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Student Loans

Apr 11, 2018 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.

Feb 12, 2018 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.

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.

Jun 11, 2018 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.

Feb 08, 2018 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.

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. 

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.

Mar 08, 2017 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Sep 15, 2016 If there's one thing we know for certain it's that college costs can be downright exorbitant. Costs can easily add up as students prepare to apply to colleges, take the SAT and visit different campuses. But your child's college career doesn't have to break the bank before it officially begins. Here are a few tips that'll help you keep costs to a minimum during your child's college search.

Aug 18, 2016 The average in-state student attending a four-year public institution paid $24,061 during the 2015-2016 school year, according to College Board. Books and supplies alone cost $1,298, on average. While there's not much students can do to avoid the rising cost of tuition and fees, they can find other ways to reduce their college expenses. Here are five tips for saving on textbooks this semester.

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.

Jul 19, 2016 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.

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.

Jul 04, 2016 Coding is becoming a valuable skill as our society and job market become more and more technology-focused. Many people are looking to develop a new skill to improve their resume, but don't have the money to pay for another degree. The following places will teach you how to code for free and, since most of them are online, so you can learn from home. In addition, even if  you only know some code, that can put you ahead of people at companies where coding may be useful, but not a necessary skill.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Feb 03, 2016 The federal government has launched a reboot of its income-based repayment plan for those with federal student loans. It's called REPAYE, for Revised Pay As You Earn. It extends the option of income-based student loan repayment to 5 million Americans. Here's what you should know about the program, who qualifies and how it compares to other options.

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.

May 18, 2018 Most students enter college planning to earn a bachelor’s degree within four years. But this is becoming less and less common. There are many obstacles keeping students from graduating on time. In fact, a recent study found that the majority of American college students need extra time to finish school. Let's explore this issue and discuss some of the factors that play into it. 

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.

Jan 11, 2016 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.

Nov 07, 2017 The start of a new year is an important time if you're a college student who graduated in December. Once the excitement wears off and the New Year's celebrations end, it's time to take a serious look at where you stand in terms of your finances. If you recently earned your degree, here are the most important things you can do with your money in the month of January.

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.

Dec 22, 2015 Have you ever dreamed of living in another country? Whether you're drawn to the charm or the prestige, foreign universities can be a great way to experience a new environment while pursuing a world-class education. If you're thinking about attending a post-secondary school outside of the U.S., check out some of the factors you'll want to consider.

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.

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.

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.

Nov 06, 2017 While many states offer financial aid to students with strong academic records, eight of them have college scholarships funded primarily through their state lotteries. The majority of these programs exist in southeastern states. While they have traditionally made higher education more affordable for in-state students, several issues have reduced their appeal.

Nov 05, 2015 Comparing colleges and universities to find which schools offer the best value for your money is no easy task. The federal government's new College Scorecard tool is designed to help high school students and their parents compare colleges based on a number of different factors. Let's talk about how to use the College Scorecard, its strengths and its potential limitations. 

Feb 01, 2017 Student loans have to be paid off at some point. To go about repaying that debt, you have plenty of options. Refinancing your loans so they're more affordable might work and consolidating them can make your payments easier to manage. Regardless of the approach you take, here are six reasons why you'll want to take care of that debt as soon as possible.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Nov 06, 2017 It's no secret that college is expensive. Tuition and fees often increase on a yearly basis, and  student loan debt is practically unavoidable for many Americans seeking four-year degrees. When the competition for scholarships seems too steep and you don't have enough savings to pay for a year's worth of textbooks, you could try your luck at getting your hands on a grant. 

Nov 15, 2017 The federal government offers loans to help Americans cover (or at least put a dent in) the cost of college. There are subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans. As you might have guessed, it's better to have a subsidized federal loan. But both subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans are a better deal than private student loans. Let us explain why.

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.

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. 

Jan 12, 2016 For several years for-profit colleges were on the rise. They launched advertising campaigns that made them seem highly attractive to prospective students. More recently, enrollment in for-profit colleges has been on the decline. A run of bad publicity has drawn attention to accreditation problems and other reasons to be wary of for-profit higher education.

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.

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.

Nov 06, 2017 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. 

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.

Feb 01, 2017 If you're set on pursuing a specialized career, a graduate degree may be the missing piece of the puzzle. But it won't come cheap. For the 2014-2015 school year, the average tuition bill was about $8,000 and $28,000 at in-state public and private universities respectively. Doctoral candidates shelled out between $10,000 and $39,000 on average.

Nov 07, 2017 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.

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.

Jan 20, 2017 Paying for college is no easy feat these days and students are borrowing record amounts of money to do so. Parents are also getting in on the act, taking out PLUS loans and acting as co-signers to try and ease some of the burden. Citizens Financial Group is throwing a new private loan product into the mix and SmartAsset has the lowdown on how it compares to other borrowing options.

Sep 25, 2017 Student loan debt in the U.S. has swelled to more than $1 trillion. For millennials facing a tight job market and stagnating wages, chipping away at the balance is an ongoing struggle, particularly for those with high interest rates. SmartAsset has some suggestions that might lower your rates, helping you to get rid of debt faster and save money in the process. 

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.

Jan 20, 2017 Graduation season is currently in full swing and for quite a few college students, that means it's time to prepare to face the music when it comes to dealing with their student loans. Since the average student loan debt is approaching about $30,000, new grads probably can't afford to waste any time in coming up with a concrete strategy for paying all of it off.

May 21, 2018 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.

Nov 17, 2016 Tuition prices have climbed steadily over the last decade. For parents and relatives who are planning to help students out with some college expenses, socking away money into a 529 college savings plan can be an easy way to save and score a few tax breaks in the process. It's another way to fund a higher education besides relying solely on student loans.

