college grads. Read More...

May 03, 2016 College costs are on the rise. When calculating the cost of college, it makes sense to include the cost of tuition, books, fees, meals, transportation and room and board. But what you might not consider is the cost of furnishing your college dorm room. If you don't have a lot of money left to spend on bedding and furniture, check out seven ways to decorate a dorm room on a budget. Read More...

Apr 21, 2016 Unpaid internships get a bad rap, but legitimate unpaid opportunities that provide college credit can sometimes be as helpful to students as paid internships. Even if they're happy to make connections and get hands-on experience, however, many students still have to pay bills and make ends meet. Below are seven tips for unpaid interns who are concerned about managing their finances. Read More...

Mar 02, 2016 The United States is a global leader in many regards, but when it comes to education it seems there is room to improve. According to the OECD, U.S. schools rank 28 th in the world based on student reading and writing performance at age 15.  That places us in the same league as European countries like Italy and Norway. On the other hand, we still lag behind Canada and several Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea. Read More...

Mar 08, 2017 Higher education is always a big topic in election years. Candidates of all political stripes readily agree that our colleges and universities are a key driver of prosperity but that there are serious flaws with our current system. The most-discussed issue in higher education today is the rising cost of attendance at schools across the country, which has forced students to take on increasing sums of student loans. But there are other problems too, such as the 59% graduation rate for undergraduate students. Read More...

Jan 19, 2016 According to a report from the Institute for College Access & Success, the average 2014 graduate with loans owed nearly $29,000. With that much debt, paying off student loans can seem nearly impossible for a new graduate. And it isn’t just the amount of debt that can make repayment difficult. Read More...

Jan 14, 2016 Student loan debt can be crippling and loan default rates continue to rise as more and more borrowers struggle to make their monthly loan payments. You may have heard that debtors can file for bankruptcy to get their student loans discharged. But is that a good idea? Find out how it can be done so you can weigh your options and decide whether it's the right move for you. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 Many undergraduate students live on campus. Some start renting off-campus when they become upperclassmen. But as you graduate and begin pursuing a higher level of education, you might need to think carefully about where you're going to live. Is it better to buy or rent your housing as a grad student? We'll explain the benefits of both options so you can decide. Read More...

Jan 12, 2017 In this age of tuition inflation, every dollar helps when it comes to paying for college. While student loans have become increasingly common in the U.S. (70% of 2015 graduates had student loan debt, an all-time high) work income remains a key source of funding for many college students. In fact, according to a 2015 report from researchers at Georgetown, over 60% of college students maintain a job during school. Read More...

Dec 18, 2015 Applying to college can be exciting. But what if the schools on your list are in areas known for their record-breaking cold? Some students crave cold weather, while others simply bear it in exchange for a reputable degree. Whether you love the idea of bundling up for class or you'd rather study by the pool, check out five top-ranked colleges with serious winter conditions. Read More...

Dec 14, 2015 Now that school is out for the holidays, you're probably looking forward to a few weeks of relaxation. Besides travelling and spending quality time with your family, you likely have nothing planned beyond sleeping in and catching up on your favorite shows. While you certainly deserve a break, it's a good idea to maximize your free time by making some smart financial moves. Read More...

Feb 01, 2017 When you've got student loan debt, your number one priority is likely to be getting rid of it as quickly as possible. Consolidating your loans can help you streamline your monthly payments. But for some borrowers, that's where the benefits end. If you're on the fence about consolidating, here's why you might want to think twice about combining your loans. Read More...

Feb 01, 2017 When you think of identity theft, you probably think of someone stealing your credit card account information. But there's a new type of fraud that's currently on the rise: student loan identity theft. Having someone take out several different federal or private student loans in your name can be devastating, so it's important to know what you can do to protect yourself. Read More...

Oct 07, 2015 Good news for pre-college students and their parents: The FAFSA just got simpler. The White House recently announced changes that make filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid a whole lot easier. The new FAFSA makes a change known as "prior- prior" to let families apply for financial earlier and more quickly. Here's what you need to know about what's in store. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 Choosing a college major isn’t necessarily all about the Benjamins. There are other things to consider - like what interests you. This is particularly true for majors that lend themselves to a specific profession or career path. For example, if you can’t stand the sight of blood, you might not want to become a pre-med major. Read More...

