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Balancing Cash, Savings and Financing Options to Pay for College Costs

You were ecstatic when she was awarded that merit scholarship. Even better when she still got a need-based grant. She accepted the admission offer, and then life was a swirl of senior year ceremonies, graduation, parties, and maximizing her last summer before going off to college. You hadn’t really thought more about college costs until […]
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Buying a College Laptop? 6 Tips & What to Look For!

Nowadays, a decent laptop is just as essential to a college student as pencil and paper. Not only does it help to get school work done faster and more efficiently, but it also opens doors to unlimited amounts of educational resources and useful information. If you’re going off to college soon, a laptop should be […]
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Comparing Colleges on Retention and Graduation Rates

  (photo by flickr user Sean MacEntee)For families seeking to maximize their investment in college, it is wise to compare completion and retention rates for potential schools. Two recent U.S. News and World Report posts reflect upon important aspects of student progress toward completion: freshman retention rate and 4-year graduation rate.
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Recommended Tools for Comparing College Costs

   pic from flickr user 401(K)2012  As your college-bound family considers a college, there are many considerations. Job placement rate, quality of program, and graduation rate should always be considered. However, for most families, finances play an important role in college choice. Recent research confirms this, showing that families are coping with rising college costs by more frequently having students choose to live at home, take online classes or graduate early.   Comparing the cost of schools before acceptance can be tricky. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that scholarships and grants may not be known until after the acceptance process is complete. However, for those who wish to ballpark possible pre-grant and pre-scholarship costs, there are quite a few ways to go about it. Here are a few that College Parents of America like:
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Questions to Ask your Campus about Security

  For a multitude of reasons, campus security is important both to college parents and college students. Knowing this, College Parents of America previously put together an article on how to navigate media articles on campus security, and key tools and how to evaluate campus security data. 
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Topics of Discussion with College Admissions Representatives

   You may not get a ton of time with a college admissions rep, but an inquisitive approach is your best chance to find out if a school’s characteristics will be a good fit for you and your college career. Below is a list of topics that can get you asking the right questions. Should you need this in question format, we suggest the following lists:
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8 Steps to Filing your FAFSA

   a blog post by College Board's financial aid expert, Susan McCrackin. Wondering if you should file the FAFSA? Let this College Board infographic help you.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It’s time. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is how millions of students apply for federal, state and most college-based financial aid. And because government grants compose 74 percent of this $185 billion pool, it’s understandable for families to feel anxious when filling out the FAFSA. It doesn’t have to be that way. Susan McCrackin, Senior Director Financial Aid Methodology at the College Board, offers this eight-step map to help parents and students work through the FAFSA as efficiently and effectively as possible.
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The First Year is a Big Deal

Parents of new college students recognize that the transition to college is a BIG deal.   The transition is a major life event for both students and the family. In fact, according to the research by UCLA - about 25% of freshmen students do not progress successfully to become sophomores.  Despite the efforts of so many people to select, enroll and pay for that freshmen year, many students do not overcome the obstacles they face in their new environment.  
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Twitter & College Parents

Twitter isn't for everyone, but it sure can benefit parents to stay in touch with campus life and resources to help your college student.
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Roundup of Internship Resources

With the semester ending and the summer coming, many students are looking for an internship position, hoping to gain some real-life experience and even land a job placement. Your student may be frustrated by the amount of the internship information from the campus career office, the internet and even his social groups. Naturally, as a parent you'll have some questions of your own: Where should my student and I be searching? How can I help ease some of my student's internship stress? How can I give constructive advice but give my student the space s/he needs?