Single Point of View

Single Point of View is our way to occasionally share planning ideas relating to personal finance. Our goal is to pass along concepts that you may not be exposed to on a daily basis.

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Important Changes to Financial Aid Process

If you have a child in college, or, will have one entering college in fall of 2017, I've got your weekend plans all lined up.  The process for filing FAFSA (Free Application for federal Student Aid) has changed.  The most important thing to know is that starting this Saturday (October 1) you can access the FAFSA forms and submit your application.  So, if you have college-aged children, plan to get started on it this weekend. In past years the forms weren't available until January and required previous year tax return information.  This often left parents scrambling to file their tax returns early in order to better understand how much aid you could plan for (which is often a big factor in choosing which school your child will attend).  The process now allows you to use tax return information from the prior, prior year.  So, for the school year 2017-2018, you will...
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How To Read a Financial Aid Award Letter

It is the time of year that many students are receiving acceptance letters to colleges.  With that comes navigating the financials involved with paying for it.  Below is an article from EFC Plus with an explanation on how to read a Financial Aid Award Letter.  The most important part of analyzing the information is in separating the merit-based aid and the self-help financial aid, which will give you a better view of your true cost of education.http://www.efcplus.com/financial-aid-award-letter-analysis/Or, for those who prefer, here's a quick video tutorial. http://www.efcplus.com/project/financial-award-letter/
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Changes to the Federal Student Aid Process

This month, President Obama announced some significant changes to the FAFSA program starting next year.  One of the key changes to be aware of is changing the date when you are able to submit an application.  Starting next October, you will be able to file as early as October 1st, as opposed to January 1 under the current rules. This change allows students and parents to report income information from the prior tax year.  with it being very difficult for most people to have current year tax information in January each year, this change should help many by making the process more aligned with the timing of available information. Below is a link to more details on these changes from the US Dept of Education.https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/fafsa-changes
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Student Loan Follow Up

As a follow up to our post earlier this week, today CNNMoney published an article on the differences between public & private loans in the case of death of the borrower.  This illustrates another big difference between the two types of loans.Click the link below for the article.http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/28/pf/parents-student-loans/index.html?iid=Lead
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Student Loan Repayment Options

In our previous post we briefly mentioned the various options available to recent graduates for repayment of their student loans.  Here is an overview of those options along with some important resources to consider when deciding the best strategy for yourself.What Type of Loans Do I Have?The first thing to understand is the type of loan you have.  Many of the repayment options we discuss below are for Federal Student Loans only, not Private Loans.  Federal Loans tend to provide flexibility & options, however, can be very complicated.  Private loans tend to be simple, but, very stringent.For Federal loans it is also important to determine what type of Federal Loan you have FFEL or Direct Loans, and the status of those loans. (Stafford: Subsidized & Unsubsidized, Perkins, Federal Consolidation, Parent PLUS, Grad PLUS)A great place to start and understand what types loans you have is www.nslds.ed.gov (National Student Loan Data System for...
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