Dec 04, 2017 If you're in the market for private student loans you'll likely consider getting a Sallie Mae loan. Sallie Mae no longer services federal loans. Instead, it originates and services private student loans. Its spin-off company, Navient, has taken over the servicing of federal loans. While you'll get better interest rates from federal loans, if you do need private Sallie Mae loans, here's what you should know. Read More...

Sep 28, 2015 Being a doctor comes with prestige and status in our society. It can also come with a heavy load of student debt. While some doctors go on to earn enough to pay off their student loans in short order, others struggle with payments for years or even decades. To help any aspiring physicians out there, we're outlining the costs associated with attending medical school. Read More...

Sep 25, 2015 If you're juggling a handful of student loans from your college or graduate school days, the idea of consolidating to a single loan with a single payment may sound like a great deal. Before you rush off to consolidate your student loans, though, you should know about the pros and cons of this method of paying off student debt. Approach loan consolidation with caution.  Read More...

Mar 31, 2016 As much as you wish it would, your student loan debt isn't going to magically disappear. Counting on student loan forgiveness might not work, especially if you can't afford to make 120 on-time payments. And what if you make too much to qualify for an income-based repayment plan? Fortunately, if your student loan burden is too big to bear, it may be possible to refinance your student loans. Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 Like mortgages and credit cards, student loans come with interest rates. These can be fixed or variable depending on the loan type. At a time when the average student debt at graduation is estimated at $35,000, it's important to understand how student loan interest rates work. SmartAsset is here to help.  Read More...

Jul 19, 2016 As the cost of attending a four year college or university continues to grow throughout the country, community colleges have assumed an increasingly important role in our higher education system. Tuition and fees at community colleges are one third those at public four year colleges and universities, on average. Read More...

Apr 16, 2018 Just over 20 million students are expected to head off to college this fall. While they may be prepared to handle the academic challenges that come with earning a degree, having to figure out their finances is a different story. If you've headed back to school or you're going off to college for the first time, there are some specific budgeting no-nos you need to steer clear of. Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 The rising cost of tuition and fees at US colleges has rendered college unaffordable for many families. The average US college student now graduates with over $35,000 in debt. If you want to avoid taking on student loans (or to avoid paying high tuition for your children), consider foreign universities. Here are some of the countries with free college for American students.  Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 Student loan debt has reached epic proportions and lawmakers have scrambled to come up with solutions for coping with the problem. The latest to make the rounds is a student loan lottery, which was recently proposed in New Jersey. If passed, the legislation would give borrowers a shot at wiping out their loans for good, but there are reasons why students shouldn't press their luck. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 If you're buried under a mountain of student loan debt, having it forgiven can be a huge relief. Forgiveness is generally possible if you're disabled, part of one of the income-based repayment options or pursuing a career in public service. While getting your loans wiped out in one fell swoop can seem like a lifesaver, it may come with some negative financial implications. Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 Millions of Americans have student loan debt and with tuition prices climbing steadily, it's likely that the borrowing trend will continue. Taking on loans can have some serious financial implications, particularly with regard to your credit. If you're about to graduate or you're already in student loan repayment mode, it's important to be aware of the impact it can have on your creditworthiness. Read More...

Jul 29, 2015 Opening a 529 college savings account can be a smart way to tackle rising tuition costs while scoring some tax breaks in the process. Every state offers at least one 529 plan and you can participate in any of them, regardless of which state you call home. In fact, there are some situations where choosing another state's plan may be the more attractive option. If you're debating which 529 account to put your money into, check out these tips to help make choosing one a little easier. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 Student loan debt affects more than 40 million Americans and millennials in particular are feeling the weight. For many 20- and 30-year-olds of previous generations, being able to  buy a home was seen as an important step to becoming an adult. But study after study shows that today's young adults are delaying home ownership for multiple reasons, including overwhelming debt. Read More...

