6 Things to Know About Student Loans Before You Start School

The summer before your freshman year in college means choosing classes, checking out your future roommate’s Instagram and figuring out how you’re going to pay the bills. Chances are you will need a loan: 2 out of 3 students have debt when they leave school, according to 2017 graduate data from the Institute for College … Continued

Dorm Costs Have Soared, but Many Freshmen Have No Choice

Living in the dorms is a rite of passage for millions of first-year college students. But like the rest of the college experience, it’s costly. And in many cases it’s mandatory. Moving my only daughter into the dorms of scenic Appalachian State University her freshman year was tough on us both, but an exciting time. … Continued

College, Interrupted: The Case for Going (Back) to School

A cautionary note for the high school classes of 2020 and 2021: Waiting to enroll in college decreases the likelihood you’ll ever attend or complete a degree. It’s a valid concern for both cohorts. Due to the pandemic, undergraduate enrollment was down 2.5% in fall 2020 and down 4.5% for spring 2021, compared with the … Continued

This Time, the Stimulus Package Helps More College Students

In the third round of COVID-19 relief, college students and their families could see more money in their pockets than before. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday, provides students with immediate and long-lasting financial benefits, including: Relief checks, even for dependent students. Emergency financial aid grants from their schools. Child tax … Continued

Hey college students: have you seen this scam?

Scammers are targeting college students. In the last year, we told you about a car wrap scam and a COVID-19 scam hitting college students. Today, we want to tell you about a fake check scam. In this one, a scammer posing as a professor sends you an email. It uses a college domain name and … Continued

More Grads Are Going Back to School: Should You?

College enrollment is down overall compared with last year due to the coronavirus. But the economic effects of the pandemic may actually be pushing some students back to school. “(It’s) probably the worst time to graduate from college in this generation,” says Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “What are … Continued

The FAFSA Just Opened: Why You Should Apply Now

An influx of college financial aid applications this year means that money could run out for students who don’t file early. Due to financial strain caused by COVID-19, nearly 40% of families that didn’t previously plan to apply for federal financial aid now expect to do so, according to a recently released survey from Discover … Continued

Will You Get a Refund If COVID-19 Closes Your Campus?

Many colleges are welcoming students back for in-person learning and dormitory living this fall semester. Looming over everything: Campuses could shut back down at any time. With COVID-19 cases still high, many colleges are developing shutdown contingency plans alongside their reopening arrangements. At the same time, the pandemic is fueling new debate about whether colleges should … Continued

Why Missing College This Fall Is a Bad Idea

As colleges figure out how to structure classes this fall, many students are questioning whether to enroll at all. The idea of taking a gap year might sound enticing, but returning students should think twice. Many colleges have official gap year or deferred enrollment policies for incoming freshmen. But returning students who choose to take … Continued

When Colleges Say Stay Home: Options for Undergrad, Grad, Veteran and International Students

UPDATES rules for international students in the last section. Now that big-name colleges are announcing plans to go remote in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, others are expected to follow. How does that change the financial math? The answer can differ from school to school and depending on whether you are an undergrad, … Continued