Cost of Attendance (COA): What You Need to Know

two little kids researching what coa cost of attendance means

What does COA mean? COA stands for cost of attendance which is how much it will cost a student to attend a college for a year. This is not the same thing as what a college charges. It is a federally defined term that is meant to estimate how much students spend to complete a… Continue reading

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Dangers of PLUS Loans

student pulling and pushing rock representing dangers of PLUS loan

If you are a parent considering taking out a PLUS loan for your graduating high school senior to attend college, you are almost certainly making a mistake. The fact is that if you can’t afford a college without a PLUS loan, then the college is simply not affordable. Yes, this isn’t fair. It’s hard to… Continue reading

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Scholarships: The Different Types and Largest Source

2 kids researching the source and different scholarship types

What does it mean? In the college financial aid world, scholarships are a form of gift aid, or free money, that you do not have to repay. The term “scholarship” is loosely used and can refer to money coming from different types of sources. Private scholarships are free money that is awarded by corporations, non-profits, community organizations, etc. –… Continue reading

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6 Ways a Gap Year Can Save You Money

Student standing between 2 paths representing how a gap year can save you money

Gap years have become increasingly popular among graduating high school students. A gap year is when students delay starting college for year to pursue other interests. Generally, the students have already been accepted to a college and ask to defer their admissions for a year but it’s not necessary. Nor do students have to pay… Continue reading

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What are College Grants?

Two kids asking what are college financial aid grants?

What does it mean? College grants are a type of financial aid you do not have to repay. In simple terms, it’s free money to spend on college. They fall under the category of “gift aid.” How does it affect how much you pay for college? Obviously, the more grants you have, the less money… Continue reading

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