Thursday, October 29, 2015

Higher Education for a Lower Cost? Saving With Scholarships

Finding Scholarship Opportunities

The vast majority of the nation's institutions of higher learning offer various types of scholarship, granting money to college students based on a host of criteria such as academic merit, financial need, and in some cases, racial or ethnic background.

Although the application process can be complicated and redundant between scholarships, a great deal of money is available for those who are willing to jump through the right hoops and prove their merit and/or need.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Higher Education for a Lower Cost? Rising Costs and Funding Strategies

Despite a decade of low inflation, the price of higher education has seemed to defy gravity. According to The College Board, a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to help students and parents prepare and pay for college, tuition and fees at both private and public institutions have nearly doubled in constant dollars over the last 20 years.1

But a college education is an investment that can pay big dividends down the road. The College Board, citing U.S. Census Bureau statistics, estimates that individuals with a bachelor's degree earn over 70% more, on average, than those with only a high school diploma.2 Over a lifetime, that earnings gap translates into more than one million dollars - more than enough return to justify the investment, even if the rise in prices is outpacing inflation.3

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Higher Education for a Lower Cost?

College is expensive, and costs are only increasing with time.  Even if you haven't been able to save all the money you’d like for tuition costs, several alternatives exist to potentially help make up the difference.

Financial assistance comes in many shapes and sizes - from scholarships and grants, which do not need to be repaid, to federal loans, which carry very favorable interest rates and terms, but must be repaid eventually. The following are a few of the most popular sources of financial assistance:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Leaving Debt Behind

Last week, we discussed eight ways to build a budget. One of these was eliminating debt, which quite honestly, deserves a post of its own. Debt can be all-consuming, but it doesn’t need to be. While it is easy to fall into and much harder to get out of, becoming debt-free is not unattainable! Millions of people have done it; but it will take dedication and the ability to see the bigger picture, beyond a sea of minimum payments.

With all of this in mind, debt-free living requires a plan. It is not an overnight decision, but a collection of weeks, months, and sometimes years of choosing to eliminate debt.

We suggest beginning by listing out your debts. Putting pen to paper will allow you to see exactly what you are dealing with, and how you can start eliminating payments. Once you can visualize exactly what you’re working with, the next steps will seem easier to take on.