May 21, 2018 Student loan debt plagues some 40 million Americans and on average, graduates leave school with nearly $30,000 of debt that they'll somehow have to pay off. If your checking account is looking healthy or you've gotten a bonus, it may be tempting to make a big dent in your debt balance at one time. But it's important to look at the big picture to decide if it's the right thing for you to do.  Read More...

Apr 14, 2015 As the time for commencement rolls around, soon-to-be graduates of every stripe begin preparing for what's next. Leaving the college environment you've grown to know so well can be both exciting and intimidating. Luckily there are some things you can do before graduation day that can ease your transition into the real world. Read More...

Jan 28, 2016 Getting an advanced degree can enhance your professional prospects, but it usually comes with a hefty price tag. Earning an MBA or a law degree can cost you well over $100,000 if you attend an upper tier school. Unless you've got a huge wad of cash sitting around, chances are you'll have to take out student loans to get your degree. Read More...

Apr 26, 2016 The benefits of a college degree are well-established. Unemployment is consistently several percentage points lower for workers with a bachelor’s degree than it is for those whose education ended after high school, and over the course of a lifetime, college graduates earn hundreds of thousands more on average than their less-educated peers (even with the cost of college increasing in recent years). The largest benefit of a college degree, however, may be flexibility: college graduates are often able to choose from a number of careers, employers and places to live, which hugely benefits their overall quality of life. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 Student loan debt tops $1 trillion in the U.S. and it's estimated that nearly 70% of grads are leaving school with some extra financial baggage. While the average balance hovers right around $30,000, students who go on to tackle graduate or professional degrees are racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans. Many have no clear plan as to how they'll pay them off. Read More...

Mar 02, 2016 As of 2011, total spending for all public elementary and secondary education in the United States surpassed $630 billion per year, more than $12,300 per student. The vast majority of that funding, roughly 88%, came from state and local governments.  State governments have an especially important role: they maintain standards for curriculum, make sure that school districts with faltering local tax bases are adequately funded and assess the efficacy of public schools by administering statewide achievement tests. Read More...

Feb 18, 2016 Public universities and colleges serve many important roles in each of America’s 50 states. They are crucial pieces of an academic system that aims to educate young people and prepare them for the workforce. However, the quality, cost, and accessibility of schools ranges greatly from one state to the next. So which states’ higher education systems are doing the best job? Read More...

Aug 18, 2015 You may have heard that student loan debt is hobbling many Americans, but did you know that not all student loans are created equal? Americans with private student loans can face variable interest rates and have a much harder time discharging their debt. In short, there are key differences between public and private student loans. Read on to find out what they are. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 Paying for college is at an almost-crisis level as tuition rates continue to rise and taking out loans to cover the cost is becoming increasingly common. When it comes to federal loans, there are limits to how much you can borrow, which may make it necessary to turn to private lenders to fill the gaps. Because private lenders look at your credit score, many students have to enlist the aid of a co-signer, usually a parent, to qualify. The co-signer acts as a kind of insurance policy for the lender, but if they pass away before the loan balance is paid off, you could be facing some dire financial consequences. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Colleges often provide a different social and academic experience than do universities, as they’re typically smaller and more intimate. And since they’re comprised of just one school (universities are comprised of multiple colleges), they tend to only cater to undergraduates. To that end, especially with many liberal arts colleges, emphasis is placed on teaching students how to think, rather than how to enter a specific industry. Read More...

Nov 09, 2017 For many high school juniors and seniors, the overriding goal of their academic careers is to go to the best university possible. They write college essays, pour over their SATs, and load up on extracurricular activities in the hope of getting one of the most prestigious colleges or universities to accept them. Determining the “best” school is a difficult task, though, as different students want different things out of their college experience. And to that end, different schools may be best for different students. Read More...

