school http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1172/all en-US Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_for_education.jpg" alt="Woman saving for education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most parents with college-bound kids know about the traditional 529 college savings plan. It allows parents or grandparents to put money into a tax-advantaged savings or investment account that can later be cashed in to pay for college expenses. But did you know that some states &mdash; and a large consortium of private schools &mdash; offer another kind of 529 plan as well?</p> <p>It's called a <em>529 prepaid tuition plan</em>. With this kind of plan, you use your college savings dollars to buy tuition credits, locking in today's tuition prices. Considering how much news there is about the skyrocketing cost of college, this seems attractive in many ways. Parents can pay for college now and not worry that price increases will outpace their earnings. Better yet, a prepaid tuition plan is an investment that shouldn't ever go down in value &mdash; if you buy a credit worth a year of college now and the stock market crashes next week, you still own a year of college as long as the program delivers on its promise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <p>However, there are a number of factors to consider before committing to this lesser-known type of college savings plan. Here are some questions you need to ask.</p> <h2>What if my student doesn't go to the selected college?</h2> <p>Plans can change: Maybe you've been gung ho about your child attending your alma mater or the local state college, but your child isn't interested in either. Or, maybe your kid wants to follow in your footsteps and attend MIT, but doesn't get accepted. What happens to your prepaid tuition savings?</p> <p>You'll have to read the fine print to find out what you will walk away with if the student doesn't use the credits you purchased at the intended university. Any plan will likely allow you to change the beneficiary. For example, if Sally doesn't want to go to the University of Illinois, you can use her credit for her little sister instead. The Private College 529 Plan, which has nearly 300 participating schools including Stanford and Boston University, will also allow participants to roll their balance over into a traditional 529 college savings plan.</p> <p>In addition, various states' plans have provisions for using purchased credits toward other schools. For instance, Florida's prepaid tuition program is designed to be used at state universities and colleges, but funds can also be used for out-of-state or private schools.</p> <h2>What if my child gets a scholarship or doesn't go to college?</h2> <p>Again, provisions for refunds vary by plan. Some will refund the amount of tuition the plan would have covered. Under certain circumstances, some plans will pay you only what you put in &mdash; which would be a major loss of investment growth if the money sat in the account for years.</p> <h2>Will prepaid tuition be a better investment than stocks and bonds?</h2> <p>No one can predict what the markets will do. On the other hand, prepaid tuition programs typically offer participants a predictable outcome: Pay in X amount and you will receive a certificate for a semester of college. As long as the plan does what it promises, prepaid tuition plans won't lose value. However, this is no guarantee that you will end up with more value than you would have if you'd invested in the market.</p> <p>By way of comparison, private college tuition rates increased 2.4 percent per year in the past 10 years, and the cost of public four-year colleges increased 3.5 percent per year, according to the College Board. During the same decade, the S&amp;P 500 increased an average 7 percent &mdash; even taking the 2008 crash into account. So if you invested in a prepaid college fund a decade ago, your discount on present-day tuition will only equal half as much as the gains you would have gotten if you'd put the money in a traditional 529 savings plan that matched the S&amp;P 500's performance.</p> <p>A prepaid plan will probably decrease your risk and ease your worries about market fluctuations, but it could cause you to miss out on investment gains when the market is doing well.</p> <h2>What if the plan runs out of money?</h2> <p>When you put money into a prepaid college plan, the plan administrators take your money and invest it, along with the money from other plan participants. When your kid is ready for college, the plan is supposed to pay the school the cost of tuition &mdash; even if its investment growth falls short of the tuition cost. This could happen in a down market.</p> <p>Plans can also fail to meet their goals if not enough new investors buy into the plan. If this happens too many years in a row, plans can fall short of their promises and leave families in the lurch. This risk attracts a lot of criticism to prepaid plans, and has pushed some states to end their programs. Before investing in a plan, find out what it guarantees and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>The bottom line: hedging market risk</h2> <p>All the 529 prepaid plans out there are different. Participating in one could help you hedge market risk that you'd otherwise face with a college savings plan, especially if you only invest part of your savings in the prepaid plan while investing the rest in the market. Be sure to read all the fine print to learn what will happen if things don't go as expected.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 plans college higher education prepaid tuition saving money scholarships school tuition Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2037240 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Life Skills Your Kids Won't Learn in School http://www.wisebread.com/7-life-skills-your-kids-wont-learn-in-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-life-skills-your-kids-wont-learn-in-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_glasses_483686789.jpg" alt="Girl learning life skills outside of school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>During my freshman year of college, there was a young man in my dorm whose mother would do his laundry for him whenever she came to visit. While this beleaguered mother did not plan on being her son's part-time laundry service, she was so horrified by the state of his unwashed clothes that she felt like she had to do his laundry for him. Considering the fact that she only visited a couple of times over the course of that academic year, I can sympathize with her horror, if not her actions.</p> <p>While I was a step or two above this young man in terms of laundry skills, I still made some errors that cost me on occasion &mdash; like the time I accidentally bleached holes right through a shirt, or when I shrunk wool sweaters. That's because knowing how to wash clothes is not a skill taught in school. It's one of many life skills that parents need to teach their kids to help prepare them for the adult world.</p> <p>Your kids need you to teach them the following life skills so that they are not caught by surprise once they reach adulthood &mdash; and you are never stuck laundering the clothes of a capable young adult.</p> <h2>1. Budgeting</h2> <p>It can feel very difficult to teach someone else how to budget if you struggle with money yourself. But you don't have to have a black belt in budgeting to be able to teach your children. Here are some steps you can take to help them master money.</p> <h3>Give them an allowance</h3> <p>Give your kids an allowance starting around age six. When your child wants something, ask if he or she has enough money to pay for it on their own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-set-an-allowance-that-wont-ruin-your-kid?ref=seealso">The Easy Way to Set an Allowance That Won't Ruin Your Kid</a>)</p> <h3>Let them make mistakes</h3> <p>Allow your young kids to make financial mistakes while the stakes are still low. For instance, if your child spends all of their money on a toy when they'll be going to the carnival later, do not give them more money to spend at the carnival. Let your child recognize that once money is spent, it's gone.</p> <h2>2. How to fail</h2> <p>Failure is an important component of success, since no one achieves their goals without experiencing setbacks. Unfortunately, schools are set up so that failure is seen as a terrible outcome, and the way that failure is talked about in our society can make kids (and adults) believe that they need to avoid failure at all costs. This leads to kids and adults who give up when they feel frustrated and are afraid to take risks.</p> <p>To teach your kids how to fail, emphasize to them that there are lessons to be learned from failure. After your child experiences a setback or a failure, ask what they learned from it.</p> <h2>3. Etiquette</h2> <p>For many of us, etiquette may seem like an overemphasis on which fork to use, but teaching etiquette to kids starts with insisting on &quot;please&quot; and &quot;thank you&quot; as soon as they can get the words out, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids">teaching them not to interrupt</a> as their language skills develop. From there, make sure they know the basics of good manners:</p> <ul> <li>Making eye contact when talking or shaking hands with someone.</li> <li>Making guests feel comfortable.</li> <li>Handling introductions.</li> <li>Apologizing sincerely and accepting responsibility when you are wrong.</li> <li>Knowing how to politely phrase requests and respond to questions.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Time management</h2> <p>Many adults struggle with time management because they were never explicitly taught how to arrange their time and schedule. And though there is no one way to handle time management, there are some underlying principles you can teach your children to help them develop their own method of time management.</p> <h3>Daily routines</h3> <p>Routines can help kids understand when things are supposed to happen every day, which can give them the tools to create their own routines and have less unstructured time to manage.</p> <h3>How long an hour is</h3> <p>Use timers during chores and other tasks to teach this principle so your children learn how long various blocks of time are, which will make it easier for them to anticipate how long things will take.</p> <h3>Planning ahead</h3> <p>Creating a family calendar together can help your child see how planning can make events run more smoothly.</p> <h2>5. How to cook</h2> <p>When you don't have any cooking skills, then you are stuck spending more money than you need to on convenience foods and restaurant meals. Your kids need to be able to feed themselves when they are adults, which includes knowing how to buy and prepare basic meals.</p> <p>Have your kids help you in the kitchen, so that they learn these skills with your support. If you don't know how to cook, learning with your child is a great way to show them how to pick up a new skill as an adult. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids?ref=seealso">10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>6. Self-advocacy</h2> <p>When I taught high school English, I was always amazed by the number of parents who would call me to discuss their children's grades. While I could understand why parents were concerned, the student's grade was between the student and myself. Every time a parent tried to cut the student out of that conversation, the parent made it clear through their actions that they thought their child was not competent.