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. 

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.

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.

Apr 10, 2015 Student loan debt doesn't seem to be going away any time soon and the question of how to deal with it is one that lawmakers continue to debate. There have been some big changes over the last decade in terms of repayment options for federal loans and the introduction of loan forgiveness for certain borrowers. Even more tweaks may be on the horizon for 2015, so if you're paying off your student debt or planning to take out loans for the upcoming academic year, here's what you need to know.

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.

Jul 29, 2015 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.

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.

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?

May 18, 2018 Finding out that your kid got in to college is exciting. Finding out that your kid got financial aid? Possibly even more exciting. Many aid packages, though, come with a work-study job as part of the deal. So before your kid heads off to college, remind them to do the following to prepare for work-study:

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.

Nov 06, 2017 Many families have recently taken to homeschooling, with some estimates putting the number at over 1.5 million children in the United States being educated in this way. There are many reasons why a family may choose to homeschool, including geographical challenges, a nomadic lifestyle or the lackluster state of the local education system. What many people don’t realize, though, is that homeschooling can be expensive. Between technology, learning materials and field trips, the costs can add up pretty quickly. Have you considered homeschooling? If so, don’t let the costs turn you off. Here are some ways you can homeschool on a budget:

Nov 09, 2017 I recently met a mother who was so proud of her son's 33 ACT score that she carried it around with her in her purse. She actually pulled it out to show me. Remember, the highest score you can get is 36, so this student was leading the pack. Still, his mother was concerned about him getting in to the best school possible even though he was only a junior. I said, "Job well done" and told her her son was in the driver's seat when it comes to college choices and should be ready for "full ride" offers from some heavy-hitters.

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.

Mar 14, 2018 The student loan debt crisis continues to make headlines, and the latest wave of bad news centers on private loan borrowers. In October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its annual report on student loans and found that complaints involving private lenders spiked 38 percent over the last year. For grads who are neck-deep in private loans, solutions for dealing with their debt have been hard to come by.

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.

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.

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.

Jan 08, 2015 For many parents, the idea of their child studying abroad is enough to send shivers down their spine. Being separated by thousands of miles (and often an ocean) can be an emotionally harrowing experience. Moreover, college is costly enough, and adding to the stress are the extra costs associated with studying overseas. And expenses can add up in a hurry, even for students who attend schools with robust programs where tuition and room and board are the same as on campus. Here are some tips on how to do it all for less:

Nov 09, 2017 Fall can be a frenzy of college applications. I know you told your student to get everything ready to send off or file online, yet here you are about to pull your hair out because little or none of it has been done. You are on the brink of locking them in their room or make-shift dungeon until he or she gets that college essay finished. Share with them the understanding that it may feel like an exercise in futility, but hammer home its importance until they get it. After all, that essay will play a critical role in determining not only if your child gets in to a college or university, but receives a scholarship offer, as well.

Nov 13, 2014 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.

Jan 15, 2016 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.

Nov 09, 2017 Fall is around the corner and football season is in full swing. The search for scholarships should be, too, as the period we are currently in is critical. Students have just taken their final ACT and/or are about to take their final SAT before those scholarships applications are due. It is at this time that parents need to be eagle-eyed, or else they will find their child's scholarship search sidelined.

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.

Jan 15, 2016 Previously on the blog we have discussed having you or your student's financial aid refreshed due to a change in income in broad terms. Now it's time to school you on some specific steps that must take place. It can be a grueling process, but it can pay dividends if there has been a drastic income shift. How does financial aid work? Read on to find out.

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.

Mar 15, 2018 Fall semester is underway and millions of students have headed off to college, many of them for the first time. For young adults who are getting a first taste of independence, learning how to juggle their different responsibilities can be daunting. While college is meant to prepare you for a career, one of the things it doesn't always teach is how to effectively manage your money. Whether you're gearing up for freshman year or prepping for graduation, here's what you need to know to pass Personal Finance 101.

Sep 29, 2014 If a career change is in the works or you're looking to get ahead in your current field, advancing your education can give you the edge you need. Whether you're going back to school to finish up a bachelor's degree or tackle your master's, you have to make sure you're prepared for all the potential challenges. If you're on the fence about whether becoming a student is the right move, here are some important questions to ask yourself before you start writing those admissions essays.

Nov 07, 2017 During one summer break, I offered my assistance to a student and her mom in preparing her for the college application essay explosion that is on the way. I was both stunned and saddened that while she had college prep courses, including AP English, she was ill-prepared to write a creative, coherent essay. That can impact both her ability to get into college and also her ability to get help paying for college.

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.

Jan 02, 2015 The things that make a city good to live in are pretty different if you're an adult or a kid. Children don't care much about property tax rates, for example, but if there isn't anything fun to do after school they probably won't be very happy. With that in mind, SmartAsset took a look at the hundred largest cities in the country to assess which were the best to spend a childhood in.

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.

Dec 18, 2014 Whether you spent much of your summer touring college campuses or are busily planning those trips for fall, many parents and students across the country are in college search mode. Especially for high school seniors, this is the time to narrow down your list of schools you will apply to over the next few months. Deciding which college to attend (or to attend at all) can depend on many factors.

Jan 02, 2015 Summer break is long. Parents are finding that out now, as those seemingly endless August days stretch on. Summer break can be especially long for those children who are old enough to want money yet too young to land even a part-time job washing dishes at the local family-owned restaurant. Think of all those 14- and 15-year-olds who are whiling away their summer days playing video games and binge-watching reruns of Glee on Hulu Plus.

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.

May 21, 2018 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.

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