College Planning

Don’t wait until high school to start planning for college; you can begin your search for the right school at any time. Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional student, or even a parent, we’ll provide everything you need to navigate the college planning process. Learn which websites offer the best college searches, where to find scholarships to finance your education, and how to avoid mistakes that could affect your financial aid. With our advice, you’ll have all the tools you need to put the pieces together and find your perfect college match.

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Not All Student Loans Are Created Equal

It’s not very often that I get excited about student loans. In fact, I spend most of my time helping students find ways to avoid them, if at all possible.  But sometimes, scholarships just aren’t enough to cover all your college expenses. Even if you’ve completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exhausted all your federal loan options, your dream school may still be out of reach. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t take out a private student loan until you take a look at the new program being offered by Discover Student Loans. Whether you’re enrolling in an undergraduate or graduate program, pursuing a health professions degree or going to law school, here are some reasons the Discover Student Loan Program is worth a look.

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Last-Minute Financial Aid

Last-Minute Financial Aid for High School Seniors

In a few short weeks, high school seniors across the country will be graduating. Although this joyous occasion is one to be celebrated, it’s often a wake-up call for many students that college is just around the corner, which means tuition, housing, and other fees will all be due very soon. Those who did not save for college, or enrolled at a school beyond their financial means, may find themselves clamoring to find financial aid to help cover all their impending expenses. At this point, it may seem like an impossible undertaking, but there are resources available to help those who still have insufficient funds for the upcoming semester. Here are just a few places seniors can look for last-minute financial aid.

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Scholarships for Single Mothers

Scholarships for Single Mothers

As a mother of four, I have a great deal of respect for single mothers, especially those who make the decision to go to college. When I went back to school in 2004, I was lucky enough to have a husband and two sons in high school who could help take care of my younger children and our home. Without them, I don’t know how I would have balanced everything without going crazy. Single mothers, on the other hand, not only face the same challenges of juggling classes and coursework, but they also have the responsibility of caring for their children, providing financial support, and keeping their households in order. It’s no easy feat, especially if they don’t have any nearby family or friends to help. Even those who do have a strong support system may be faced with another obstacle – financial aid. Single parents must make tough decisions regarding money, which may cause them to postpone their education or take fewer courses per semester. If they drop below part-time status, it could reduce their eligibility for certain financial aid programs. Without federal and institutional support, many single parents simply cannot afford to continue (or even start) their degree programs. Thankfully, there are scholarships for single mothers that can help lighten their financial burden and make their dreams of a college education a reality.

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Athletic Scholarships

How to Score Athletic Scholarships

ScholarshipExperts.com recently published an infographic, “Athletic Scholarships: Debunking the Top 5 Myths About the Elusive Sports Scholarship,” which does a great job of analyzing many of the misconceptions about winning athletic scholarships. For example, did you know that full-ride, athletic scholarships are not available for students in every sport, or that less than two percent of all high school athletes are even offered a sports scholarship? For those who are lucky enough to earn an athletic scholarship, the average amount typically falls somewhere between $2,000 and $10,400 per year. That’s hardly enough money to make a dent in your college expenses at an NCAA school. Does this mean you should give up your dream of playing college-level sports or forget about pursuing athletic scholarships? Of course not! You just have to be smart and know how to give yourself an advantage. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to score athletic scholarships.

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Financial Aid Package

Outside Scholarships and Your Financial Aid Package

When I won my first scholarship for college, I was ecstatic. I proudly walked into the financial aid office and turned over my check to be deposited into my account. A few days later, I pulled up my account online to view my financial aid package and noticed that one of my college grants had been reduced. Livid, I called up the financial aid office to find out why. That’s when I learned about a little-known rule called the Federal Overaward Regulation (34 CRF 637.5). Under this provision, outside scholarships are considered resources and can reduce your financial aid dollar-for-dollar. In fact, colleges are required to reduce your aid package whenever the total from all resources exceeds the school’s tuition costs by more than $300.

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