</p> <p>Kids need to learn how to be their own advocates so they can handle conflicts with authority figures in adulthood. To teach your children this important skill, allow them to speak for themselves as early as possible. Start by letting them order their own meal at a restaurant.</p> <p>When your child does need to talk to a teacher, practice with them beforehand and don't succumb to the temptation to do it on their behalf.</p> <h2>7. Cleaning the house</h2> <p>The best way to teach your kids how to clean and maintain a home is to have them help you as you complete household chores.</p> <p>When your kids are very little, they want to help you, and you should let them, even though you could get it done more quickly by yourself. Explain what you are doing and why, so that your kids have a baseline understanding of how everything works within your home.</p> <p>As they grow, have them take over chores around the house &mdash; including doing their own laundry. Ahem.</p> <h2>Achieving adulthood, one skill at a time</h2> <p>Preparing your child for adulthood is no easy feat. But recognizing which skills your child will need can help you figure out the best way to introduce those skills. Not only will teaching your child these skills help her to feel confident, capable, and ready to take on the world, but it will also keep you from having to do their laundry in adulthood.</p> <p>That's a big win-win.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-life-skills-your-kids-wont-learn-in-school&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Life%2520Skills%2520Your%2520Kids%2520Won%2527t%2520Learn%2520in%2520School.jpg&amp;description=7%20Life%20Skills%20Your%20Kids%20Wont%20Learn%20in%20School"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Life%20Skills%20Your%20Kids%20Won%27t%20Learn%20in%20School.jpg" alt="7 Life Skills Your Kids Won't Learn in School" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-life-skills-your-kids-wont-learn-in-school">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">How to Sell Your Kid&#039;s Stuff at a Consignment Sale</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-skills-for-working-moms">10 Life Skills for Working Moms</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/downsizing-with-kids">Downsizing With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle kids life lessons life skills reading school smart kids street smarts Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1973971 at http://www.wisebread.com How Trump's Presidency Might Change Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_college_fund_544603158.jpg" alt="Learning how Trump&#039;s presidency might change student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you were a Trump supporter or not, the $1.3 billion student debt issue is one that needs to be tackled. Trump called student debt an 'albatross' around the necks of borrowers. While he didn&rsquo;t spend a lot of his election talking about student loans, he did offer several plans to solve the debt problem.</p> <p>All of the President-Elect&rsquo;s student loan plans are still just that &mdash; plans. However, here is how Trump&rsquo;s presidency might affect your current or future student loan (or your children&rsquo;s loans).</p> <h2>Cap on Maximum Repayment Amount</h2> <p>Trump addressed the ever-growing student loan debt dilemma in his rally in Columbus, Ohio, on October 13. One of his proposed solutions was to cap how much a borrower would have to repay. He said, &quot;We would cap repayment for an affordable portion of the borrower&rsquo;s income, 12.5%, we&rsquo;d cap it. That gives you a lot to play with and a lot to do.&quot;</p> <p>Currently, the Revised Pay As You Earn, or REPAYE, plan allows borrower&rsquo;s to cap their monthly payments at 10% of their discretionary income. However, this is only applicable for federal loans, and the plan requires borrowers to extend the length of their loan, meaning they will pay for their debt longer.</p> <p>Trump&rsquo;s plan to cap loan repayment at 12.5% might look higher initially, but depending on how he enforces the plan, it could save a lot of money for borrowers. If Trump allows the monthly cap to be applied to private loans, then this plan will benefit many borrowers.</p> <h2>Student Loan Forgiveness After 15 Years</h2> <p>Trump added to his speech in Columbus, Ohio, &quot;And if borrowers work hard and make their full payments for 15 years, we&rsquo;ll let them get on with their lives. They just go ahead and they get on with their lives.&quot;</p> <p>Currently loan forgiveness is available through special forgiveness programs, such as the public service loan forgiveness plan and the teacher loan forgiveness plan. The income-driven repayment plan will also forgive student loan debt after 20 or 25 years of payments, depending on which plan you qualify for.</p> <p>Trump&rsquo;s 15-year forgiveness plan would drastically cut the length of loan repayment and finally offer solutions for individuals weighed down with private loan debt. Trump did not give exact numbers to how much this plan would cost or save Americans, but it was said that it would be paid for through reduced federal spending overall. Also, it is believed that this plan would save the government money through fewer defaulted loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life?ref=seealso">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>Cut College Costs</h2> <p>Trump also addresses the root of the student loan dilemma &mdash; costs set by colleges. On his site, Trump wrote that he plans to, &quot;work with Congress on reforms to ensure universities are making a good-faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt in exchange for the federal tax breaks and tax dollars.&quot;</p> <p>Colleges have no incentives to lower costs, so why should they? If Trump were to offer significant tax breaks, then students might see lower tuition bills, too.</p> <h2>Aid for Non-Traditional Schools</h2> <p>Right now, federal aid is for students attending schools that are accredited through the Department of Education. This means that if a vocational school or nontraditional school program is not accredited, students cannot receive federal aid to help them attend. Trump said on his campaign website that he would help make it possible for any student to attend and complete whatever school or program they wanted.</p> <p>According to his website, he wants to &quot;ensure that the opportunity to attend a two- or four-year college, or to pursue a trade or a skill set through vocational and technical education, will be easier to access, pay for, and finish.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway?ref=seealso">What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway?</a>)</p> <h2>So What Does Trump&rsquo;s Plans Mean for You?</h2> <p>If you are already paying student loan debt, then there is a possibility that the plans will not fully be developed and implemented for another year or two. Taking on something as big as student debt and bloated college costs is not an overnight job.</p> <p>However, if you are currently in college or are a parent with a child attending college in the next three years, then there is a possibility that Trump&rsquo;s plan will benefit you. For the rest of America, it is hard to determine just how much Trump&rsquo;s plans will cost.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-trapped-by-these-higher-education-scams">Don&#039;t Get Trapped by These Higher Education Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training college debt donald trump federal aid loan forgiveness president trump REPAYE school student loans vocational school Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1844379 at http://www.wisebread.com How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap) http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_happy_books_82665501.jpg" alt="Student earning college credits in high school for cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College credits are expensive. Even a class at a community college can add a few hundred dollars to your overall tuition bill. For most undergrad degrees, the first two years are devoted to general education basics that don't necessarily impact an individual's future career. For example, to get my degree in English, I still needed to take Biology and Calculus classes.</p> <p>There are a few methods that will allow high school students to earn college credits before they actually enter the college scene. Doing so can help them shave off a semester or even a whole year, which translates into a lot of money saved, depending on your college's cost per unit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs?ref=seealso">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a>)</p> <h2>Take CLEP Exams</h2> <p>The College Level Examination Program allows students to earn three credits or more on passed CLEP tests. There are 33 tests that can be taken and there are currently 2,900 colleges and universities that will accept credit for passing CLEP.</p> <p>According to CollegeBoard, &quot;More than 60% of CLEP test takers said that they relied on their <a href="https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/testing/learn-about-the-clep-program">high school course work</a> to learn the material needed for their CLEP exam(s).&quot;</p> <p>The average college course costs $900, and the cost of CLEP is $80. If your child is able to pass five CLEPs, then it will cost you $400, but potentially save you $4,100 in tuition.</p> <p>Every university has their own set of rules, so make sure you know how many credits from CLEP tests they will accept beforehand. It is also wise to know how many CLEPs are applicable toward your major. For example, the college might accept 10 CLEPs, but a specific major might only need eight of those. You don't want to waste time or money taking CLEPs that cannot be applied to your degree.</p> <h2>Take AP Tests</h2> <p>Many schools offer AP courses, which are more demanding that typical high school courses. Not only do AP courses look impressive on college applications, but they can count as college credit if students pass the exam.</p> <p>AP courses and fee exams differ for each school. The standard fee for each exam is $93. A reduced fee is available for low-income families. Some schools might charge additional fees for proctoring and administering the course and exam.</p> <p>Even if your child's school does not offer a certain AP course, your child can still take the exam. You will need to find an authorized testing center, and know that the test might be harder for individuals that did not take the specialized course for the entire year.</p> <h2>Enroll in International Baccalaureate Courses</h2> <p>Depending on the high school, students can take singular IB courses or choose to pursue an IB diploma. An IB diploma is challenging, but it can shave a whole year off a student's college experience. Unfortunately, IB is a smaller program than AP, and is not as widely offered. However, if your child's school does offer IB courses, it is possible that they can transfer for more units than an AP course, depending on the college and course.</p> <p>Check with your child's school to see the exact cost of the IB program. As an example, Davis School District in Bountiful, Utah charges $864 for an IB diploma, which comes with six exams, on top of a $168 registration fee. However, they say their average IB students complete high school with 44 college credits, which comes out to the affordable price of $23.45 per unit. That is a huge difference from the usual $200&ndash;500 per unit cost that community and state colleges charge.