Nov 26, 2014 Student loan default rates have climbed steadily in recent years, and according to the U.S. Department of Education, just over half of borrowers aren't meeting their monthly obligations for direct loans. It's no secret that college grads who finance their education are more burdened than ever, and finding relief proves difficult for many. Declaring bankruptcy can wipe the slate clean when you've racked up credit card debt or medical bills, but eliminating student loans isn't so easy. While it's possible to include student debt in a bankruptcy filing, discharging isn't always guaranteed. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 Student loan debt is nothing new to most of us. For many, student loan payments are just another bill we pay each month and will continue paying for a very long time. While student loans are nothing new, though, just how much the average graduating student carries is new. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 Student loan debt has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., topping $1 trillion as of last year. Seven in 10 students graduated college in 2012 with student loans, and the average debt load was $29,400 per person. For grads entering the still-tight job market, being saddled with thousands of dollars in loans can be financially crippling. There is some hope, though: if you don't mind living on a shoestring for a bit longer, you may be able to ditch your debt that much faster by volunteering. How to pay off those student loans faster? Here's a look at some of the ways you can chip away at your debt. Read More...

Oct 23, 2014 With Election Day rapidly approaching, millions of Americans are starting to get involved in the political process. For some, this means registering to vote, doing some research and hitting the ballot box on November 4 th. For others, election season calls for a little more action: donating money to favorite candidates and volunteering at a campaign office are a few ways some choose to exercise their political rights. Of course, many Americans go the opposite route: in 2012, more than 35% of voting-eligible citizens didn’t fill out a ballot. Read More...

Dec 19, 2016 When you're swimming in student loan debt, trying to keep your head above water may seem like an overwhelming task. If your monthly payments take up a big part of your income, it can become detrimental to your financial health. Not only that, but the pressure of meeting your student loan obligations may take a toll on you physically and mentally. Read More...

Sep 12, 2014 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with bachelor's degrees alone make twice as much and are half as likely to be unemployed on average as those with only a high school education. SmartAsset wanted to find out which United States cities truly have the best educated populations. Read More...

Sep 15, 2015 A college education is increasingly important in order to get and keep a job in the current information-oriented world. However, even as it becomes more and more of a necessity, college costs are rising, making it luxury-priced. Many people turn to community college in their local areas in order to get a higher education at a much more affordable price, either going into a career that requires a two-year associate's degree or transferring to a four-year institution to further their aims. SmartAsset has looked at close to seven hundred public community colleges across the country in order to find the best of the best. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Remember, Grease 2, and the song "back to school again?" (Yes, some of us are not embarrassed to admit we like it.) Well, when it's time to wind down summer break and get ready for the school bell, there are some great ways to prepare. There are a few specific things parents of junior and senior high schoolers should consider now to get themselves and their kids for what will feel like a lightning-fast school year. Before you know it they'll be headed off to college and, if you're not careful, racking up the student loan debt. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 These days, the hardest part about getting through college often isn't the workload - it's figuring out how to pay for it. With the total student loan debt surpassing $1.2 trillion, many of today's grads are leaving school with a heavy financial burden. In some cases, parents are sharing some of the load by taking out PLUS loans to help cover the cost of their child's education. While there are some advantages associated with these types of loans, borrowing on your student's behalf can end up backfiring. If you're a parent who's considering a PLUS loan, you need to weigh the pros and cons carefully before signing on the dotted line. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 The average cost of tuition at public colleges and universities increased by 3.1% for the 2013-14 school year and tuition rates were up 3.8% at private schools. With the cost of a college degree at an all-time high, more students than ever are turning to loans to fund their education. By the time graduation rolls around, they've racked up thousands of dollars in debt that now needs to be repaid with interest. Read More...

