Common College Application Mistakes that Can Put You in the Rejection Pile

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No one wants their college application to end up in the rejection pile, and while having perfect grades and a robust resume of volunteering and extracurricular activities will help you get accepted, it won’t guarantee you a spot on next year’s roster. One way to increase your odds of acceptance is by submitting a pristine application that shows a clear understanding of your identity and goals.

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Unexpected College Dorm Room Necessities You Didn’t Know You Needed

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It’s time to pack up and head off to Freshman year – but…what to bring?

Whether your college provides you with a checklist,  you Google it yourself, or just decide to wing it,  it’s bound to include the staples like a laptop, linens, toiletries, clothes, food, etc. But there are a few things you might not know you needed. You also might be so busy thinking about your class schedule, what your roommate will be like and what to wear on your first day, that you end up forgetting some things. 

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“Kiddie Condos” – The Newest College Housing Trend

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“Kiddie Condos” are one of the newest buzz phrases and latest trend for parents of college students who are looking to treat room and board as more of an investment vs. an expense. The concept: Purchase a home, condo or  apartment in the town where your college student goes to school, purchase the home with them on the mortgage, and have them live there vs. campus housing or renting off campus. The idea behind the strategy is to put the money a family would generally spend on room and board, required meal plans, and out-of-state tuition into a property.

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College Savings or Retirement – Which Should you Save for First?

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Which should you save for first – your child’s future college tuition or your personal retirement?  As a parent, this is a very emotional question – saving for your children’s continuing education to help them incur less debt and get a good education or financially preparing yourself and securing your future.

Many parents have decided that college savings should come first and are not only forgoing putting money in a retirement account, but they are dipping into their retirement savings to cover the costs of tuition. Yes, saving for college is important, but it is actually a luxury. How much you save for your child’s tuition is not a direct correlation to how likely it is that they will graduate. And don’t worry, your child can find other ways to pay for school: scholarships, grants, financial aid, part time jobs, or even finding a more affordable school.

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Surprising Expenses You Don’t Expect When Planning for Retirement

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When it comes to planning for retirement, the process seems pretty simple: contribute to your IRA or 401(k), put extra savings aside each month, and reduce your spending as much as possible as you get closer to retirement. Once you are ready to retire, you should be able to rely on a combination of your investments, Social Security, your savings and Medicare to cover your needs.

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Back to School and Insurance – is your college student covered under your policies?

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Heading off to your first semester of college can be both an exciting and emotional time, and not just for the student! One often overlooked item is insurance. Should your college student remain on the family’s auto policy? Are their personal belongings covered if there is a fire or theft in the dorm, or they lose them? What happens if they are sick and need to see a doctor, are they covered?

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Making the transition from recent college grad to full time employee

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Being a new graduate is an exciting time. You have accomplished a huge goal by earning your diploma and are ready to start the next chapter. Transitioning from student to full time employee is not always easy so here are some tips to help you navigate the process:

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When should you refinance your student loans?

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Taking out student loans for college tuition and room and board is commonplace these days. If you recently graduated from college or decided to take a break from classes, be prepared to start paying back those loans 6 months from the time you leave school. While many students don’t pay close attention as those loans accumulate year after year, the lender does, and once you hit that 6-month threshold, expect those payment notices to start rolling in! Continue reading “When should you refinance your student loans?”

Why your high school student should have a summer or part time job

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Warning: Depending on your child’s hobbies and interests, suggesting they seek employment for the Summer Break and beyond may result in glares, the silent treatment, and resistance.

Some high schoolers love the idea of working to make some extra money, while others think it’s a fate worse than death. However, summer break is a great time to enter the job market and earn money to put towards buying a car, college tuition, paying a cell phone bill, or even simply building a savings account. A job or internship can also be added to those college apps to show work experience and new skills – not to mention they may discover a passion or future career.    Continue reading “Why your high school student should have a summer or part time job”