</p> <h2>Take College Classes While in High School</h2> <p>Depending on your child's high school and community college regulations, your child can enroll in limited college courses while still in high school. Some college courses require prerequisites and you might need to gain signed authorization from your child's high school principal before they can dual enroll.</p> <p>This option can cost more than AP classes or IB courses, but it can also be more flexible. Community college courses can be demanding, but for a student that is dedicated, it is more than likely they will pass the class. It can be disheartening to take a rigorous AP course only to have your credit riding on passing one exam.</p> <p>Also with community colleges, your child will have access to online class options, help from professors, and summer class options.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training ap classes clep college credits ib courses saving money school semesters tuition Tue, 15 Nov 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1827229 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/debt_piggy_bank_71881857.jpg" alt="Finding ways to stop student loans from ruining your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans have become a huge problem. According to an analysis of government data from Edvisors, some 70% of recent college grads have education debt, and the total amount borrowed works out to an average of more than $37,000 per borrower. So burdensome is this debt that more than 40% of borrowers are behind on their payments or have stopped making them altogether, according to the U.S. Education Department.</p> <p>What can you do to avoid that fate? Here are four ideas &mdash; two geared toward families of high school students who haven't taken out student loans yet, and two aimed at college students who <em>have</em> borrowed.</p> <h2>Before You Borrow</h2> <p>Of course, the best way to keep student loans from ruining your life is to avoid borrowing in the first place. Here are two steps that can help.</p> <h3>1. Get Clear About What You're Going to Study</h3> <p>One reason why college costs so much for so many students is that so few graduate in four years. According to &quot;Four-Year Myth,&quot; a report from Complete College America, the four-year graduation rate at public universities ranges from 19% to 36%. Some who fail to graduate in four years drop out, others flunk out, but many others end up with extended stays on campus because they change majors.</p> <p>College is a very expensive place to &quot;find yourself.&quot; It's far better to enter school with as much clarity as possible about what you want to study.</p> <p>For high school juniors and seniors, there are numerous online assessments designed to help connect their skills, interests, and temperament to a number of possible careers. Some to consider include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.youscience.com/">YouScience</a>;</li> <li><a href="https://careerdirect-ge.org/">Career Direct;</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.mymajors.com/">MyMajors.</a></li> </ul> <p>Knowing what you want to study can help you avoid the five or six-year college plan and its associated costs.</p> <h3>2. Take a Gap Year</h3> <p>Taking a year off in between high school and college has been a popular practice in Europe for many years and is rapidly growing in popularity in the U.S. So much so that there is now a <a href="http://www.americangap.org/index.php">gap year association</a> as well as <a href="http://www.interimprograms.com/">consulting organizations</a> that help families (for a fee) determine whether a gap year makes sense for their children, and if so, how to best structure the gap year. Some schools will accept students and then allow them to defer enrollment for a year. The University of North Carolina even offers a <a href="http://admissions.unc.edu/explore/enrich-your-education/global-gap-year-fellowship/">global gap year fellowship</a>.</p> <p>A gap year can be used to earn money for college or explore career interests. Either way, it can help lessen the need for loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year?ref=seealso">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</a>)</p> <h2>After You Borrow</h2> <p>If you have already taken out loans to pay for college, here are two practical steps for minimizing the burden of such borrowing.</p> <h3>3. Create a Post-College Budget</h3> <p>Numerous surveys have found that students with education loans have little idea what they've gotten themselves into.</p> <p>A recent survey by Lendedu, a company that helps students refinance their education loans, found less than 10% of student borrowers understood how long it would take to pay off their loans or what interest rate they were being charged. Less than 30% understood that if they fail to repay on time, the government could garnish their wages or withhold their tax refunds.</p> <p>A couple of years ago, a study by the Brookings Institute found that among first-year students who had students loans, 17% said they didn't realize they even <em>had</em> loans.</p> <p>If you're going to borrow, you need to know <em>that </em>you owe, <em>what</em> you owe, and what it's going to take to repay. One of the best reality checks is to calculate the monthly cost of your loan payment while you're still in school. Then create a detailed post-college budget using a monthly <a href="http://www.mattaboutmoney.com/resources/">Cash Flow Plan</a> form.</p> <p>Creating a budget that includes student loan payments may motivate you to avoid taking on more debt. At very least, it'll help you understand how much you can afford for housing and other expenses after you graduate and may persuade you to avoid taking on other debts, such as a car loan.</p> <h3>4. Prioritize Accelerated Repayment</h3> <p>Under a standard loan contract, a student loan is to be paid off in 10 years. But you don't have to take that long, and the sooner you can be done with debt, the better. Especially since there are no penalties for paying off a student loan early, commit now putting your debt on an accelerated payoff schedule.</p> <p>The monthly cost calculator mentioned above enables you to run some what-if scenarios based on adding different amounts on top of your required payments. Seeing how much more quickly you could be out of debt may motivate you to live well beneath your means after graduating in order to prioritize accelerated debt repayment.</p> <p>Today, the burden of student loans is causing many young people to delay getting married, put off starting a family, and give up on buying a home. But it doesn't have to be that way for you.</p> <p>Whether you're a high-school student who's just thinking about college financing options or a college student who has already taken on debt, these simple steps should help you keep student loans from taking over your life.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Stop%2520Student%2520Loans%2520From%2520Ruining%2520Your%2520Life.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Stop%20Student%20Loans%20From%20Ruining%20Your%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Stop%20Student%20Loans%20From%20Ruining%20Your%20Life.jpg" alt="How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan">These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans">How Trump&#039;s Presidency Might Change Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training bills borrowing budgeting college degree gap year loan repayment planning school student loans Tue, 11 Oct 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Matt Bell 1810486 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Signs Your College Is a Scam http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_93713933_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="signs your college is a scam" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A college degree opens doors. While there are certainly ways to find professional and financial success without a college degree, it can be a harder and longer path. The relationships built, the skills learned, the knowledge granted, and the credentials earned open pathways that might have beyond an individual's reach.</p> <p>However, not all colleges in the United States deliver the type of education that will lead to financial success. ITT Technical Institutes' <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/09/itt-tech-closes/498752/">recent and sudden closure</a> after it was barred from admitting students utilizing federal funds, was a reminder of that fact. The closure of the school put the educational and financial prospects of thousands of students in jeopardy.</p> <p>Prospective students need to remember that technical schools and colleges &mdash; even nonprofits &mdash; are run like businesses. They won't necessarily broadcast that they aren't capable of delivering the type of education you expect. It's up to you to investigate the school and discover any red flags that indicate the college is a total scam. Here are a few warning signs to look out for.</p> <h2>1. It's in Poor Financial Health</h2> <p>ITT Tech's closure due to financial issues isn't an isolated, once-in-a-blue-moon incident. Inside Higher Ed reports that on average, <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/09/28/moodys-predicts-college-closures-triple-2017">five colleges close down annually</a>. The number of college closures per year is expected to triple in the coming years as admission rates at smaller colleges drop. Smaller private and public colleges are dependent on tuition to remain financially viable. This means that years of low admission rates can result in a slow, prolonged death for the college which can blindside students.</p> <p>When a school closes, students might need to:</p> <ul> <li>Restart the school vetting process;</li> <li>Pay admission and application fees for new colleges;</li> <li>Find an institution that will transfer the most credits;</li> <li>Potentially apply to have&nbsp;<a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school">federal loans discharged</a>;</li> <li>Contend with issues keeping&nbsp;<a href="http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/09/19/64802/itt-tech-closure-could-turn-into-housing-crisis-fo/">housing benefits</a>.</li> </ul> <p>In order to avoid enrolling in a college that might go under before you graduate, potential college students can check the financial health of their college by doing a Google search about the school's financial health or admission rates.</p> <h2>2. It Lacks Proper Accreditation</h2> <p>Proper accreditation is vital to a degree or certificates' worth. According to RuthAnn Althaus, a program coordinator at Ohio University, <a href="http://onlinemasters.ohio.edu/mhadegree-org-an-interview-with-dr-ruthann-althaus/">accreditation is vital because</a> it &quot;provides assurance to students, their employers, and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) that institutions are meeting rigorous educational standards and are professionally sound.&quot;</p> <p>If you accidentally attend a college without proper accreditation, you will not be qualified to work in a field that requires a degree, and employers might not recognize your degree as a valid educational credential. You can ensure that the institution is accredited by searching for the school's website for the accreditation information. Be sure to double check the accreditation claim on the accrediting institution's website.</p> <h2>3. Does It Have National or Regional Accreditation?