Feb 10, 2020 If you're a parent, paying for college can put a serious strain on your budget, especially as tuition prices continue to climb. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition at a public four-year university was $31,107 for the 2013-14 school year. The cost jumps even higher for students enrolled at private colleges. Saving early and often can soften some of the blow but you have to make sure you're stashing your cash in the right place. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 In today's job market, a college degree is considered a must-have but the rising cost of tuition is making it more difficult than ever to afford higher education. Student loan debt in the U.S. currently tops $1 trillion, leaving young grads with a nasty case of sticker shock once they leave college behind. For parents who are looking to ease some of the burden, saving early and often is the best way to financially prepare. If you're planning on footing the bill for some or all of your child's education costs, you need to avoid these costly college planning mistakes. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 The first year of college is full of ups and downs as new students learn to navigate life on their own for the first time. In addition to juggling classes with working, studying or just having a social life, many freshman students are also figuring out how to manage their money without mom and dad's help. According to the National Financial Educator's Council, which administers the National Financial Literacy Test, the majority of young adults are woefully under-prepared for tackling financial issues. Read More...

Jun 26, 2014 Congratulations! You've graduated from college and now you're ready to head out into the workforce. Earning a degree gives you an edge in the competitive job market but for many students it often comes with a heavy price tag. If you borrowed to cover the cost of your education, the good news is you have some time - your grace period - before you have to start paying it back. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 It's that time of year when new grads are taking that long walk across the stage to collect their degrees and first-time students are preparing to head off to college for the first time. From a parent's perspective, both events can be financially draining, especially if you're shouldering some of the cost of tuition or forking over a sizable amount of cash as a graduation present. To add insult to injury, your wallet could see even more of a strain if you have to pay a gift tax on your contribution. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 These days, it’s hard to get an education without having to borrow money to help you do it. Some of us end up borrowing quite a lot. Not all degrees offer a great salary once you graduate to help pay back some of the student debt load. So if you’ve got a lot, or even just a little bit, of student debt and are scratching your head as to how you’ll pay it off before you die, we’ve got some tips for you. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 You pay taxes, can vote and even join the military, but still your parents' income may decide how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. That is because it is all based on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Even if you are in graduate school, the FAFSA, based on your parents income, may still be used to determine eligibility. Read More...

Oct 22, 2021 SmartAsset wanted to know who in the country is getting the best deal for their property taxes. To find that out we answered 3 questions: how good are the schools, how safe is the area and how much are the property taxes.  Read More...

Dec 19, 2016 Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 10-20 years, you know that the cost of college has gone way up. The college inflation rate stands somewhere in-between 6 and 9% while standard inflation is only around 3% annually. That means that every year not only is the cost of college going up, but it's going up faster than everything else. Read More...

Mar 18, 2014 Tax season is underway which means it's also time for college-bound students to begin applying for financial aid. If you're planning on borrowing from the government or looking for grants to help pay for your education you'll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even though it's easier than ever to apply, navigating the process can still be a little tricky. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make sure you get the most from your financial aid package. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 Between juggling classes, work and a social life, the typical college student already has enough on his or her plate without adding concerns about health insurance into the mix. Even though coverage may not be required by the school, the Affordable Care Act mandates that everyone have a minimum level of medical coverage. The upside is that thanks to Obamacare, students now have more options than ever when it comes to safeguarding their health. Read More...

Jan 31, 2017 The amount of student loan debt in America is a staggering number. It’s estimated that Americans carry at least a trillion dollars in student loan debt. Yes, some colleges have a much higher tuition than others, but at least two thirds of college graduates are carrying some type of student loan debt.  Couple that with a limping economy, and the job horizon for many first entering the work force, (or those who have been laid off) can be depressing. But there is hope! Some good careers will actually help you pay your student loans. In fact, some public service jobs will even pay your loans completely. Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 College acceptances have already (or will soon!) come in. I thought I would search out a few scholarship surprises you may not know about to help cover the cost of college. There are more out there that can help parents keep a few jingles in their pockets in order to save money for college. Read More...

Apr 10, 2017 Student loan debt in the U.S. has reached epic proportions. Young adults are vocal about feeling the financial burden. A college degree is increasingly necessary even as the cost of college tuition and fees is on the rise. Colleges and universities are offering some students high discounts on that tuition. Everyone else will have to make do with student loans.  Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 In academic terms, economics is the study of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Simply speaking, it's the study of the choices people make with the resources they have. Read More...

