What is merit aid?

Two little kids researching merit aid

What does it mean? Merit aid is a type of college financial aid. Colleges provide merit aid as an incentive for select students to attend their institution. Generally, these students have academic qualifications that would contribute to raising the college’s academic profile.   Often students do not even have to apply for institutional merit scholarships. Students are automatically considered for available merit awards as part of the admissions process. Colleges will often list the GPA and test requirements for these automatic scholarships. 

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Why Your College Search Should Start with Your State University

picture of college graduates representing why you should compare collegesShould Start with Your State University

The college search process and figuring out how to pay for it can be confusing and intimidating so it’s not surprising that many families don’t even know where to start. For most people, the obvious place to start is with their state public universities. The logic is simple, private schools are going to be more expensive than your public option unless you receive significant financial aid. Knowing how much your state public university costs gives you an idea of how much financial aid you would need to make a private college competitive financially.

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What is average net price?

little girl and boy researching what is average net price

What does it mean? Average Net Price is a term defined by the federal government which is the average amount students paid to attend a college after deducting gift aid. According to CollegeNavigator, the college search website for the National Center for Education Statistics, Average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. Total cost of attendance is the sum of published tuition and required fees, books and supplies, and the weighted average for room and board and other expenses.

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Strategies For Finding Niche and Local Private Scholarships

Niche and Local Scholarships

Below is a summary of our Facebook Live discussion with Becky Ix on the topic of finding niche and local private scholarships.  Presenter – Becky Ix, College Prep Advisor and author of Who’s Guiding You? Becky advises families on all areas of high school tracks, testing, and programs as well as the college & financial aid & scholarship application strategic planning and processes. Her guidebook “Who’s Guiding You? Florida College Prep Guide” is available on Amazon for only $15 and is applicable to any student nationwide, it just has extra details about Florida programs. She also offers two custom organizers for College Applications & Scholarship Applications that you can purchase from her Facebook page “Who’s Guiding You”.  The largest source of scholarships come directly from ...

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Why You Should Consider Going to a Small College

Tug boat and large ship representing reason to consider a small college

Simple-there are more of them. By considering a small college, you’ve just increased your possible college options by two thirds. There are a lot more small colleges than larger colleges. This has nothing to do with which are “better.” This has everything to do with paying less for college and the basics of supply and demand.

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What is the PROFILE financial aid form?

2 little kids researching what is the css profile financial aid form

What does it mean? The PROFILE’s full name is actually the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. The CSS stands for College Scholarship Service. It is a financial aid application administered by the College Board for non-federal financial aid. There are around 200 four-year undergraduate programs that use the PROFILE to award financial aid. Students who apply to schools that use the PROFILE financial aid form will still have to complete the FAFSA to qualify for federal aid.

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The Importance of Researching & Comparing Student Loans

Paying for college can be an intimidating prospect, but there are a lot of options available that can help. Once your student has applied for all the scholarships and merit aid available, it’s time to consider other options for student loans. Because federal school loans have favorable policies, including lower interest rates, subsidized interest during school, and more, it’s a good idea to maximize those first. If your student still has financial needs, you may need to look at the private student loan market. The Importance of Research and Comparison While federal loans are standard and uniform, private loans vary a great deal. It’s extremely important to look at a variety of factors and to get information from more than one lender. When you have the information in your hands, you have th ...

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Free Resource for Researching Majors and Related Jobs

4 different professionals representing resource to research fastest growing jobs

For many students and families, the primary purpose of college is to get a good paying job on graduation. The reality is nobody wants to graduate and not be able to find a job that pays off their college debt while allowing a decent standard of living. A little research into the job market before applying to college could help students decide if the debt would be worth it.

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What is a Student Aid Report?

What does it mean? The Student Aid Report (SAR) lists a student’s eligibility for federal student aid and summarizes the information submitted on the FAFSA application. Your eligibility is based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is calculated based on the information you submitted on the FAFSA. The SAR will also include your Data Release Number (DRN) which you’ll need to allow schools to add their code to your application.

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Should you use a private college counselor?

private college counsleor working with a student

For a certain portion of families going through the college admission process, private college counselors are a recognized part of the landscape. Many families consider hiring an Independent Education Consultant (IEC) as just another expense in applying to college. According to a survey of “students who scored in the 70th percentile or higher on the SAT (at least 1150 out of 1600) or ACT (a composite of at least 25)…, 26 percent admit to hiring an IEC to help them in their college search.”

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