</h2> <p>There's another layer to the accreditation conundrum. In the U.S., colleges and programs can either be regionally accredited or nationally accredited. Accreditation from nationally accredited institutions (a lot of for-profit schools fall into this category) are often not recognized by public colleges.</p> <p>ITT Tech students are currently dealing with this issue. Due to the fact that ITT Tech was nationally accredited, students have very few options as they attempt to find a replacement school. Right now, ITT students<a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/01/options-itt-tech-students-if-profit-chain-collapses"> who want to transfer to another school</a> are limited to other nationally accredited schools and the few community colleges that are willing to consider transferring their credits.</p> <p>Before you apply to a nationally accredited institution, you should seriously consider if you would like the option to eventually transfer to a regionally accredited institution.</p> <h2>4. The School Is Facing Accreditation Probation or Withdrawal</h2> <p>Accreditation isn't a lifetime endorsement for a college. Accredited institutions must continually prove that they meet the required educational and financial standards to keep their certification. Schools that fail to meet standards can be placed on probation.</p> <p>Enrolling into a college that is in a probationary period is risky. Failure to improve can lead to the institution losing their accreditation either voluntarily or by having it revoked. The loss of accreditation will mean that if you want a degree that is actually worth anything, you will need to transfer to another school. If this happens in the middle of the semester, you can lose time and money.</p> <h2>5. It's Linked to State or Federal Investigations</h2> <p>State or federal investigations of the school or its accrediting agency might be a sign that the school will not be a good investment. While not all investigations indicate wrongdoing, in recent years, the federal and state investigations of ITT Technical Institutes resulted in the Department of Education barring the school from utilizing federal aid to enroll students. That restriction led to the collapse of the school.</p> <p>When accrediting agencies are investigated, the fallout can be even more extreme. ACICS, the agency that accredited ITT Technical Institution, has been <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/06/24/federal-panel-votes-terminate-acics-and-tightens-screws-other-accreditors">recommended for termination</a> after a federal investigation. If the recommendation goes through, <em>every college</em> ACICS accredits will have 18 months to get recertified with a different agency. Those school's ability to find another certification agency to endorse them really depends on the quality of the institution and their financial health.</p> <p>To be safe, before you enroll in a college, you should search for any news of investigations of the colleges you are vetting or the agency that accredits the college. If the investigations have to do with the school's finances or recruitment practices, you might want to dig a little deeper into the investigation before enrolling.</p> <h2>6. It Has Low Freshman Retention and Graduation Rates</h2> <p>Enrolling in a college with low student retention and graduation rates is an extremely risky endeavor. While you shouldn't discount a school entirely due to low rates, it should at least be a warning sign that should lead to further investigation.</p> <p>Low rates can be the result of:</p> <ul> <li>Students transferring to another school before graduation;</li> <li>Students taking more than four years to graduate;</li> <li>Low emotional and academic student support and guidance by teachers and advisers;</li> <li>Lower academic standards for admission.</li> </ul> <p>You can check the rates of colleges utilizing the website&nbsp;<a href="https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/">College Scorecard</a>.</p> <p>Colleges whose rates are around the national average &mdash; you probably don't need to investigate further. If the college has lower than average rates (10%-20%), that might be a major red flag to take into account before enrolling. You should at least prepare yourself for an uphill battle in your quest to earn your degree.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-vicious-home-rental-scam-dont-get-conned">The vicious Home Rental Scam – don’t get conned.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Education & Training back to school college college degree fraud higher education ITT Tech scam school Fri, 07 Oct 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1807406 at http://www.wisebread.com What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_student_books_21091679.jpg" alt="Parents should know about the new college financial aid rules" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While school just started for many, if your child is college-bound or in college, it's already time to start planning for the next school year. Many families rely on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help shoulder the costs of college, and there have been many new changes to the program. These new changes go into effect this October, so listen up.</p> <h2>New Application Start Date</h2> <p>In the past, families would submit the FAFSA form at the beginning of the new year. However, the new start date is now as early as October 1, 2016. This is a huge change, and if you are in college or have a child in college, you will want to fill the application out that day, or at least in the first few weeks of October.</p> <p>For some states, FAFSA aid is distributed on a first come, first served basis. Individuals who apply earlier have a better chance of receiving aid, including grants, work-study, and federal loans.</p> <h2>Change Tax Information Submissions</h2> <p>Another big change is that individuals will not be required to submit the previous year's taxes, but instead tax information from two years prior. This means for the 2017&ndash;2018 school year, families will send in 2015 information. For families that filled out the FAFSA for the 2016&ndash;2017 year, this means you will be sending in your 2015 tax info two years in a row.</p> <p>This change will make filling out and submitting the FAFSA on time a lot easier, since families used to begin the application process at the beginning of the year. Many families would have to estimate tax information and fix it later on.</p> <h2>Less Asset Protection Could Mean Less Aid</h2> <p>When parents report their finances for their child's FAFSA, a portion of their assets, including savings and investment funds, is not calculated as part of the <a href="http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml">Expected Family Contribution</a> (EFC). This was good news for families with healthy investments but not a lot of liquidity to pay for college.</p> <p>However, the dollar amount of assets exempt from the EFC will drop this year, and will continue to drop in following years. This change could mean less financial aid for many families. This will affect middle-income families that were relying on financial aid the most. However, families with lower incomes will most likely not feel the change.</p> <h2>Don't Fall for These FAFSA Myths</h2> <p>Even though there were three major changes to the FAFSA this year, it is still a free form that all families should fill out. Don't fall for these common FAFSA myths and leave money and aid on the table.</p> <h3>1. My Child's Grades Are Not Good Enough</h3> <p>While some schools use FAFSA applications to award merit-based aid, most aid is needs-based. A good portion of financial aid is awarded based off a family's income and size.</p> <h3>2. I Make Too Much Money to Qualify</h3> <p>Many families often forgo applying for financial aid because they believe they make too much. Even if your income makes you ineligible for aid, colleges give out federal student loans through the FAFSA process. If you plan on taking out federal student loans, which are preferable to private student loans, then you must fill out the FAFSA.</p> <h3>3. I Didn't Qualify Last Year</h3> <p>It is wise to apply for FAFSA each year, even if you didn't qualify for aid the year before. There could be unseen changes to your family that you might not have accounted for, such as two children in college rather than one. Also, with the new changes happening this year, you might qualify for aid.</p> <h3>4. The FAFSA Is Too Confusing to Fill Out</h3> <p>This year, you are now allowed to skip questions that do not relate to your family's financial situations. This should make the process a little easier and streamlined. If you are still having issues with your application, there are many free resources online and offline that can help. Please remember that you should never have to pay someone to file this application, nor should you pay for information regarding the process.</p> <p>Circle October 1st on your calendar and have your tax information ready and easy to access. Even if you don't think you will qualify for aid, apply anyway. And remember: You must apply each and <em>every</em> year your child is in college. This isn't a one-time thing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college">What to Do If You Didn&#039;t Save for Your Child&#039;s College</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training changes college FAFSA free application for federal student aid loans rules school student loans students Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1801616 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college_students_happy_87827713.jpg" alt="College students learning money-saving hacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't let the costs of college loom over your head. Use these seven financial hacks to cruise through college and save thousands off your overall experience.</p> <h2>1. Rent Your Textbook Through Amazon</h2> <p>No need to buy every textbook, especially with <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Rent-Textbooks/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=5657188011">Amazon's rental textbook program</a>. My sister rents all of her textbooks through Amazon and saves $50&ndash;$100 off each book. For example, she rented <em>Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society</em> (9th Edition) for a recent class for $37.45. The new price of the book is $138.47 and the used price is $67.48. Amazon Prime covered shipping costs.</p> <h2>2. Research Book Costs Before Enrolling</h2> <p>When you first start taking college classes, you will have more flexibility over which classes you can choose, especially when you need to fulfill the GE requirement of your degree. Choose your class based on textbook and material fee cost, if possible. I signed up for a psychology class in my freshman year, but the textbook was written by the teacher and would cost $190. Since there was not a way find the book used, I dropped the class within the acceptable time period and took another class that fulfilled the requirement and had $20&ndash;$30 in book costs.</p> <p>Often you can borrow the textbook from the university library. At my school, the recent edition textbooks were only lent out for in-library use for an hour, but that was usually enough time to finish my work.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-part-time-jobs-that-offer-college-benefits?ref=seealso">8 Part-Time Jobs That Offer College Benefits</a></p> <h2>3. Piggyback Your Degree With Community College Courses</h2> <p>I graduated debt-free, and one of the major things that helped me do that was the abundance of community college courses I was able to take. My university allowed 70 community college transfer units. With the help of online classes, I was able to enroll in two local community colleges that increased the type of classes that I could transfer to my degree.