Apr 10, 2018 We've all seen that Public Service Announcement from the Ad Council and The American Institute of CPA's that urges us to "Feed the pig." Well, I will be the first to say it is annoying, but it is also very effective. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Deciding which college is the best fit  is no easy task. There are all sorts of factors to consider which run the gamut from cost of the college and campus life to how big the institution is and what degrees it offers. You should consider them all before you and your child make a final decision, but there's got to be a starting point. Consider these 5 factors when picking the perfect college. Read More...

Jul 31, 2019 You won't find too many people arguing against going to college these days.  It might be getting more and more expensive but we know that there's a direct correlation between going to college and average salary and lifetime income.  And generally, the more school you go to, the more money you're likely to make. Read More...

Dec 29, 2013 This time of year can be a stressful and life-changing experience for high school seniors across the country.  The reason behind it all: college applications and acceptance.  Not only is it getting more and more competitive to get into a four year university but the cost is also going up. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 High school is an important educational period in most people’s lives. The education we learn in high school can determine whether we attend college, go straight to work or choose some other path. I have argued that  financial education should be a part of public school education, but many studies and reports reveal that courses that are already a part of most high school curriculum have the potential to determine a person’s income later in life. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Teaching your kids money management skills can help them to establish good financial habits that will benefit them long after they're grown. If you're ready to start raising money-smart kids, here are some of the most important topics you'll want to tackle. Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 Now is the time of year for graduate school application deadlines. There can be many benefits to returning to school. Obtaining your graduate degree can help open doors for you in your current career or help if you are considering changing careers, seeking greater financial rewards, or even just wanting personal growth. However, as we all are well aware, graduate school can be a big financial investment. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 30.7 billion dollars. $30,700,000,000.  That's the richest endowment of any U.S. university and it belongs to Harvard.  It's no big surprise that Harvard sits at the top of the list for university endowments but $30 billion is pretty astounding.  That's $10 billion more than the next highest endowment which belongs to Yale University(again, big surprise). Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 This is a guest post written by Peter Giambalvo for CouponPal. College is supposed to be the best time of your life - don’t spend your best days worrying about money! Get your expenses under control so that you can focus on your books instead of your budget. Not sure where to start? Study these 10 tips and see how many you can put to use in your life. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 Here’s the deal. If you’re a high school student heading to college, statistically speaking, you are going to graduate with debt. According to American Student Assistance, of the 20 million Americans who went to college in 2012, 12 million of them borrowed money. As of the first quarter in 2012, the average student loan debt for all age groups was close to $25,000, 10% of borrowers owed more than $54,000 and 1% (about 167,000 people) owed more than $200,000 dollars. And that money has to be paid back. One way to ease this burden? Choose the right major. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 The issue of student loans has been getting much attention lately. Here at SmartAsset, we've written on entrepreneurs such as Peter Thiel who are creating programs for young students to drop out of school and pursue their interests directly. States such as Oregon are coming up with alternative methods to pay for state college tuition. However, for many of us, these programs are coming out a little too late. We're already saddled with student loan debt. While this debt cannot be reversed, if you take some smart steps to pay down your debt sooner than expected. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 Imagine moving out of your parents’ house for the first time, and not knowing how to create a budget, what a 3% interest rate on a student loan means, or never having seen a credit card only to be confronted by employees of credit card companies trying to sign you up for a card by enticing you with free stuff. For many, these scenarios have played out on college campuses across the nation. Unfortunately, it’s not only young adults, freshly out of high school, who are confused or unaware about personal finances. In a previous post, I discussed how one-fifth of adults lacked confidence or were confused about their own personal finances. If these adults lack awareness about their own personal finances, chances are they are hesitant to teach their children about personal finances, thus furthering the cycle and confusion. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 The United States higher educational system is in trouble. The cost for a college education has skyrocketed over the years and more and more students are using loans to pay for their education. It is estimated that the average graduate completes their degree with $35,000 worth of  student loans. Many students are graduating with much higher loan debt, and this is just the average for under graduate degrees. Tack on the expense of graduate education and a student can easily rack up $100,000 or more worth of loan debt. Read More...

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