Risking Your Family’s Financial Security

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We at College Planning Strategies are 100% pro-college! Surprised, right?!? If a college education helps your son or daughter achieve his or her goals, then he or she should earn that college degree. And, you should help foot that bill! Well, not necessarily… If footing that bill will place your retirement in jeopardy, you should […]

Financial Aid Award Letters – What You Need to Know

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Between now and mid-April, high school seniors and their parents eagerly await the arrival of the financial aid award letter. Once opened, they may appear to be straightforward. But, they may be anything but… Surprising to most families, “financial aid” includes both free money (e.g., grants and scholarships that need not be repaid) and loans […]

Maximizing Financial Aid

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Considering the ever-increasing cost of a college education, maximizing financial aid is a required component of every family’s properly designed and implemented college planning campaign. Recent FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) changes moved the initial submission date from January 1 to October 1 of a high school student’s senior year. This change also […]

Most Families: Less than $10,000 Saved for a College Education

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Even a 529 Plan, an account that allegedly helps parents save for the cost of a college education, may not be enough. Frankly, it likely won’t be. Figuring out how to cover the cost can be, and often is, a daunting task. So daunting that many find it absolutely overwhelming. Most families have saved $10,000 […]

5 Reasons a Federal Parent PLUS Loan may be a Mistake

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Today’s parents are borrowing more, and more often, than parents of years’ past to help pay for their children’s educations. As a result, managing a federal Parent PLUS Loan, or other student debt, often competes with other important family priorities. With so much on the line, making the best borrowing decisions is crucial! Here are […]

Things to Know About the ACT


While it’s just a single factor in determining chances of admission, ACT scores help admissions counselors identify how well you’ve mastered high school content compared to other high school students. What’s Covered? The exam includes four multiple-choice tests – English, Reading, Math, and Science. Spanning almost three hours, unless the optional 40 minute writing portion […]

Visit a School without Actually Visiting


Visiting a school before applying is ALWAYS a good idea! But, what if you lack the time and/or the money to visit? What are your options? Visit School Websites From school-sponsored links, to YouTube videos, to specific campus photos, to cafeteria menus, the Internet provides a volume of information bringing schools to life. Virtual Tours […]