</p> <p>I simply looked up agreements between my university and my two local community colleges and took as many classes as possible. One semester, I was enrolled and taking classes at three colleges at once. This also allowed me to take more than 18 units, which allowed me to finish my degree in three years, instead of four. All of this saved me five semesters at my university, which means I saved roughly $20,000.</p> <h2>5. Test Out of Classes</h2> <p>Research the possibility of testing out of some college classes. This can help you avoid boring and costly introduction classes that you already are knowledgeable in. The&nbsp;<a href="https://clep.collegeboard.org/">College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)</a> is accepted by over 2,900 colleges. The CLEP site allows you to search which colleges allow which test, though you will have to find out the maximum amount of credit your university allows through CLEP. The test costs $80, but military personnel may be eligible to receive funding for the cost of CLEP exams.</p> <h2>6. Check Out Local Thrift Stores</h2> <p>Shop at thrift stores that are near your university for a better chance to find apparel with your college's logo on it, as well as still-relevant textbooks. You can score both inexpensively, and either keep them for yourself, or sell them for more online or to other students via sale fliers on the campus' public bulletin board.</p> <h2>7. Become a Resident Assistant (RA)</h2> <p>Movies usually portray resident assistants as overbearing college students who have been on campus for almost a decade. However, the job can be fun and the free rent is definitely a perk that will save you $8,000 to $12,000 a year. Know that these positions are usually competitive, so make your application stand out, and volunteer for other on-campus events to show you have school spirit.</p> <h2>8. Get on a Family Plan</h2> <p>There are many different family plans that you can share to save money. The most popular family plans are offered through cellphone providers. Being on a family plan rather than on your own individual plan can save you $50&ndash;$100 a month off your cellphone bill.</p> <p>Family plans are not just for cellphones, though. You can save money by sharing TV streaming, Amazon Prime, Uber, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons?ref=seealso">How Family Plans Can Save You Tons</a>)</p> <p>College is expensive, but that doesn't mean you have to drown in debt to get your degree. Living frugally and minimizing living costs in college will make it easier to once you graduate.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite ways to save money while in college? Already a graduate? Share your experience of frugal college living.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review">Upromise World MasterCard Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping classes college community college hacks rent free saving money school students textbooks Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1771548 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Allergy-Free Snacks That Are Safe for Almost Everybody http://www.wisebread.com/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_eating_popcorn_000060513018.jpg" alt="Kids eating allergy-free snacks that are safe everybody" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that my daughter is in school, we've been put on a monthly snack helper list. At the beginning of the year, the school explained that our snacks needed to be free from allergens to be safe for all students. If you're unfamiliar (I know I was!), the eight ingredients that most&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/in-depth/food-allergies/art-20045949">commonly trigger food allergies</a> are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.</p> <p>Whether you, your child, or a friend has food allergies, you can still cook up some amazing snacks in your very own kitchen. Here are some fun, allergy-free snacks that will dazzle adults and kids alike.</p> <h2>1. Fruits and Veggies</h2> <p>You can't really go wrong with serving fresh fruits and vegetables. One of our go-to snacks for kids? Cut up trays of fresh produce arranged in a cool way. You can get really creative by slicing and dicing different shapes and designs, like with these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-butterflies-142820">apple butterflies</a>. One of my favorites is to use cookie cutters to make shapes out of watermelon slices. Dried fruit is another solid alternative. And those applesauce or fruit cups you can buy at the store also work well in a pinch.</p> <h2>2. Cereal Mix</h2> <p>Many cereals are free from the common allergens. Try making a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realthekitchenandbeyond.com/frugal-nut-allergy-friendly-cheerio-trail-mix-for-kids/">cereal trail mix</a> for quick noshing on the go. Combine Cheerios, raisins, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, pretzels, Goldfish, or whatever else suits your needs and hungry tummies. I'd add dried bananas and pumpkin seeds. That's the cool thing &mdash; this snack is totally customizable. Just make sure if you're serving it to a crowd that you've read all the labels for details on the allergens to make it safe for everyone.</p> <h2>3. Chickpea &quot;Nuts&quot;</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/recipe-page.aspx?recid=1934&amp;name=Rosemary%20Chickpea%20Nut-Free%20Nuts">rosemary chickpea &quot;nuts&quot;</a> are sure to please those crunchy, savory snack-lovers. Combine rinsed garbanzo beans with olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder, and salt. Then roast for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, mixing about halfway through to make sure everything gets equally cooked. I've eaten these hot and cold. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-and-frugal-chickpea-recipes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tasty and Frugal Chickpea Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>4. Popcorn</h2> <p>If you're pressed for time and need to provide an allergy-free snack for a class, try grabbing a big bag of popcorn. There are a variety of brands and flavors on the market today. I stick with plain and lightly salted. What else is cool? Popcorn is a healthy, whole grain snack and also happens to be an excellent source of fiber.</p> <h2>5. Protein Bites</h2> <p>My daughter loves these chocolate&nbsp;<a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2013/07/29/super-seed-chocolate-protein-bites/">super seed protein bites</a>. Just blend Medjool dates in your food processor until they become a chunky paste. Then add hemp, chia, and sesame seeds along with cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Then fold in some mini dark chocolate chips (read the label for allergens) and freeze until firm, around 20 minutes. These little treats taste like dessert, but they're packed with all sorts of good stuff.</p> <h2>6. Chips and Dip</h2> <p>Corn chips are usually allergy-friendly as well. Try serving tortilla chips with salsa or a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/recipes/sesame_free_hummus-2026-1.html">homemade hummus</a> that doesn't contain tahini (helps bring the price down considerably). To make, combine chickpeas, water, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Blend in a food processor until smooth and store in your refrigerator.</p> <h2>7. Rice Cakes</h2> <p>My daughter makes herself &quot;rice cake sandwiches&quot; with nut butter spread on top. To make this completely allergy-free, try using sunflower butter, which is a tasty substitute for peanut butter. This snack is a wonderful accompaniment to carrot sticks or other fruits and veggies.</p> <h2>8. Granola Bars</h2> <p>If you watch your ingredients closely, you can make delicious&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/nutfreegranolabars.html">granola bars</a> that are free from common offenders. This recipe combines the goodness of gluten-free rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sunflower butter, flax seeds, vanilla extract, salt, molasses, oil, and brown sugar. Mix everything together, press into a large baking dish, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.</p> <h2>9. Crispy Rice Treats</h2> <p>For special occasions, like birthdays, give them something exciting and simple to make. These allergy-friendly&nbsp;<a href="http://realfoodandicecream.com/allergy-friendly-rice-crispy-treats/">rice crispy treats</a> contain that magic ingredient &mdash; sunflower butter &mdash; again in place of peanut butter. You'll mix together the butter with brown rice syrup on your stove-top. When they're fully combined, pour the mixture over the cereal and coat well. Then press your mixture into a greased baking dish and let set. You might consider doubling this recipe to serve a crowd or cutting into shapes for added flair.</p> <h2>10. Brownies</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://petiteallergytreats.com/fudgy-gluten-free-egg-free-brownies-vegan/">fudgy brownies</a> are gluten-free, egg-free, vegan, and more. They also taste great (I've made them) and come together relatively easily. You'll need to create a gluten-free flour blend that contains rice flour, teff flour, as well as tapioca and potato starches. It may seem expensive and labor-intensive at first, but you can use this all-purpose mixture for other recipes once you get more into allergy-free baking. Mix together with the rest of the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite allergy-free snacks? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-ways-to-enjoy-canned-peaches">15 Delicious and Easy Ways to Enjoy Canned Peaches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-easy-pizza-crust">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Easy Pizza Crust</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-delicious-homemade-gluten-free-bread">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Allergies gluten free healthy food kids recipes school snacks Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1678008 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/529_piggy_bank_000071193215.jpg" alt="Learning the best state 529 college savings plans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is a pricey proposition for most families, and saving enough to send a kid off to school can seem daunting. Fortunately, 529 plans can be a great help. They allow anyone to invest money into an account, with the gains growing tax free as long as the money is used to pay for educational expenses. In many cases, contributors also get a tax break based on the money they put in. But which plan should you pick?</p> <p>You may instinctively sign up for the plan offered by your own state, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-its-okay-to-raid-your-529-plan">many 529 plans</a> are open to anyone in the United States. The key to finding a good 529 plan is the amount of tax benefit offered to the person contributing to the account. It's also important to look at the quality and variety of funds offered, management fees, and other factors.</p> <p>Here are the nine best 529 plans based on these criteria.</p> <h2>1. New York</h2> <p>The 529 plan offered by the Empire State is one of the best-performers, according to SavingforCollege.com. And it has generous tax breaks, including deductions of up to $5,000 per year for an individual, and up to $10,000 per year for married couples.