Are Public Colleges Really Free In New York?

This past weekend New York became the first state to make four year public colleges tuition free by approving the Excelsior Scholarship.  The Excelsior Scholarship will cover the cost of tuition at SUNY, CUNY and community colleges for New York residents and it will go into effect this fall.  While the cost of tuition will […]

Understand the FAFSA Changes

There have been some significant changes for our 2017 high school graduates.  Not only has the SAT has been overhauled, but the FAFSA will be available October 1 instead of January 1.  Additionally, the “prior, prior” year’s income will be collected instead of the current year as before.  This means that all students applying for […]

Early Decision and Financial Aid

Those of you preparing college applications have most likely become familiar with the term “early decision.”  This is an application process in which, if accepted, you have entered into a binding agreement to attend that college. Applying ED lets the college know that they are the student’s top choice and therefore, for many schools, this […]

Important FAFSA Information

The FAFSA becomes available as of January 1, 2014.  All colleges will require this form for students applying for financial aid.  The process of applying for financial aid can seem daunting to most families.  A myriad of questions run through our minds like will this will hurt my chances for admission, am I answering everything […]

Will Applying for Financial Aid Hurt My Chances?

Most colleges proudly claim to be need-blind, meaning they will not take financial need into consideration when determining admission.  A better student may receive a more attractive financial aid package but a lesser student will not be rejected based on financial need. Need-aware schools such as Tufts, Trinity and Lafayette will admit a majority of […]

Important Reminders for Incoming Seniors

    Students:  Now that summer is in full swing, you should begin requesting and gathering information from those colleges in which you are interested.  It is important to start this process soon so that you are able to make an “informed choice” for the final for the final list of colleges to which admission […]

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

About now, you may be getting requests from your schools for you to update your FAFSA  using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT).  They will ask you to log in to your 2013-14 FAFSA, go to the Financial Section and link directly to the IRS using your PIN.  This link should work as long […]

Attention: Accountants and Financial Planners

We all understand that our clients have different needs at varied stages of life.  Here are a few issues with which you need to be familiar in helping your clients plan for college:   Don’t automatically use a Form 1040 if the family is eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ.  Using the simplified tax […]

Divorce and College Financial Aid

Naturally, at least half of the families I work with are divorced and I find that this is where people tend to make the most mistakes. These are very costly and easily avoidable mistakes that can be extremely difficult to correct. There are two forms that need to be filled out when applying for financial […]

Show Me The Money

Summer is speeding by and the time for our incoming high school seniors to make their list of potential colleges is quickly approaching.  Many students choose colleges randomly or based on where their friends are looking.  I am constantly telling parents to choose colleges strategically…especially if you are seeking financial aid.  No one wants cost […]