Changes to FAFSA 2017-18: Here’s what you need to know

If you are like most college students, you have some student aid to help you pay for your higher education. FAFSA, aka the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, has undergone some changes this year.

Be sure you know about the new FAFSA changes. (Credit: NCSA)

Be sure you know about the new FAFSA changes. (Credit: NCSA)

I’ve got the fast facts to help you with all the things you need to know so your college expenses get covered. Read more

Get ready to apply for the FAFSA

It’s that time of year again–your free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) can be filed. It seems earlier than before, right? That’s because this year, there’s an earlier filing date for the FAFSA: the application window opened October 1st. Don’t worry, the application deadline is still way off, but it’s a good thing to check on, because there are FAFSA deadlines at the federal, state, and even college level. (Colleges are being encouraged to set the deadline no earlier than February.)

Time to begin applying for the FAFSA. (Credit: PTC.edu)

Time to begin applying for the FAFSA. (Credit: PTC.edu)

I know it can be a hassle to apply for federal aid–I needed it for all four years of undergrad–but with some of the new tools, including the handy IRS Data Retrieval tool, the whole process is getting easier. Read more

Top 4 scams for college students to avoid

College is a time to learn, try new things and find your own identity. Unfortunately, others are seeking your identity, too. College students are vulnerable to all sorts of scams and types of identity theft. Just at a time in life when you’re starting to build a good credit score, scammers can derail your plans.

Beware of scams targeted at college students. (Credit: Rent.com)

Beware of scams targeted at college students. (Credit: Rent.com)

One of the most common is the student loan forgiveness scam, but there are plenty of other ways that students can get ripped off. Read more

Free tuition at public universities? Hillary Clinton says yes

Many millennials were supporting Bernie Sanders in his bid for the democratic nomination because of his stance on offering free tuition at public universities and colleges. With Hillary Clinton the presumptive nominee, these same people were feeling disappointment, thinking their hopes for a college education without giant amounts of student loan debt had been dashed.

Do you think free tuition is a real possibility? (Credit: Plexuss)

Do you think free tuition is a real possibility? (Credit: Plexuss)

But not so fast, I have some exciting news! The Clinton campaign announced that they now have a free tuition plan, too. But how does it stack up to Bernie’s plan? Let’s see, shall we? Read more

Student debt relief is available for federal student loans

If you’re worried about how you’ll pay off your federal student loans, then I’ve got good news for you. On April 28, 2016, President Obama “crashed” a press conference with some breaking news for college students. Within the next year, 2 million more people will be enrolled in the Pay As You Earn program.

Find out more about student debt relief. (Credit: Tyler Kingkade, Huffington Post)

Find out more about student debt relief. (Credit: Tyler Kingkade, Huffington Post)

The program will help some borrowers with federal student loans by capping their monthly loan payments. The President also promised other future announcements that will help ease the burden of student debt. Read more

Paying for college: Are small scholarships worth the essay?

It’s common knowledge: apply for scholarships and you’ll be better able to afford college, right? Certainly, large scholarships are the best ones to receive: $10k or $25k off of that $70k per year college bill makes a huge difference in the amount you have to cover. I wonder now if I should have applied for more scholarships–even small ones that would cover my books (or groceries!)–to limit the amount of debt I’m leaving college with.

Let us help you decide which scholarships to apply for. (Credit: NAU.edu)

Let us help you decide which scholarships to apply for. (Credit: NAU.edu)

For high school seniors or returning students looking for tips on paying for college, consider whether it’s worth applying for a small scholarship, especially if it requires a brand new scholarship essay. Read more

Would Bernie Sanders’s free tuition plan help all college students?

Free tuition? Sounds like a dream! I would love to be able to graduate from college without being saddled with loads of college debt. It will take me years to pay off my loans, and my parents will have loans from my college, my younger sister’s college tuition, and my mother’s master’s degree program to pay off.

What do you think about Bernie Sanders's free tuition idea? (Credit: RingOfFireRadio.com)

What do you think about Bernie Sanders’s free tuition idea? (Credit: RingOfFireRadio.com)

The rise in college prices is a big hurdle–which is why so many college students are attracted to Bernie Sanders’s proposal for free tuition to state colleges. And it’s why we don’t really want to hear Hillary Clinton poke holes in the plan. Read more

Financial aid eligibility requirements for college students

Unfortunately, for many college students how you picked what school you would be attending probably came down to the financial aid package you were offered. Of course you opted for the school that was giving you the most money! But what you may have overlooked in your excitement over all those grants, scholarships and loans is the eligibility requirements and strings attached to that money.

Do you understand your financial aid eligibility requirements? (Credit: UNTHSC)

Do you understand your financial aid eligibility requirements? (Credit: UNTHSC)

What are the things you need to know about keeping your financial aid, once you’ve gotten it? Read on for more information to keep you in the know. Read more

Your student loan debt and the presidential candidates

The 2016 election is mere months away and the presidential candidates on both sides have been narrowed a bit. For college students, one of the big issues in this campaign cycle has been student loans. Now the latest news has a debt clock tracking the increasing student loan debt rate.

Find out the views of presidential candidates on student loan debt. (Credit: CNNS)

Find out the views of presidential candidates on student loan debt. (Credit: CNNS)

The clock was created by the education data site StartClass for MarketWatch. How will this issue play out when November 2016 rolls around? Read more

You ask, we answer: Say what, FAFSA?!

Dear J,

As if I’m not bad enough at filling out my FAFSA on time, there is a whole section asking me for my parents’ income? I asked my parents and they haven’t filed their taxes yet!? What do I do?

Thx- Anthony W

My exact look when filling out FAFSA forms. (Credit: cdn.meme.am)

My exact look when filling out FAFSA forms. (Credit: cdn.meme.am)

Anthony,

Everyone is bad at timing FAFSA forms so don’t feel too bad! The important thing is that you’re getting it done. Now, for the dilemma. Read more