</p> <h2>2. Maine</h2> <p>The state's NextGen College Investing Plan has a nice mix of offerings, including Blackrock Funds and iShares ETFs, which have super-low expense ratios. There are also matching grants of up to $300 per year, and a tax break of $250 annually.</p> <h2>3. Tennessee</h2> <p>The best thing about the TNStars College Savings 529 Program may be its variety of options. There's an age-based option, which allows you to enter into a fund that adjusts its holdings according to when the beneficiary plans to attend college. Then there's a &quot;static&quot; option with 13 different individual selections. Tennessee also offers up to $1,500 in total matching contributions. (There are no additional tax breaks because Tennessee has no personal income tax.)</p> <h2>4. South Carolina</h2> <p>Open only to South Carolina residents, the Future Scholar 529 Plan has no minimum contributions. It has an option of age-based portfolios with three different risk levels, or seven target allocation portfolios. It has a super low expense ratio of less than .25%, and all contributions are fully tax deductible.</p> <h2>5. Louisiana</h2> <p>The START Saving Program is for Louisiana residents only, but it has a nice array of options, including age-based funds or any of six Vanguard mutual funds. There are no program, enrollment, or management fees, and fees of the underlying investments are low. Account holders can get an annual tax break of $2,400 per individual and $4,800 for married couples.</p> <h2>6. California</h2> <p>The ScholarShare College Savings Plan has a ton of options. There are two age-based options, and a whopping 17 static options, including a socially responsible investment option. Fees are very low, but there are no tax breaks.</p> <h2>7. West Virginia</h2> <p>The SMART529 WV College Savings Plan is powered largely by Vanguard index funds, so fees are low. The Bright Babies program offers a $100 one-time contribution from the state. Contributions are fully tax deductible.</p> <h2>8. Colorado</h2> <p>Another Vanguard-driven plan, the Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan offers a $400 match for low and middle income residents, and many students would be eligible for up to $8,000 in scholarship money through the plan. Contributions are tax deductible.</p> <h2>9. Ohio</h2> <p>Another plan with a lot of good variety, the Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan has two age-based options and 16 static options. Up to $2,000 in contributions is tax deductible. Fees are low, with some investments offering expense ratios of as little as .02%.</p> <p><em>Do you contribute to a 529 college savings account?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25209%2520Best%2520State%2520529%2520College%2520Savings%2520Plans.jpg&amp;description=The%209%20Best%20State%20529%20College%20Savings%20Plans"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%209%20Best%20State%20529%20College%20Savings%20Plans.jpg" alt="The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid&#039;s College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-start-saving-for-your-child-s-education">When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s Education?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid">12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Investment 529 plans college college savings school tax incentives tuition Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:00:39 +0000 Tim Lemke 1580030 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_with_books_000045839110.jpg" alt="College student saving money before classes start" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College tuition and housing is expensive enough on its own. But then you start adding up all of the other college costs, both in and out of the classroom, and things can become quite overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to save significant money on expenses if you do some planning and look for out-of-the-box ways to save. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources?ref=seealso">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</a>)</p> <h2>1. Buy Textbooks Used</h2> <p>News alert: Brand new college textbooks are really, really expensive. Fortunately, the ease of shopping online has created an excellent way to buy gently used textbooks at a steep discount. We're talking over 75% off the retail price of new books and savings in the range of $1,000 over the course of an academic year. A few excellent online resources worth exploring include&nbsp;<a href="https://www.chegg.com/used-textbooks">Chegg</a>, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11662519-1420053963000?sid=kjames-1536773" target="_top">eCampus.com</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-7391941-1425315629000?sid=kjames-1536773" target="_top">AbeBooks.com</a>, <a href="http://www.bigwords.com/">BigWords.com</a>, and even <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/h/textbooks/used">Barnes &amp; Noble</a> has entered the used textbook field. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks?ref=seealso">20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks</a>)</p> <p>You can also sell back used textbooks for a pretty decent return, so be sure to take care of the books as condition is a huge factor when determining how much you'll get back at the end of the semester. If you don't want to buy your books, you can also look into renting them for the semester and saving a good chunk of change in the process. A few resources worth exploring include&nbsp;<a href="http://www.textbookrentals.com/">TextbookRentals</a>, <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10734724-1428334428000?sid=kjames-1536773" target="_top">BookRenter</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rent-Textbooks/b/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=5657188011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=52PUT3E2P7YMCVMA">Amazon</a>.</p> <h2>2. Ask About Student Discounts</h2> <p>When buying items like clothing, shoes, backpacks, and laptops in preparation for the upcoming school year, it would really benefit you to ask about student discounts. A few examples of discounts available include 20% off your order at Banana Republic, 15% off at J. Crew, and even 10% off at your local Goodwill. When it comes to buying tech,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/global/college-student-deals/pcmcat276200050000.c?id=pcmcat276200050000">Best Buy</a>, <a href="http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/campaigns/education_pricing">Apple Store</a>, and <a href="http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/6099/campaigns/welcome-to-dell-university">Dell</a> all have student-specific online programs that offer significant discounts. Apple, for example, is currently offering $200 off a new MacBook and up to $20 off an iPad.</p> <p>Typically, all you need to get the discount is your student ID. If you're a freshman and don't have an ID yet, just bring along your registration letter, or something similar, to prove your student status.&nbsp;Make it a healthy habit to always ask about student discounts when shopping anywhere. Also, be sure to ask when dining out as many restaurants offer unadvertised discounts to students.</p> <h2>3. Find Free or Cheap Transportation</h2> <p>Many colleges and universities team up with local bus authorities to offer free bus rides for students. Many incoming students are not made aware of this. Speaking from my own experience, I was a sophomore in college before I realized I could ride the local bus for free. Once you get on campus, ask around about this possibly free, or highly discounted, transportation method. Not only will you save on gas, but you'll avoid all of the other costs that come with maintaining a vehicle while in school.</p> <h2>4. Call Your Roommate to Avoid Duplicate Purchases</h2> <p>I'll never forget showing up on campus and meeting my first college roommate. It turned out we had quite a bit in common, including ownership of a microwave, mini-fridge, and 27&quot; tube TV. If only I had called him ahead of time to see what stuff he was bringing, it would have saved me significant money. After all, no dorm room ever built has enough room for all your stuff and it's silly not to share. Lesson learned the hard way. Always communicate with your future roommate and determine what items you actually need to buy.</p> <h2>5. Choose the Meal Plan That Works for You</h2> <p>I can remember a friend during my college days who paid for three meals a day (21 meals a week) in the school cafeteria but typically only went 10-15 times per week. At the time, I figured we was blowing close to $50 a week on uneaten meals, not including the money he spent eating out and at the grocery store. Always consider your eating habits when deciding on the right meal plan for you. For example, if you tend to skip breakfast and grab a bagel on the way out the door, you'll want to adjust your meal plan accordingly. Also, if you like throwing a sandwich together for a light lunch and have classes scheduled during lunch hours, you'll want to adjust your plan as well. Bottom line, don't blindly sign up for a meal plan without considering how much of the plan you'll actually use.</p> <h2>6. Research the Best Cell Phone Plan</h2> <p>You can also save significant money by researching the best cell phone plan that meets your specific needs. Simply adding another line to a family plan is not always going to give you the best deal. Or perhaps you're in a situation where that is not even an option. If you tend to use very few talk minutes (100 or less per month), you should consider a&nbsp;<a href="http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/other-prepaid-plans">T-Mobile prepaid plan</a>. For a very affordable $30 a month, you get unlimited web and text, 5GB data at 4G speeds, and 100 talk minutes. I have this no-contract plan and absolutely love it.</p> <p>If you're a big talker and texter, but don't necessarily need high-speed data because of free college Wi-Fi, consider&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cricketwireless.com/cell-phone-plans">Cricket Wireless</a>. For only $25 per month, you get unlimited talk and text, all with no annual contract. If you need a data plan, you can upgrade to 2.5 GB for an additional $15 per month. You can either buy a phone directly from Cricket, or save money by scoring a deal on an unlocked used smartphone on eBay.</p> <h2>7. Set up the Right Student Checking Account</h2> <p>Never blindly accept the bank or checking account recommended by your school. In many cases, they're loaded with hidden fees and often times the college or university receives a kickback for promoting the bank, making it a biased recommendation. It's important to do some independent research and find the right checking account for you. Look for student checking accounts that have no fees for debit transactions, branches near campus so you avoid out-of-network ATM charges, and no monthly fees when a reasonable account balance is maintained.</p> <p>Also, if you're comfortable doing your banking via your smartphone, consider using an online mobile bank like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review?ref=internal">Capital One 360</a>. The lack of physical branches is more than made up for by the lack of fees along with a decent interest rate. No overdraft fees, no minimum monthly balance required, and all completely FDIC insured. Are you worried about not being able to get quick access to cash? Don't be, as Capital One has over 2000 ATMs in addition to 38,000 fee-free ATMs account users can use. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-checking-accounts?ref=seealso">Best Online Checking Accounts</a>)</p> <p>By doing your due diligence and researching frugal ways to save on college costs, you can definitely lower your stress level when it comes time to pay your monthly bills. After all, balancing college life and your studies can be stressful enough without worrying about finances too.</p> <p><em>What other tips do you have for saving money on college expenses?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-buying-a-college-meal-plan">Here&#039;s What You Need to Know Before Buying a College Meal Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college discounts meal plans saving money school students textbooks Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:00:32 +0000 Kyle James 1536773 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_ideas_000040220958_0.jpg" alt="Girl with time-management skills winning at school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want your kids to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-back-to-school-shopping-tips-for-the-busy-parent">succeed at school</a> without spending every waking hour with their noses buried in books? Teach them how to manage their time most efficiently with these 11 tips on perfecting that September-to-May juggling act.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Mind Map&quot; Before a Writing Project</h2> <p>You may not have heard of &quot;mind mapping,&quot; but the concept isn't new at all. It's really just a fancy 21st &nbsp;century name for brainstorming, which we were taught as kids. Before your kid embarks on a project &mdash; particularly a written assignment &mdash; have them brainstorm their ideas, outline the steps of the project, and start organizing their thoughts into full-fledged ideas. That way, when it's time to get to the nitty-gritty of it all, the process will flow more seamlessly since all the moving parts will be in place.</p> <p>&quot;The best time-saving tip we know of is when a child has to write something &mdash; a book report, research paper, speech/presentation &mdash; is to use mind mapping,&quot; says Bryan Mattimore, chief idea guy at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.growth-engine.com/">The Growth Engine Co.</a>, an innovation agency. &quot;We have kids (and corporate innovation teams) create a mind map of what they might want to write first. It makes it a great deal easier for young and old alike to first get everything out in the mind map, so that they can write an outline and then more effectively and quickly write the piece.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Use a Calendar</h2> <p>I've used a monthly calendar to roughly plan out 30 days of advance assignments since I started my own business six years ago. I'm able to see what I've completed and what's coming up at a glance, and I can easily make room for additional assignments by moving other items around if need be. I've found this method of organization extremely helpful not only in terms of productivity, but also psychologically as the completed projects I cross off help ward off feelings of anxiety that I'm falling behind.</p> <p>Author Patty Wood suggests taking a similar approach with your child.</p> <p>&quot;Post a big school calendar above the child's desk or workstation so they have a visual of time and their assignments,&quot; she says. &quot;Have them put color stickers for tests and assignments on the due dates. When they look at any assignment, they can figure out how much work and time it will take to prepare and go on the calendar and assign time on days leading up to it. For example, if they have a speech on September 26, they can put an hour on, say, five days in the two weeks prior to the speech to get ready for it.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Prepare for the Next Day (or Week) in Advance</h2> <p>In addition to my monthly calendar, I also plan ahead on a more immediate level, like preparing my weekly meals all on one Sunday afternoon, as well as choosing and ironing that week's outfits. With all of those tasks out of the way for the week, I'm able to sleep in a few more minutes in the mornings and start my days with much less stress.</p> <p>Let your kids choose the clothes they'd like to wear that week, and invite them into the kitchen to choose what snacks and drinks they'd like in their lunches. As they get older, if this has become routine over the years, they'll eventually do all of this on their own (hopefully), so you can rest assured that your young adult is well on his or her way to being A-okay in the real world.</p> <h2>4. Establish a Dedicated Homework Time and Location</h2> <p>You'll have an easier time getting your child to do homework if you establish a dedicated time and location to do it. Once the routine is solidly in place, it will become habitual with, ideally, no after-school fuss.</p> <h2>5. Create a Checklist</h2> <p>In addition to my monthly calendar of projects, I also keep a daily to-do list &mdash; which includes both personal and professional items &mdash; to help me stay on task throughout the day. I try to plan them out in terms of the time I think each activity will take, but that's not always reliable as sometimes things don't go according to plan. Your kids can benefit from this system &mdash; and so can you &mdash; by providing them an outline of what needs to be done for the day and by what deadline.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Over-Scheduling Extracurricular Activities</h2> <p>A lot of kids get sidetracked or fall behind because of over-scheduling, and if that's happening in your family, it's time to take a step back and examine your priorities. Extracurricular activities &mdash; like sports, music, art, and theater &mdash; are important to your children's physical, social, mental, and emotional development, but not at the cost of education and overall well being. If they're doing too much in a day, and their homework or other educational pursuits are suffering, something has to go.</p> <p>Also, as a parent, stay sensitive to your child's demeanor and personality. If they're stressed out, unhappy, or constantly on edge, perhaps it's because they feel over-worked and overscheduled. Check in from time to time to see how they're doing in that regard.</p> <h2>7. Limit Phone/Social Media/TV Time</h2> <p>If you're addicted to social media, the Internet, or your e-mail like I am, you know firsthand how much time is wasted while you're on the phone and computer instead of concentrating on your work. This goes double for your kids whose hormones are raging amid all the traditional school drama that happens from pre-teen age all the way to high school graduation. To ensure their media doesn't interfere with their after-school responsibilities, limit the time they can spend on it by perhaps confiscating the devices until all homework, chores, etc. are finished, or granting them a certain amount of time to be online/the phone each night.</p> <p>You probably won't win any Parent of the Year awards in their eyes, but you're doing the right thing &mdash; and they'll recognize that someday.</p> <h2>8. Set Artificial Deadlines for Assignments</h2> <p>If your child has trouble remembering assignments or just procrastinates (like every other teenager &mdash; and adult &mdash; in the world), another potential tactic to take is to set artificial deadlines for assignments. I sometimes do this for myself if I dread a certain assignment, and I also employ this tactic when scheduling activities with my always-late husband. By creating a &quot;window of lateness&quot; as I like to call it, you can almost be sure that everything (and everyone) will be on time, or at least on the actual, much-later deadline.</p> <h2>9. Prioritize Assignments in Order of Importance</h2> <p>Kids tend to gravitate toward the easiest work there is, but that's not always the best approach to their assignments given that not all assignments are created equal. Some count for much more of their final grade than others, which makes the highly weighted projects a priority over smaller, more easily accomplished assignments. Review your child's schedule with them to go over their projects in depth to understand what they entail, recognize how much work they will require, and create a plan to meet the deadlines.</p> <h2>10. Keep a Regimented Schedule at Home</h2> <p>An after-school free-for-all will lead to certain disaster for your children in terms of their educational priorities, which is why it's in your entire family's best interest to keep a regimented schedule at home.</p> <p>&quot;To best help children manage their time effectively while in school, help them to understand and practice time management outside of the school day; this will allow them to internalize this structure and use it elsewhere, especially at school,&quot; says Dr. Lindsay Popilskis, certified school psychologist. &quot;Agree upon start and end times for academic tasks &mdash; such as homework &mdash; and fun tasks, and stick to those times. You may even set a timer for activities so that children can independently see how much time has been spent and how much time is left for each activity. With all that being said, the most important time for routine is bedtime. Without a good night sleep, children have difficulties maintaining their focus, which will not capitalize on their time no matter how managed it is.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other time-management tips to help kids win at school that you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-bad-credit-can-impact-your-kids">How Your Bad Credit Can Impact Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family Productivity children good grades homework kids planning school time management Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:00:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 1536917 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 College Degrees With the Highest ROI http://www.wisebread.com/5-college-degrees-with-the-highest-roi <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-college-degrees-with-the-highest-roi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smart_kid_000012050388.jpg" alt="Kid learning the college degrees with the highest ROI" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The first two things people usually want to know when you tell them you're making preparations for college are your intended school and major. Sure, they're curious to learn more about what you're interested in studying. But it's also because these are two of the main factors in determining your earning potential beyond college.</p> <p>Most of us sacrifice years of our time and make a significant financial investment in order to obtain an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-college-degrees-not-worth-the-money">undergraduate degree</a>. If you want your future earnings to reflect these commitments, focus on high-earning majors, such as these.</p> <h2>1. Science</h2> <p>There are several high-paying careers within the three major areas of science &mdash; biology and life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, chemistry, biology, geology, climatology, and hydrology majors, to name a few, are in high demand and graduates in these fields earn upwards of $100,000 at mid-career level. In particular, says Salary.com, biology majors from public colleges can see an <a href="http://www.salary.com/8-college-degrees-that-will-earn-your-money-back/slide/7/">ROI of over 100%</a> on their degrees.</p> <h2>2. Technology</h2> <p>Many of our recent advances in society are due to technology majors &mdash; making them highly sought after and crucial to employers. According to Salary.com, BI specialists and IT managers can expect mid-career earnings in excess of $100,000 and a <a href="http://www.salary.com/8-college-degrees-that-will-earn-your-money-back/slide/4/">degree ROI of approximately 170%</a>. Some in-demand technology fields include computer information systems, computer science, management information systems, developers, and network security.</p> <h2>3. Engineering</h2> <p>Engineering graduates are also among top paid new hires. For 2015, undergraduates earning their degree in engineering can expect to earn an entry level salary of between $55,000&ndash;$57,000 per year. Competitive industrial engineering majors include, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil engineering. Biomedical, software, environmental, and petroleum engineers are also among the highly paid fields.</p> <h2>4. Math</h2> <p>Whether you enjoy math or not, you might want to consider a degree in a math-related field because math majors remain at the cornerstone of being some of the most lucrative careers. A math major can expect mid-career earnings of over $70,000 in roles such as an actuary, or over $140,000 as an operations research analysis manager, according to Salary.com. That's an ROI of over 200% on public college degrees, in some cases.</p> <h2>5. Business</h2> <p>Business majors account for 26% of graduates. For those looking for a bit more flexibility in their careers, business might be just the right fit. For instance, you can specialize in business management, global business, or market research. An entry level salary for business majors is upwards of $50,000 per year and varies by geographic locale.</p> <p><em>What did you major in?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-college-degrees-with-the-highest-roi">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stay-in-school-until-the-job-market-improves">Stay in School until the Job Market Improves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam">6 Signs Your College Is a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training career degrees majors return on investment school Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:00:15 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1505776 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_graduate_000021016547.jpg" alt="New grad refinancing student loans with private lenders" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unlike mortgages and cars loans, the options for refinancing student debt have always been few and far between. Now, a handful of innovative lending startups are helping borrowers trim away at the $1 trillion in outstanding <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-paying-off-student-loans-early-can-boost-your-finances">student loan debt</a> owed by college graduates. It's a big market. Two-thirds of students at four-year private schools and more than half of all students at public ones take out loans, according to federal data.</p> <h2>SoFI</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12797287">SoFi</a>, a San Francisco company, says it saves borrowers who refinance their loans an average of $9,400 over 10 years by offering low fixed-rate and variable interest loans, as well as career coaching. An anonymous reviewer on CreditKarma rated SoFi five stars, saying the firm helped him <a href="https://www.creditkarma.com/reviews/personal-loan/single/id/sofi-personal-loans?pgsz=25&amp;prdhlder=0#reviewsListFullWrapper">save $900 per month</a> in interest and slashed more than 60% off of his original interest rate. Not too shabby.</p> <p>No, it's not too good to be true. But there is a catch.</p> <p>SoFi's loans are limited to &quot;highly qualified&quot; graduates hailing from an exclusive list of colleges and universities. If your school is on the list, however, SoFi will tap into your alumni network, connecting you to investors from the same alma mater. It's sort of like banking meets LinkedIn. SoFi makes borrowing personal, which comes with a slew of added benefits &mdash; opportunities for career advising, networking, and entrepreneurial support. In fact, SoFi claims its <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2015/03/sofi-social-finance-student-loans-mortgages-ipo.html">novel alumni lending scheme</a> has helped 60 members find new jobs and more than 20 entrepreneurs start new businesses. &quot;I'll admit it,&quot; said Jennifer Beall, a Northwestern graduate whose SoFi story is trumpeted on the firm's webpage. &quot;I'm obsessed with SoFi. I discovered SoFi and began the process of refinancing my loans, which led to over $5,000 in savings on interest.&quot;</p> <h2>Upstart</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12188828-1431034321000">Upstart</a>, another new, low-cost lender, considers things like your academic performance and work history when calculating your rate. Shedding student debt is a whole new game when your rate is based on Upstart's predictive modeling algorithm, which measures <a href="http://millennialmagazine.com/paul-gu-tackles-the-issue-of-student-loans-with-upstart/">your potential future income</a> &mdash; not just what you're currently earning. Folks with advanced degrees and good jobs &mdash; or at least a solid job offer &mdash; will get the best rates from Upstart. Co-founder Paul Gu describes the algorithm as imperfect, opening the door to many borrowers who might get shut out by traditional lending banks, while unintentionally excluding others. Gu admits that he himself doesn't even qualify for a loan through his own company. The algorithm, he says, is a work in progress.</p> <h2>CommonBond</h2> <p><a href="https://commonbond.co/choose-your-loan?referrer=b75172e7076c5472bed5baec5e28309c&amp;referred">CommonBond</a>, another non-bank lender, has so far handed out more than $200 million in loans to more than 2,000 borrowers with MBA, law, medical, and engineering graduate degrees. Like SoFi and Upstart, not every student with debt will qualify for refinancing. What sets CommonBond apart from other alternative lenders is that it allows student loan debtors to consolidate undergrad and graduate loans into a variety of fixed rate, adjustable rate, and hybrid loans. The company claims its borrowers save, on average, $10,000 over the life of the loan. There are no application fees, no origination fees, no prepayment penalties.</p> <p>Let's recap. With private lenders like SoFi, Upstart, and CommonBond, you can slash your interest debt by refinancing. That is, if you qualify. These firms adhere to nontraditional eligibility requirements, which can be great &mdash; so long as you earned the right degree or attended the right college or landed the right job. These new, lower-cost lenders are mostly going after students they consider sure bets. And who could blame them? About 10% of the 4.7 million students who graduated with federal loan debt in 2011 had defaulted by 2012, the government reports, which means they didn't make any payments for at least nine months.</p> <p>The bottom line: you can save a ton by refinancing your student loans with one of these new-age private lenders &mdash; so long as you fit the profile of what these firms classify as a &quot;safe bet.&quot;</p> <p><em>How are you paying off your student loan(s)? Have you considered consolidating with one of these lenders?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Don&#039;t Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training private lenders refinancing school student loans Thu, 11 Jun 2015 13:00:13 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1448399 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Saving Money on Back to School Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-money-on-back-to-school-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-saving-money-on-back-to-school-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-son-shopping-100248616-small.jpg" alt="mother son shopping" title="mother son shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on tips for saving on back to school shopping, scoring a bigger raise, and the secret to happiness.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://staplerconfessions.com/index.php/tips-for-saving-money-on-back-to-school-shopping/">Tips for Saving Money on Back to School Shopping</a> &mdash; To save money on back to school shopping, buy backpacks and lunch-boxes on sale the year before. [Stapler Confessions]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stackingbenjamins.com/score-bigger-raise-5-ideas/">Score a Bigger Raise With These 5 Ideas</a> &mdash; If you want to score a bigger raise, bring data to your meeting with your boss and avoid emotional please. [Stacking Benjamins]</p> <p><a href="http://financialmentor.com/true-wealth/secret-to-happiness/13075">The Secret To Happiness&hellip; And Why It Has Nothing to Do With Money</a> &mdash; The decision to be happy is actually the decision to stop being unhappy, so make a conscious effort to choose happiness! [Financial Mentor]</p> <p><a href="http://kylieofiu.com/2014/08/how-to-have-a-budget-friendly-last-minute-holiday/">How to Have a Budget Friendly Last Minute Holiday</a> &mdash; Squeeze in one last affordable vacation before summer ends by clearing your browsing history and comparing transportation options. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <p><a href="http://youngfinances.com/blog/10-important-roth-ira-rules-number-7-is-a-shocker/">10 Important Roth IRA Rules: Number 7 Is a Shocker</a> &mdash; If you want to contribute more than the limit to your Roth IRA, you will be hit with a 6% excise fee. [Young Finances]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/loves-me-loves-me-not-four-ways-to-organise-your-family-finances/">Loves Me, Loves Me Not: Four Ways to Organize Your Family Finances</a> &mdash; Having complete separation of accounts is just one way to manage your family finances. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/what-is-the-average-retirement-savings-by-age-are-you-falling-behind/">What Is the Average Retirement Savings by Age? Are You Falling Behind?</a> &mdash; Did you know that most workers under 35 barely have $6,000 in retirement savings? [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://realmoneyanswers.com/do-you-have-broke-habits-or-wealthy-habits/">Do You Have &quot;Broke&quot; Habits or Wealthy Habits?</a> &mdash; To develop wealthy habits, define your goals and understand your value. [Real Money Answers]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Uses-Tea-Tree-Oil-34862747">19 Smart Uses for Tea-Tree Essential Oil</a> &mdash; Did you know you can use tea-tree essential oil to kill lice? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-back-to-school-safety-tips">10 Back to School Safety Tips</a> &mdash; It is important to teach your kids stranger danger before they go back to school. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-money-on-back-to-school-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-money-saving-items-everyone-should-own">23 Money-Saving Items Everyone Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-late-on-tech-trends-saves-you-money">5 Ways Being Late on Tech Trends Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping back to school best money tips saving school shopping tips Tue, 12 Aug 2014 19:04:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1183109 at http://www.wisebread.com